An Introspective of Motherhood
Mother’s Day has passed but it leaves me reflecting inward on what it means to have been a good parent. It’s been said that it’s not what you learn about your kids. It’s not what you give your kids. It’s what you do with your kids. It’s what you leave in your kids. It’s the quality of time and it can be as simple as a routine. But why do we sometimes feel like we haven’t done enough?
There is no manual to illustrate to us as mothers how this job is done. And sadly, it’s not enough just to get them (our kids) to the finish line of High School and say, “We’ve done all that we can.” After that march across the stage, we watch our children go off to begin their own journey of discovery. They begin to form new relationships, make courageous decisions, some good and some not so good. Yet, we sit on the sidelines cheering them on, sometimes hiding behind our hands while holding our breath, praying the whole time that they recover from their missteps.
But this is really our time as parents to work on new parental skills. That’s right! New skills. The ones that allow us to become better parents on a new level. While we are yet working on these new parental skills, our children are working on becoming successful adults. These new blossoming adults then become successful adults who we hope to have high levels of self esteem and self-worth. We must sit idly by and allow them to learn new things and enjoy the people they are surrounded by. In all of this, they show that they have good character, morals and values.
This new level of parenting challenges us to no longer be the “come to me and let me get it done” parent, but now the “here are the resources you need to figure this out on your own” parent. It sounds so easy, but this is the hardest thing to do. We sometimes know what our maturing child needs long before he/she does, and we go directly into action to get it done. But, we must transition to a hands off approach and let me tell you this is hard!
So, as I reflect on our day that has just passed, I am offering advice to those of us who still have young ones at home, or ones who have young adults crossing over into adulthood. Trust that you have instilled in them the core values to make it as positive and productive citizens. Trust that you have shown them love, grace, and yes sometimes mercy but more importantly that they’ve learned from their young mistakes. Trust that the open conversations you’ve had with them will lead them to come to you when life has them backed into a corner and prayerfully you are ready to listen and respect whatever it is they have to say (this is important).
While there is no manual to motherhood, it still takes a village. So to you my fellow villagers, Happy belated Mother’s Day!