I remember being young, going places, seeing other people with their children and saying what we all said, “That wouldn’t be my child.” I know I’m not the only one. It was in that moment God laughed. Fast forward many years later and my parenting is nothing like I would’ve projected. I frequently tell my husband how difficult parenting can be. It absolutely has changed the way I pray if that tells you anything.
My mother always tells me how patient I am with my children. Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way, and I feel like I’m failing and need all the help in the world. One thing I know is that parenting requires learning and constant evolution of yourself and home environment.
Parenting has taught me many different things. It has changed the way I process life and has definitely changed who I am. Here are some things I have learned in my 9 short years of parenting.
I can’t recall how many times I’ve had to apologize to my children for my own behaviors. I can’t recall ever having an adult apologize to me when I was a child for them having the “I’m big, you’re little” complex. I’ve learned to teach my children that I’m not always right just because I’m an adult. When I do something wrong, I own it, and I explain to them why my actions aren’t acceptable. In doing this, I’m hoping that my children learn accountability.
This has been tough for me. I use to pray for patience but stopped a couple of years ago as I felt I was always being tested. Commonly when I’m about to speak I hear a gentle voice telling me to stop. I know it has to be the voice of an angel because I feel my temperament change immediately. Often times it says, “They’re just being children and they didn’t ask to be here.” Hearing that voice keeps me calm and generally with more tolerance.
The Speed of Time
When I was young, I thought time passed slowly. Getting to 16 seemed to take forever. Now that I’m a parent, time seems to be passing at lightning speed. I often joke with my husband that Earth must be rotating much quicker than when we were young. My parents entertain my thoughts by agreeing. Like most parents, I look at my children and think how fast they’re growing. I try to seize moments with them as I know that it won’t be long before they out in this world without me. I have to remind myself of that on rough days when they’re running around rampart and creating messes. The day will come when I don’t have to chase and clean up after them. I’m sure I’ll miss it when that time comes.
Being exposed to the realities of other’s childhoods changes the way you see your children. Well, at least that’s what has happened to me. I’ve always been protective of my children but have grown to be more overprotective than I thought I would. It’s a gift and a curse really. Unfortunately, some children are exposed to things that I feel they aren’t old enough for. The only way to control that is to control the narrative. My husband and I are in agreeance regarding the matter, and I am grateful for that. As the children are getting older, we know that we’ll have to loosen the reigns just a tad. It’s not easy but my husband and I might get there one day.
Parenting is a wonderful journey and can lead to amazing personal growth. I’m enjoying the ride and wouldn’t change a thing. In the end, all I could pray for is productive, healthy human beings. I’d say we’re on the right track.