Parenting is an enormous responsibility. Those of us who are parents, have been charged by God to nurture, support, raise and release capable, functioning, responsible humans into the world.
Mind you, we are on our own road to being and becoming capable, functioning, supportive, healthy and responsible humans. Some of us are further along than others and can help others, and some of us are in dire need of help and direction ourselves.
I chose motherhood when I was 30 years old and there were parts of my personage that was fully developed by then. I had a solid career in property management that was serving me well and had paid for me to travel the Unites States and live in two states. I had lived on my own my entire adult life and was self sufficient. I was a fully formed woman but I had to learn how to be a mother…and I am still learning.
My mother and my child was conceived and born at the same time.
I have made plenty of mistakes and I have had plenty of home runs. I have known exactly what to do at times and had no idea what to do at other times.
What I was recently reminded of is that it takes a village to raise children even when you have a village. The occupants of your address are the “core” of your village but the outside world also plays a role. Our educators, administrators, neighbors and friends all play a vital and important role in shaping these humans we are responsible for.
My children are awesome! And I mean awesome. They both have similar and very different interests, passions and personality. My son, plays 8 instruments and has an ear for music that will surely usher him into greatness. I do not play instruments and do not know a thing about music although it is ALWAYS playing in our home.
In order for me to serve him, I have to make sure our village includes mentors that can teach him what I cannot.
Super Women Super Men…hey you!
It is perfectly okay to let other people teach your kids something.
Another thing I learned about parenting is that we must have appropriate boundaries and influences in our children’s lives.
We have to determine WHAT IS GOOD FOR THEM and WHO IS GOOD FOR THEM and make our decisions accordingly.
For instance, I am not a drug user. I think that is a detrimental and unhealthy lifestyle for myself and my kids and as a result, I do not hang out with drug users and they cannot baby sit my kids….
Despite the fact that there are some “puff puff pass pass” people in my immediate family. They know to “puff puff pass pass” 100 miles away from me and mine and HELL NO they can never and I mean ever spend the night.
For Mr. and Mrs. Puff, Puff, Pass, Pass.
But my responsibility is not to her, them, and them.
My responsibility is to Hannah and Evan and I am charged with making sure I give them the absolute BEST life start and the BEST examples, and the BEST environment and the BEST I possibly can.
That does not mean I do not occasionally screw up because I do.
That does not mean I have never made a bad call, because I have but those are few and far in between because I have a PLAY BOOK I go to and core questions I ask myself each and every time.
- Is this person or situation GOOD for my children?
- Do ALL the players involved have a healthy and good relationship and disposition with ME that models respect?
- What influences will be present and are they compatible with my worldview and parenting standards?
- Will there be anything I have to undo or un-teach after my kids spend time here or with X?
- Will Evan or Hannah be better off or worse off as a result?
Notice that none of my questions consider what my children want? They are not qualified or equipped to determine what is good for them or who is good for them at their age. I consider how they feel but they do not get to say what is best for them.
Hell, they just got on earth.
Go sat down somewhere.
Hannah wants to eat candy all day and Evan would eat boxes of cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I am suppose to consult with them on what is best?
I do not think so.
So I do what I think is best for them and if they do not understand, I will explain to them why I made the decisions I made so they can understand the logistical thought process…
There are sometimes I say, BECAUSE I SAID SO!
But that hardly is ever the case on issues that are serious.
Nevertheless, the take away is do what you KNOW to be best. Use your inner guide to lead you and trust what you know to be true.
Your kids will not always like what you do but they will always respect and honor what you do because when we consistently make decisions that are good for them, they can see that and they know that.
My son gives me the best compliment when he says “Mom, I know EVERYTHING you do and have done is because you love me. Love is always your reason even when your actions are cra cra”!
Hannah says “Mom, you are my supergirl. Nobody loves me like you. I now want a daughter so I can love her the way you love me”.
That is all a mother could ever want.
To know that her babies know she has always done what she thought was best for them…
That is all any parent wants.
So dear friends, if you are a Mommy or Daddy, you have Human Shaping powers. Use them wisely, consistently, compassionately and truthfully and just know that one day, your kids will appreciate every effort and every sacrifice.
And never be shy about reaching out to your village. They are there because they care and do not compromise what you know to be best for anyone, and I mean ANYONE.
Dana Lena' Publisher/Senior Writer Auspicious Living Magazine