I don’t think there is a tougher job anywhere than being a parent. To have this incredible task of raising these miniature individuals and creating eventual adults that are all that they can possibly be. It’s pressure. I can’t be the only one that questions every decision that they make. I can’t be. I’ve often said that by having twins, I don’t have the luxury of learning from my mistakes with the first one; I make the same mistakes with both of them.
I wish there had been a class that I could have taken on how to be a good parent, a great mom. Truth be told, if there had been – I probably wouldn’t have enrolled in it and taken a class on how to build “stuff” instead, but that’s just me. Late in life, I was blessed with these two miracles of mine. If I could pass on the lessons I’ve learned on how to be a good parent – and trust me, I’m doing this by the seat of my pants – it would be a pretty small list of “how to’s”.
I’m guilty of telling them that while I love them, my mind was already focused on the next task at hand. Rather than give them the attention that they need, I was off and running. I never gave them the opportunity to tell them that they loved me too. I would kiss them at daycare, murmur an “I love you” in their ear, and race off to the car to battle traffic on my way to work.
Love them. Express it. Tell them how much you care about them. Teach them that you love them regardless of who they are, how they act, what they do. Love them, unconditionally. Give them the confidence that while they may do the odd naughty thing, that you still love them. More importantly, teach them to love themselves.
I try so hard not to compare my two little girls, but I’m guilty of this. There is this small part of me that wants these cookie cutter children, yet I need to teach them that it’s okay to be different. My girls are night and day compared to each other – why is it that I’m expecting them at age four to be just every other four year old girl out there? They haven’t had a chance to fully develop into who they are. I need to let them be them.
One of my daughters recently followed her older (by a minute) sister’s example and did something that she knew better than to do. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that other darling daughter of mine’s head whip about and watch intently to ensure that the correction was going to be consistent. It was. But it taught me that rules are rules are rules, and I need to be consistent. I need to correct the action, not the child. I need to be consistent. All parents need to be consistent. I need to be consistent.
Promise yours, what I’ve promised mine. Spend time with them. Do things with them. I “told” my VP’s that I had to attend a meeting at their school, and to be honest – it was a non-negotiable for me. I was attending, regardless. Turns out, I wasn’t missed at work, but I would have been missed at school. It meant the world to my girls, and that’s what’s important.
I’m trying to become a better parent. It’s happening, one day at a time.