I’m grateful for what being a parent teaches me. Before I had kids, I was 100% invested in my career. I was in one dysfunctional relationship after another. I wasn’t ready to see the inner workings of me, I wanted to be better, but not by working from the inside-out (never worked). I made a conscious decision to start a family at the end of my 20’s. I knew I wanted to be there for my kids. I wanted to be the best mom I could be. I went to classes, conferences, and workshops. I started volunteering at my son’s pre-school because I loved how the teacher got him to behave in the classroom. I became an assistant, and then a teacher at the pre-school. I could work, but still be with my son and my daughter. Having them helped me to really open my eyes to how to be the example to them. I knew I was not the do as I say, not as I do type of parent.
One of the first big realizations was that my relationships with others matter! In a romantic relationship, I’m showing my daughter the importance of respecting herself and being respected by her partner. If two people don’t respect each other, it’s not a healthy relationship. The question I would ask myself was, what would I want her to do if she was in this situation? For my son, I was showing him the same thing, but my question was what am I showing him about how to treat women and what is and isn’t acceptable? They both would have to also learn the consequences of what happens when a romantic relationship isn’t respectful. When I left the toxic relationship I was in, I moved in with my mom and stepdad, because I wanted to show them what a respectful relationship looked like. They got to see healthy friendships and the importance of them too.
As time has passed, I’ve learned A LOT. I now have two teenagers. I see where being the example for them has served them well. I also see where I’ve not done as great in other areas. I’ve acknowledged that feeling responsible for these two lives has filled me at times, and depleted me in others. I’ve noticed I can live in the energy of love, abundance, and peace in most areas of my life, but then with parenting challenges I can get lost in fear, lack, and separation. I see where I’m strong and where I have more work to do.
As they are just a few short years from being adults, I’m starting to see how their own unique paths are unfolding for them. I keep reminding myself of how my life looked in order for me to get where I am today.This is not a job for the weak. Knowing my kids are going to have to face some extreme challenges and those challenges will be what helps them become their best selves can be downright PAINFUL. I know I’m not the perfect parent, because that doesn’t exist. I do know that God made no mistake in putting me as their mom. So I can simply be the best that I can be, and hope that will guide them to do the same.
I’m noticing my conversations with them shifting more and more towards being accountable and responsible for what we put out there and watching the stories we are buying into. I let them know when I catch myself in a story that isn’t benefiting me. They know that when I don’t get enough sleep, my mood is affected, so I may be a little shorter with them, especially when pushed. I apologize when I make mistakes, and I work to improve when something I’m doing isn’t working in their best interests.
I still have to be the example of the things I find important. My daughter was talking about how she’s never seen me drunk, which was important to me because I didn’t want her to ever think that you had to be drunk to have fun. Both my son and daughter know about me being raped as a teenager, because I want their eyes to be open and not get themselves in dangerous situations, while also helping to protect their friends. I want them to understand the exact meaning of no means NO. They also know about many of the ways I struggled as a teen. I sometimes will use my story to help them understand their friends’ situations.
I couldn’t parent the way I wanted to if I didn’t first release the shame of my past. I’m so grateful that I’ve been blessed with the role of being a mom, because I get so many opportunities to learn and grow while also getting to experience what is like to TRULY love two humans with everything I have. I get to put my definition of love into practice on a daily basis, and I know when I’m slipping into the energy of fear, lack, and separation, and I hold myself accountable and responsible for that.
Today, I commit to aligning with love, abundance, and peace in my parenting. I know I’m a better parent when I’m fully aligned. I know I listen better and maintain my peace when I move out of fear of the future and the feeling of lack from any reality for them that I’m disappointed in. When I get to the space of realization that everything that has happened and will happen exactly the way it’s supposed to, I trust that my job is to be the best example I can be. When I can resist comparing our paths to others, I allow all of us to be who we are and create abundance around our paths together.
Part of being the best parent I can be, my self-awareness, self-care, and self-worth are essential because that is the only way that I can stay conscious and make conscious choices that are in the best interests of all of us.
With Love, Abundance, and Peace,
©Rachael Wolff 2020
Author of Letters from a Better Me: How Becoming an Empowered Transforms the World
Catch me on on 12/2/20 at 4PM EDT OMTimes Radio being interviewed by Melisa Caprio on her show Postcards to the Universe: Creating the Life You Crave. If you miss it, you will be able to catch it on one of your favorite places to listen to podcasts.