It’s pretty wild to picture my kids as preteens and teenagers. They are 3.5 and 20 months right now, so it feels like light years away. Even though, to be honest, 3.5 years seems to have zoomed passed me faster than you can say ‘threenager’.
It’s wild to think about, but I feel like it’s also necessary in order to reflect on the goal I have as a parent—to raise capable, kind, independent adults. How can I achieve this goal? Am I modeling these characteristics? Am I doing enough every day?
Most days, I think I am doing these things, but then some days I have no clue. And then I think—there’s really only so much we can do, anyway. We’re working hard now and doing our best, and then one day they will be out in the world—under other people’s influences and making their own decisions.
Sure, it’s scary—but it’s also life. We’re giving them the tools they need to thrive and we have to trust in them, and in the process of how we’re parenting them. We have to believe in ourselves just as much as we believe in them.
One thing I’ve been thinking about recently is that I want my kids to know that life isn't perfect and not everything is going to go as planned or as expected all the time.
There will be times that they will disappoint me.
There will be times that they’ll disappoint themselves.
There will be times that they will fail.
There will be times that they will make mistakes.
There will be times in their lives when the world will feel like it's crumbling around them.
But I so desperately want them to know that I will be there throughout these scary and confusing times, just as I will be during the happy and exciting times.
I want to shout: NOTHING IS EVER TOO MUCH TO COME TO ME WITH.
Kiddos, I am your mom. I always will be. I gave birth to you. I love you, no matter what. Please believe this with your whole being. And please let me be there.
Because I will be there to comfort you.
I will be there to guide you.
I will be there to listen.
I will be there to help.
I will be there to voice my opinion.
I will be there to protect you.
I will be there to cry with you.
I will be there to give you space.
I will be there to hold your hand.
I will be there to raise you up.
I will be there to support you.
I will be there to hug you.
I will be there to remind you of your light.
I will be there to love you, unconditionally, with my whole heart.
The fact is—our kids are going to grow up. That’s the goal. I want them to thrive as amazing adult human beings in this world and help make it a better place.
But, they will also always be my babies. No matter how old they are, I will always remember the way they felt sleeping on my chest. I’ll always remember the proud look on their face when they took their first steps, the sound of the voice when they first said, “Mama,” the outfits they wore the day they went off to school for the first time.
These memories will forever be apart of us. They are ingrained in us—in our hearts, our minds, our souls.
So nothing will ever be too big, too scary or too upsetting to come to me with. My hope as a parent is that my husband and I are working to create open, honest relationships with our kids now that will always be filled with trust, acceptance and love. This way, I pray that they will come to me with the good stuff, the bad stuff, the happy stuff, the confusing stuff, the scary stuff and the amazing exciting life-changing stuff, too.