Long ago when all I could do was imagine my grown up life one day, I was being parented by good parents. They gave me space with limits. They weren’t perfect but I sure knew to say, “Yes, Ma’am and Yes, Sir”, respect my elders, how to write a thank you note, and how it was important to give to others. I was taught to respect myself and to not ever give up too. And above all, I was told I was loved and I was. I knew my parents loved me. I never had reason to doubt it.
Then one day came and just like that, I was a parent. I was shocked by the amount of love I felt instantly for this little, tiny, baby and I was amazed that I never knew how much my parents actually loved me! I couldn’t believe what I thought wasn’t even close and I understood them so much more.
Everyday since becoming a parent I’ve tried my hardest to be the best mother I could be. I’ve had visions of who I wanted to be as a mother my entire life and every day I attempt being her. I wouldn’t have a clue how to do it if my own mother hadn’t been so great. To be a great parent, the easiest way is to be from great parents. We repeat the patterns we’ve been taught to repeat. If we don’t have great parents, we’ve known someone we thought was one and we could possibly try to copy their patterns. Or maybe if we needed an example we could find guidance. With the love I felt for my children, I’m sure I would have tried my hardest, even if I hadn’t been shown the best examples.
Today I’m baffled by how many parents fail at their job. They disappear or are selfish. They’re lazy and don’t care. Maybe they’re just doing what was done to them. I don’t know. What I do know is that we all should try to be better parents than the ones we had. Even if ours were pretty great. If yours weren’t, why wouldn’t you envision your own childhood and give them what you wished you had? Why is that so hard. Remember yourself as a child and heal yourself by being a better parent than the one that failed you. How could you not try?
I’m lucky that I had two parents that loved me. I really am. I was lucky enough to have 2 healthy happy children. I have not been lucky in lots of other ways. I will never let that affect who I am as a parent to my babies. I wish others could feel that same way too. I wish before cheaters cheated they’d think about how this could hurt their children. I wish before abusers beat or ripped someone apart with words, they’d think about how that was changing their children forever. I wish that when people do seperate and/or eventually divorce that they would put their children before their dating life or their social life. It makes children feel last when they constantly feel like they’re last in place in your priorities.
I’ve seen an article floating around Facebook lately about letting your children know you’re the most important person in your family, not them. I get the point of this article but it doesn’t read right to me. How about let’s put family first and together as a unit our family is most important. Not any one member. That just sounds better to me. Family. We should all try to have better families even when it’s just a mom and her two kids, like me.
Much Love ~ iom
This one I didn’t think I could touch but it wouldn’t be right not to acknowledge it when the emotions run so deep. Although most of you or maybe none of you even know why this song is so important but it is huge to me. The tragedy, the bands I’ve always followed, and the music that’s helped keep me alive, this one is one that hurts and heals in union. To all the songs that have spoken to my soul, this one was needed. Thanks to Gregg Allman for always leading the pack. The little boys who idealized you and grew up to form bands of their own and becoming some of my favorites, thank you. I’ve watched you play so many times and your voice and the emotion behind it never failed to amaze. You will be missed.
While I was talking to my good friend M yesterday she mentioned someone we know from our hometown. She was saying that her children spend a lot of time with their grandmother now since this person and their father divorced. She mentioned that their mother worked a lot but when she wasn’t working she was focused on her social life and dating. This mom was more focused on getting her life back on track, finding her next love, and moving on with a new life. M went on to say that she wasn’t putting her children first, like I was. It made me think…I am putting my children first. Not because it’s the right thing to do, it’s the only thing to do. After all the crazy chaos they been through, bringing a new person in their life would be difficult for them and I’m sure they’re not ready for that. I’m not.
I started to think about the few divorced adults I knew growing up and I remember two (seriously there may have been 3 couples) of them had an immediate new relationship, followed by a marriage, and new family made. How difficult it must have been for their children. I know they felt loyal to the other parent and felt like this new person was an intruder. I can’t imagine the confusion. Even a good friend of mine who’s parents divorced when she was an adult and remarried less than 2 years later says how difficult that is. How she feels like she can’t talk about her other parent, how she has no home to go to anymore. She has her mom and new guys house and her dad and new lady’s house. Neither place feels comfortable. Neither place is like coming home. Her home no longer exist. Her home was her parents house. She’s misplaced. I think a lot of children, even adult children of divorce lose their identity. Lose their place in this world.
I feel a slight bit of pride knowing that a large part of why I’m not really ready to date is because of my children. I don’t want them to have to adjust to a new person when they’re still adjusting to their parents not living together. They don’t need me dropping them off with someone all of them time so I can live it up. So I can have an active social life. They need time. I will put them first my entire life. I will put them first forever. They will never question that. I’ll make sure of it.
I do understand I need time for myself. It’s good for me to have adult relationships and have times when I do things separate from my kids. I do have these times. I just don’t need them constantly. I have them when they are with having daddy time. I chose to have my children and I will raise them. Not act like they’re a nuisance and in the way of my life.
One day I hope I find someone to love and to be loved by, but I’m not in any hurry. I don’t want to go to dating sites and force the issue. I hope that one day, when we’re all ready, it will just fall into place. I have a feeling that it will. Long before any of that happens the kids and I will have already discussed these things and figured out how it will work best. It’s their home and life too. I could never be a person that forced someone in their life without knowing how they’d feel about it first. Before anyone even existed. That feels right to me.