I’ve been a parent more of my life then I haven’t. That’s right, I’m 42 and I’ve been a mom since I was 18. A lot of things have changed over the years, and my parenting is one of them. You see, I used to be the mom who volunteered for everything. I used to hang her grade card up on the refrigerator all proud of her achievements. I used to be over involved if I’m being completely honest.
I wake her up for school everyday and I also pack her lunch. I wanted to be close to my daughter. She starts middle school this year and I can already feel her slipping away from me.
I used to sit there and watch every single soccer practice because that’s what other parents did. I used to try to fix everything for her because that’s my job as a mom. Moms fix things when they are broken. They make everything better. I was always living my life through my child’s. Her accomplishments were my accomplishments, and her screw ups were mine as well. I took these things to heart. When she did something amazing, I bragged and I gloated because that means I’m doing something right as a parent. And the flip side of that is that when something goes wrong, it’s a bad reflection on us as parents.
I am not a bad parent for doing these things, in fact, I thought these were the things she needed from me. At least that’s what I had learned over the past few years. If you notice a theme above, it’s kind of all about me. But my daughter isn’t here for me, she’s here for her. It’s her life, but yet, I want to make it the childhood I didn’t have.
About 3 summers ago I was scrolling though the feed on my phone and I saw a short interview with a lady who just knocked my socks off. She was literally speaking to me and me alone. I stopped what I was doing and I listened. I didn’t listen with my normal mom ears, instead I listed with my heart, and with my soul. What she said resonated with me right at the center of my being.
After some investigating I found out that she had written a book, which I promptly ordered on Amazon and received that week in the mail. The book has changed my life. It challenges me in ways that I didn’t know were possible. It taught me how much of my own hurt I bring to the table when I’m parenting. It’s called The Conscious Parent, and the author is Dr. Shefali Tsabary PhD.
I still need a lot of work when it comes to this area of my life. This being conscious while parenting. I’m so used to reacting rather than responding that it’s going to take some practice before I am there.
But I am glad I found it! I am happy to understand why I do some of the things I do. I want my child to succeed. I want to give her the tools to be healthy and happy. I want to heal myself as well. What better example could I give her than to teach her you’re never to old to learn? I do not have all the answers, and even if I did, I’m robbing her of so many things when I figure it all out for her.
If you really want to change yourself and your relationship with your kids, I recommend you read this book. I also recommend that you read “How to Raise an Adult.” There are many hard, cold, facts that you cannot deny about today’s youth. The kids haven’t changed over the years, but the parenting sure has. I choose to be conscious, I choose the challenge of learning. I choose to find a new way, because now that I know better, I will do better.
This week I need to work on shutting up and listening. I have a big problem with this. As soon as she starts talking, I’m already forming a thought in my head and a response. I’m already thinking of a way I can respond. She’s getting to the age where she is going to stop trying to talk to me because alI I do is fix. So this week, I will work on listening and understanding, instead of listening to change or fix.
How much do you love your kids? How much do you love yourself? If you happen to confuse the 2 it’s ok, your not alone. Take a look at your child and listen to what it is they have to teach you.
Tavia Hayduk 937-210-2306