I became a parent at 19. And again at 21. Now, at the ripe old age of 31, I feel that after 12 years of parenting, I have learned a thing or two.
I wish I knew how to be a better mom twelve years ago. I wish my kids didn’t have to grow up with me. Nonetheless, I did grow up. Now I am a good mom. I may not have planned my pregnancies, but, perhaps, it’s the surprises in life that teach you the biggest lessons you can possibly learn. I learned I won’t die from change. I learned that my five-year plans apparently weren’t the route the universe mapped out for me. I learned that as a mom, I didn’t automatically deserve my children’s love and respect, I have to earn it, every single day.
I hope everyday I can take a moment to earn their love and respect, because that is what they deserve.
Parenting is hard. Some days I have to tell myself to, “Suck it up!” My job is to mold these amazingly sponge-like minds into well-rounded, intelligent, caring, honest, trustworthy individuals in our society, in the world. I am not their friend, as their parent I am their mentor — their teacher.
I need to act like it. Lead by example. Show instead of preach.
But don’t get me wrong – parenting is still funny a lot of the time. As seriously as I take my responsibility of helping grow these humans – humor has a way of sneaking in and is often much appreciated. Laughter truly is the best medicine.
Here is a humorous inventory that I have learned and may be helpful to any potential parents out there:
Qualities for Wannabe or Accidental Parents
ALL children will test it, push it, dance on it, just to make sure that you know the rules and are able to enforce them in order to ensure you are always making the right choice.
We all know life isn’t fair, however, teaching your child(ren) how to treat others with fairness means there are more people in the world with integrity.
3. Unconditional Love
When you are able to completely love, like, and care for someone that throws-up on you, screams at you in public, calls you bad words, rolls their eyes at you, etc, etc, etc, you are experiencing what we all search for.
4. Attention Span
This must be a minimum of 18 years.
5. Positive Discipline
Code for no hitting, no spanking, no cruel and painful punishment, no cursing, no degrading, no name-calling, i.e. do unto others as you would have done to you (not what did happen to you).
Like the baby shirts say “Spit Happens!” Laugh when you can because humor can only make it easier.
I want to better for me and that in turn is better for my children. Parenting is hard – really effing hard – many a mistake will be made, often I want to forgo doing what is right just so they don’t hate me – but I remind myself that I have a responsibility to my children to be the best teacher they will ever have.
“We are apt to forget that children watch examples better than they listen to preaching.” – Roy L. Smith
Published on St. Charles Patch