When I look at my son who is only 2 ½, all I see is a little boy. I get so wrapped up in the day to day living that I forget that the future is rushing towards me at an unimaginable high rate of speed.
Though he is a little boy and I want him to experience life as such and enjoy this time being little, I have to remember he will be a man someday. This future man will remember more of his childhood than I will. He will remember certain times that may appear to be insignificant, but have actually shaped him into the man he became.
He will have memories that were happy and memories that taught him valuable lessons that are serving him well in his adult life. He will also ultimately have memories of times I wished he had forgotten. Memories where I may have failed him, memories that may have caused him harm, memories that I fear may be causing him problems in his adult life.
I have joked in the past when I screw something up that he has to have something to talk about in therapy later in life, but when I really think about what I do today could affect him in his adult life and how he raises his own children, I find it’s no joke. I find it terrifying that I, as just a mom, have so much influence over how a person’s life unfolds and ultimately shapes who they are.
Yes, there are many stories of people overcoming their bad childhoods, their neglectful or abusive parents, their lousy home life and more. Though I know there may be things my son has to learn to overcome, I don’t want to be one of them!
I am ashamed to admit I do not meet all the challenges my son produces with the grace of a perfect mom. Though I am not abusive in the sense that abusive parents are, I feel that there are times that I certainly could be doing a better job. In essence, I am not a perfect parent. But who is? I don’t strive to be perfect. I strive to be the kind of parent that my son sees is a real person with strengths, weaknesses and ultimately faults. He will know that he too, does not have to be perfect.
Still, it is scary that what I do today may affect him for the rest of his life. But I can’t let that fear paralyze me. I still must care for him, teach him, set limits, let him learn about life, let him explore his boundaries, discipline him and more. Most of all I must show him just how much I truly love him. Though I must be conscious of how my actions will shape and mold him, I can’t let it bog me down by over thinking every decision I make. If I always stop to think about how my actions at the moment will make him feel later in life, I will never have the chance to parent him!
Wow! There truly is no more important job than being a parent. It is such a tremendous responsibility and carries such a load of guilt trips. There are times that no matter how hard I try and be a good parent, I still screw it up. Oh well. When my son is a man and feels like he screwing up raising his own children, I know I can give him that knowing smile, that, “I’ve been there” look and an encouraging word.
My Site: I Am Not A Supermom
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