Today’s post is inspired by my son’s birthday. Today he turns two. I often find myself reflecting on the quality of my life now that he is in it, and especially the past few days leading up to his birthday have really heightened my sensitivity to the profound impact of being a parent.
I’m so fortunate at this stage in my role as a parent to still be so closely bonded to my son but I know that this won’t always be the case. It’s easy to get flustered with incessant pleas of, “Mommy” especially when I’m trying to get something done but I cherish each and every call for “Mommy” that I hear because I’m sure the day will come where I’m no longer the priority, and *gasp* he may not even want anything to do with me.
Separation from our parents is a natural and critically important part of our emotional development and it often shows up as resistance and rejection during adolescence. Unfortunately, I often watch people continue to stay stuck in this phase, well into adulthood, struggling with grievances directed at their parents; blaming their parents for the hurts and wounds experienced from the past, not realizing that blame is a surefire way to stay stuck in our problems.
It is only through understanding that we are able to rise above these issues and create meaningful relationships.
While there are those few parents out there that intentionally cause harm to their children, I truly believe that at the heart of the majority of parents is a desire of only wanting the best for their children. No doubt most parents spent hours changing diapers, teaching us how to walk, and driving us here and there. Unfortunately, this care often gets lost over the years and it can be hard to rekindle.
There is an enormous bond between a parent and child and for that reason there are many ways to both help and hurt the other. There seems to be direct access to the other’s heart and an immense power for affecting one another. Often times we don’t even realize the profound effect our words and actions may have on the heart’s of the other, either our parents or children.
As a child, it is easy to personalize the behaviors of a parent and expect perfection from them. We often forget that parents too, were once young, once children themselves, and now as parents they are learning and developing. Even in the worst of times, most parents are truly doing the best they can, with the tools, awareness, and understanding that they have, if they could do it better, I’m sure they would. (Please note, I am not talking about the abusive parents that do not have their children’s best interest in mind, sadly they are out there too.)
No parent/child relationship is the same. Yet we all find ourselves in this life, with whatever parents we have, and just as we are continuing to learn and develop, so are they. Hopefully, we can find ways to aid one another in this process rather than becoming a hindrance, if we can I’m sure life will be a lot easier on all of us!
Whether you currently have access to your parents or not, see if you can challenge yourself to see them as a person similar to you, who has known joy and sadness in life If you can, try to imagine or learn about what life has been like for them.