One of the most important things to remember when you discover that you are going to become a parent is that life will never be the same.
Some people may say this as in your life will become a living hell for the next 18 or so years. That’s not what I mean; life will be different in so many ways, but not worse. You may never get to sit and enjoy a quiet moment again – but in the long run, the loss of a quiet moment is worth what you gain in return.
Being a parent does test your limits, in ways you can only imagine. That is one reason that having the initial acceptance that things will be different can help you a lot along the way.
I consider having a family is an enriching learning experience, a work in progress. It does not matter if you are 15 or 51. You can be a good parent; you can make changes in your life that provide you with the basis to guide your child through theirs, I say changes, because as our children grown, we grow. As we grow we learn what works and what does not, and we adapt to the circumstances. Parenting opens new doors, where you have no choice but to be constantly educating yourself, and figuring out your priorities, changing them as you grow, and setting them straight; it’s an ongoing learning experience, a battle of sorts between what is the right thing to do, and what feel like the right thing at the moment.
I am no expert. I am just an ordinary mother, with my own ever-changing parenting style; my style has evolved over the long 20 years I have put in of mothering time. It does not have a specific label like – attachment or non attachment, tiger mom, soccer mom, free-range parenting, slacker mom etc., I am positive that at one moment or another I have and will again fit into any of those categories. One thing I will say is that I have read many books over the years, and at times thought, “why can’t someone just tell me what to do instead of trying to give advice, where is the guide to this!?” But alas, I do not follow a guide and this blog is not a guide, it is a sharing of knowledge, a sharing of ideas that I have used over my trials and tribulations; they may work for you, they may not. I still get frustrated. I still yell, kick and scream at times, I still sit and cry, and call myself a failure. Being a mother is an unscripted experience, and this is my own personal insight into the journey of motherhood. Good and bad, happy and sad. The only thing that I can factually say about my mothering skills is that my oldest child made it to 18 alive, healthy and seemingly “normal.” I must by this point know something, and have done something right.
That too is a learning experience, a new sensation that I could not have understood or explained until he officially turned 18. At that moment you feel as if you have accomplished something, a lifetime of experimental parenting is over, it paid off, and he is 18 and okay. It worked, I did it. Then you think, damn I am the mother of an adult. It’s awkward, weird and uncomfortably lovely all at once. You may already know the feeling – or you will someday. The other realization is that 18 is far from adulthood, especially for a boy, and this magic number people focus on really is more of a starting point that a finally. Yes he is 18, a legal being in the next generation of adulthood; but my job is far from done, and he still does not want to do his chores.
One thing missing in American culture is the sharing of knowledge from one generation to the next; the old women in the village who would guide the newly pregnant girls towards motherhood have all but disappeared. One thing that has always made me happy is when an older wiser woman shows me the way, it humbles me, it makes me feel connected to the bigger picture of life, and motherhood. My hope is that this blog will do that for you.