Parenting is so much more than feeding, clothing and putting a roof over a kids head. While those things are obvious parts of the gig, there are more crucial things I wish my kids will know and understand. The hard part is knowing how to teach it. There is where the problem lies.
When You’re Still Learning
My kids are 5 and 8. Same age difference as my little brother and I. And realized over the holiday that they are the age that we were when my parents separated. Right before Thanksgiving.
While the timing wasn’t ideal, my parents divorcing was definitely better than them staying together, however, it was anything but easy.
And because of the childhood that followed, I developed a whole slew of unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with my feelings. But don’t we all? From retail therapy to self-medicating to toxic love, I tried them all. And of course, nothing worked, I just repeated the destructive cycle. Now, I know that loving yourself is the first step to finding inner peace. It’s not an easy or fast occurrence. And that is why my wish for my kids, is they grow up loving who they are and appreciating all the unique gifts they possess.
We All Want the Same Thing
I feel at the center of our being, all we truly want is to be loved. Unfortunately, I think a lot of us believe that love comes from the outside. And while I think we all need real love from the world around us to grow and thrive, loving oneself is like the seed we all sprout from.
Self-love is hard. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it some days it’s like starting from scratch. But it can be done. I feel like if I can equip my kids with the right tools, maybe they will struggle less with it. I know some days it’s hard, and it feels like nothing is going right, and every little thing you do goes wrong. Trust me. I have those. Some weeks it feels I have more of those than the good ones. But I am learning to give myself grace when I mess up or everything goes to hell and all I want to do is stay in bed. And other days it so hard to have the patience for all the chaos, and I snap. I always immediately regret it. I mean the thought of hurting my kid’s feelings absolutely crushes me. So I take a deep breath, remove myself and come back to love. I tell them I love and then make sure that at the end of the day they know how much I love them. It’s important to me for us to never go to bed upset.
Learning to Love
So my wish, I guess is that my children learn to have grace for themselves and others too. Even those who cheer when you fail and hate it when you succeed. I want my children to understand that it’s important to know those people are hurting and are coping with hurt the best they can. It’s equally important to move on from those people.
In the end, I hope that I can teach my kids how to love wholeheartedly because it’s within the love that we find grace. And grace is where we find happiness. I want them to know that love is not a weakness. And showing grace is not a flaw either. In fact, it’s the opposite. To love others and to give those who don’t deserve it, grace, you have to be one strong m–effer. Love can break you down and rip your heart out, but it’s wonderful and fulfilling at the same time.