Before I had my suns, my idea of motherhood was that I’d be the cool mom, the mom who you could tell anything to, but would also kick your ass if you needed it. I would raise my children to be people of integrity, compotence and kindness; my kids would be so full of awesomeness that they couldn’t help but go forth and change the world. Oh, I also decided that I would never wear mom jeans with a long, swinging ponytail as my everyday outfit because that’s just not what cool moms do. No sirree.
Don’t get me wrong. The aforementioned motherhood goals are definitely in play, but as I continue on this parenting journey, I find that I’m really only responsible for doing one thing as a parent. This one thing is often overlooked as parents seem to think that the way they I grew up or what the “experts say” is gold. Truthfully, I believe those things can be pushed aside for this simple, yet powerful action:
Parents are nothing more than guides. We are not responsible for raising our children; animals are raised. We are responsible for guiding our children in the ways that will best benefit them, which may not be what we want for them.
As a parent, this may seem illogical and offputting. I can understand, because initially I felt the same. The fact is children are born with everything they need to thrive. From day one, they know to seek warmth, comfort and food from their mother. Just think about the progress they make from through age two with little more than us holding their hands and guiding them through it. But, for some reason, at a certain point we believe that we need to take over the reigns; we begin not to trust our kids to lead the way, even though that’s what they come into this world instinctually doing. Honestly, I did the same thing, so I’m not the pot calling the kettle black here. However, I do want to shine a light on this to help other parents who might not see what’s happening.
Parent to parent, mother to mother, we must be guiding lights for our children. We must be the beacons that help our children navigate the waters of life. After all, it is their life, not ours. Let’s help them become their best selves by allowing them the freedom to make mistakes, yet the strength to keep going. Isn’t that what we want for them? Be that guiding light. Give them the freedom they need to grow into who they’re supposed to be. When you release the need to “parent” and accept the role of being the ultimate tour guide in your child’s life, you’ve accepted the best role imaginable. You’ll feel like (and be) the best parent in the world.