Expectations have a way of snarling up all relationships. We have ideas of who partners are supposed to be & of who we should be. We have ideas of who our children should be (SAFE roars in the heads of those who parent adolescents) and of who we will be as parents. “I will be so different from my own parents” we smugly say to ourselves.
I was inspired to write this post by another blogger who is refreshingly honest. She wrote: http://4mothers1blog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/i-was-a-better-mom-before-i-had-kids/ . When our children are infants we can bury ourselves in ideas that make us feel inadequate.
The truth is we can only be the best parents possible. What we can do is create an atmosphere of honesty when we mess up.
Don’t be afraid to be curious enough to ask your kids “How can I be a better Mom? or Dad?”. Often teens in therapy will admit they want more one on one time. So if that is the answer, then grab a meal together & listen.
I often mention to new parents, pick two things that are part of who you are & do those things well. If you try to do 25 things you believe you should do, I doubt it will work out. The third thing would be most everyone’s answer “to insure they know they are loved”.
I picked honesty & challenging. I know they both make me a pain in the butt to my kids! I love the Indian name I was given in Arizona by a Lakota Shaman so many years ago: She Who Walks With Truth. So I’m honoring my nature with these two choices. What are the two you pick that fits your nature?
We enter all relationships with too many illusions about what they will be. From my position of looking back at parenting; my favorite part was how it humbled me. We find out how to live with our own vulnerability in our struggles because we can’t protect them from their own vulnerability.
On my front porch last night one of my favorite people sighs with how very hard it is to let go & then this morning a mom calls me & says “I can’t live with her anymore.” As a parent you’ve just got to love the roller coaster, because that’s the deal.