The most sure fire way to figure out who you are is to have a child. There are many ways to discover who you are. You can learn from any relationship really...cause it brings up your stuff. You learn when you teach, always. When you have kids, it shakes up everything in a good way. You have this baby and you realize what is most important to you has changed. You look at the world with different eyes and your own parents-way differently. You cherish this new being and the idea of family shifts and all of sudden you are the one organizing family get-togethers instead of trying to get out of them. It isn't just about you anymore and you put the focus into this Babyworld. Simultaneously, you join Mommyworld, which even though there are many maps, you have to navigate it yourself. In this new land, there are rules to follow...so you think...organic or not, schedules, breastfed or not, etc. Guess what, half the time, it doesn't matter. It's about being happy and confident in what you decide. If someone gets mad or adamant about how to do things, it's about them. I have had four kids and done things different each time but really I decided what worked for me. Lesson there is: listen to your instincts, your intuition, your own voice.
Your little cherub starts growing and you see so does your love, each day making your heart's capacity for love-way more than you thought humanly possible. Then they start doing things, which is so cute, leading every day towards toddlerhood. You think you are laid back and there comes toddler defiance and huge messes. What happened to my angel face little child? The best is when they do this in the store, people watch it like it's a televised sport. I found that this stage I was so alarmed with my anger inside, shattering my idea that I had to be like the Blessed Mother all the time. It is normal but I had some expectations for myself and if I yelled, I'd beat myself up. I am still not a Zen Buddha master but I choose know to shift my attitude whenever I can. It was too tiring feeling like I was slaying dragons all the time. I would want to control the situation (screaming tantrum-throwing child), I would get mad but that didn't help. I would get embarrassed in public, which didn't help, I would threaten which still sometimes works. I have to set boundaries somehow. The sanest way to deal with this is no matter what, draw your energy way from the conflict, surrender, let go and let God (it's all the same). The lovely thing kids will teach you is that when it's over- they move on and don't beat themselves up for what happened an hour ago. They say, "I love you," and your heart swells with unconditional love again. At this stage, you realize you forgot about yourself and need to make yourself a priority again.
As they grow, they start asking questions and you have to start telling them about your whole perspective on life. Sometimes you tell them something and as the world come out of your mouth, you realize you don't even believe them. You say the world is a dangerous place but people are nice. Weird? "Believe in yourself" and then you think...WOW...I don't really believe in myself. "You have to forgive others because you want them to forgive you." Hmm...who have I not forgiven, I'll send them Love & Light. "No one can make you happy and it is not my job to make you happy" (with candy, soda, getting your way) and ding, ding, ding-I am responsible for my OWN happiness. "We are so lucky, kids and should be so grateful for what I have." Am I grateful or complaining? Do we practice what we preach. It's so funny what hypocrites we can be. It is wonderful where we can see where we can make adjustments to our lives, no stress, it's about personal growth. What about God? Teaching them that to believe, honor, love God...is to believe, honor, and love yourself. You are a Divine creation, act like it. Ultimately, no one can really tell you what to think or believe, and would you really want a robot for a child? At this point, they can start getting fresh or flip with their mouth but in the next minute-they say something really heartwarming and profound, you are so proud of who your child is becoming. Lesson here: Balance is the key to life and you keep learning every day.
Heading into the teens, everything you learned is out the window except love and respect. This means letting them be individuals while setting boundaries. As each new situation, that you have never deal with before comes up, you deal with it as it comes. Remember all the mistakes you made and you turned out normal, well normal is boring anyway. You pulled away from your parents, it's not personal, even if it hurts. You gotta let them become their own person. Let them find their talents and natural abilities because you not only want successful kids but HAPPY kids. You also realized, a long time ago, not to make too many statement like: "I would never let my child, that kid is bad, that Mom is doing is wrong." When you see yourself making too many judgments, look within and you'll see you make a lot of them in response to yourself. If you really love and accept yourself, you find less need to worry about what others are doing. I am infamous for saying, "I want don't want to argue" and I just keep arguing. If you want to have peace in your house, be the example. It's kind of freeing to not have to be right all the time. Because it's not about winning, who is smarter, better...run your own race-aim for your own personal best. In all relationships, it's best to take the high road, it's got a beautiful view. All parents do it differently, you pave your own way each time, just like in the rest of your life. Tend to your own garden and watch your flowers grow.
I know each day, I get wiser on the parenting journey and am so glad I am learning through my kids about myself. You can't hold onto the past, when they were younger, you have to look for the joy in watching them bloom. Have as much fun as you can. Kids are messy but they are worth it. They'll show you how to look at the world with wonder and to P-L-A-Y! Look and see, there are lessons everyday, everywhere, to help you find yourself. Self discovery bring peace, love, joy, among many other things, definitely don't take it too seriously. Relax. Send you all Love & Light, wishing you an easy, fulfilling, wonderful journey! :)