As parents, we are tasked to train our children and prepare them for the world . . . but sometimes those roles are reversed. Our children become the teachers, exposing us to our own weaknesses, allowing us to grow alongside them as we navigate the unknown together.
Before I had children, I lived a very sheltered life. Under the comfort of my parents and great grandmother’s wings, I was surrounded by strong individuals who set the pace and direction of my life. While this was good on one hand, it handicapped me on the other. You see the world around me that I was being “protected” from was the same world that I would need to face one day alone. In this environment, my battles were fought for me and I didn’t have many opportunities to stand up for myself. I was lost in my own world, trapped in the bubble of a loving environment that was doing more harm than good.
I matriculated through life as a peacemaker. The girl that could get along with everyone but at the same time no one. The student who was academically successful, but socially awkward. The woman who could multitask at work, get the job done, but be used and walked over by her boss. The wife who was afraid to lead for a fear of failure, so neglected her position of helper and left her husband to fend for himself.
Next, I became a mother and the responsibility of caring for a life that was not my own became motivation for me to grow up, be bold, and lead.
I became an advocate . . .
Advocate: “to plead, support, or speak on behalf of another person … the pursuit of peace.” (dictionary.com)
Then something clicked here recently. One of our children dealt with bullying. Although, it was painful for me to not be there for her physically, I had the privilege of walking alongside her (step- by-step) teaching her how to advocate for herself. It wasn’t easy by any means, but through teaching her, I was learning myself.
Now I am becoming . . .
A mother that willingly ventures into the hard places . . . understanding that it is in those places, we are formed.
A mother that cares for my children and empowers them to care for themselves.
A mother that strives for excellence and supports the journey of struggle and mistakes along the way.
Through parenting, I have become more intentional about how I live my life and the example I set for my children. This has changed the direction, pace, and purpose for me. Not because I wanted to be someone else to them, but because I wanted to be the best me for them.
What lessons have you learn through parenting?