Learning about ourselves through parenthood

Updated: Mar 18

Did you know? That parenting is one of the hardest jobs on the planet? You heard it here first. Not only does it start with 9 months of physical, often emotional discomfort and actual pain, but then caring for a whole other being with its own personality is a total mind-bender! It’s wild! Putting it together feels like

  • Is this child supposed to be like me or their Dad?

  • Should I raise them the way I was raised?

  • Should I be strict or lenient?

  • How can I make sure they are smart and successful?

  • How can I make sure they don’t get hurt?

There are so many questions and feelings about being responsible for a whole other person - and a brand new person who doesn’t know how to do anything at that. It’s exciting and terrifying. But the thing is, no matter how nervous or scared or unsure you are, you sort of like, have to do it anyway. So you might as well feel confident about your decisions.

Our lives (and theirs) are a process of self-discovery. Different ages bring different experiences and feelings into our lives. How we handle all the stages of growth and development shapes the way we are and teaches us what we are capable of. It’s incredible. Raising a child is like asking our hearts, minds, and bodies to be bigger, more flexible, and stronger than they have ever been, than you even though they could be. It can feel evolutionary, like the things that you do for your children wouldn’t be possible without them. The care, gentleness, concern, patience, wonder - is that you? Wow, who knew you were capable of being so selfless?

Me? I found myself waking up at 6 AM to make a home-cooked lunch for my preschooler when I never woke up earlier than 7:00… ever. And sure it gets more complex as they grow. Oh, now they have different needs and intentions? Oh, now they want to do what they want?? And not what you want?? Wow, that’s a whole other skill set you have to grow - for someone the size of your leg! That’s the power of new life, baby!

They are asking us to show them, teach them, love them no matter what they do. Yikes. Can you do it? Can pure parental love help you raise a child? I mean, you can’t even control yourself from finishing the whole pint of ben and jerry’s in one go, or from giving the finger to someone who cut you off driving down the block. How are you supposed to grow such profound talents and abilities?

  • By getting information

  • When we take on anything new, we get information (we read the yelp reviews, we watch the youtube videos). So, do your diligence and read! Talk! Ask!

  • By slowing down.

  • When you learned how to ice skate, you took it slow and learned naturally, right? Children go at their own pace, not yours. So slow down and wait.

  • By caring for yourself

  • This one often gets lost in translation. But making sure that you are independently strong and fulfilled grants you the space and time to care so much for someone else.

  • Be patient

  • You’re gonna fall down. A lot. You’re gonna yell out of frustration. You’re gonna resent that cry in the middle of the night. You’re gonna wish you never did this.

But, like a caterpillar inching its way out of an uncomfortable cocoon, like a child learning how to bike after many falls, you’ll learn that it is all a part of the important growth of a family. That you can do it and you already are. As your child grows into the person that they were meant to be, with your help and love, so will you.

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