Having 5 children is a true blessing although there are days I wonder. Now, don’t misunderstand, I truly love and adore my children. However, there is that stage that you wonder if aliens have abducted your sweet, innocent children and replaced them with argumentative, sassy teens. Nonetheless, I count my blessings and hope beyond all hopes that those stages pass quickly.
As I look back to the days that my children were young and truly dependent on my ever word; I actually long for those days. Those small wondering eyes have turned into eyes that look right through you. The cute innocent questions and long conversations have turned into short one word answers from them or conversations that will make your face turn several shades of red.
Someone once told me that you will truly love when your child grows up and becomes independent because it will be proof of your parenting skills. Hmmm, not sure I agree with that statement, now that I have older children that will make decisions that differ from the way they were raised. As a parent, you hope and dream that your children will listen to your every word, and follow each and every ‘wise’ advice you provide. Of course, that is all a dream that is quickly interrupted when they become teens that question your every word.
Although I’ve wished that all of the above were simply a stage and it very well may be; I’ve come to realize that having children that decide to do something against your teachings does not make me a ‘bad’ parent. In fact, it makes me a parent that allows their children to make their own decisions and live with whatever the outcome of such decision. I must confess that it is not easy watching your children that have grown into adults make decisions that differ from your lifestyle. It actually hurts and makes me angry but once the anger subsides, I understand that those decisions are not mine to make. After all, as parents don’t we want our children to become independent and make up their own minds? One part of me says, YES while the other says, ummm, maybe not! But again, I remind myself that I must let go and let them live their lives.
Perhaps one of the hardest lessons I’ve learned from motherhood is that of letting go. This is a lesson that has been quite difficult but one that I have been forced to do on several occasions. Letting go when they are young is not as difficult as when they become teens and young adults. The subject matter changes completely and again it is much more difficult.
So, does this make me a ‘bad’ parent?
Absolutely not! And it doesn’t make you a ‘bad’ parent either. In fact, it’s perfectly normally to feel like you’ve failed as a parent but believe me, you will be amazed in the end. Do I agree with all the decisions my young adults are making today? That’s a loaded question and all I can do is think back to when I was a ‘young adult’ and wonder if my parents agreed with all my decisions.
This concept has made me appreciate my parents much more and hope that I am making them proud as they look down on me from up above. I’m sure my mom is giggling when I get upset, but you know what? All this heartache and the many sleepless nights have made me stronger.
Does it hurt any less?
Absolutely not! But I have learned to become a stronger parent and one that is able to let go and allow my young adults to make their own decisions and understand that their decisions do not make me a ‘bad’ parent. How are you feeling? Are you questioning your parenting skills?