I am a mommy of 3, ages 26, 24, 20. There were and still are days that I ask myself “Do I think I am a good Parent and how do I know”? These days my husband and I are reaping more fruit and seeing so much more come into fruition.
I started my Mommy career warning my oldest infant child and only daughter that I hoped she would survive because the plants sure did not! She peered up at me from her receiving blanket with a knowing, trusting smile that later would reveal she trusted me even if I am a plant killer. It is all about priorities I would later explain to her and my other 2 children as we trashed the unlucky plants month after month.
Parenthood is full of choices and priorities. What most do not understand is that your priorities must never become your choices. Let your choices be chosen based on the priorities you set. What do I mean with this choice/priority talk?
While raising our children we always stressed to each of them that our number one priority for them was to lead them to be autonomous adults. So based on that statement we proceeded with basing all decisions on that goal.
So our priority was established and the choices begun which were: what kind of education, what kind of food would I feed them, should they watch TV and how frequently, what kind of discipline would we apply etc. etc. you get the drift?
The choices we made based on our number one priority could make a smash hit sitcom. Our children love to sit around together and describe the insane woman that homeschooled them feeding them herbs and organic fruits and vegetables with a highlighted in Yellow TV schedule stuck on the Fridge and their little brother in time out for the 100th time in a day. The laundry piled as high as the snow, chemistry projects were fizzling, art supplies were strewn as far as the eye could see and a mini cooking show was being produced by the amateur videographer standing about 3 foot tall.
They also love to rehash how the three of them wrote and produced mini plays every week for the children they minded at the Women’s Bible study. I say minded loosely since they themselves were 3, 7 and 9 years old and very in charge arriving each week with their overstuffed suitcases of costumes and props. The ladies took up a collection each week to reward the 3 of them for their time. This is the part when you know you have done something right, here it comes…....
The 3 of them used their earnings to send an underprivileged kid to summer camp. I still get choked up when I think of their shining bright eyes and smiles as they handed in their earnings. They will also recant how strict we were in things other parents weren’t and vice versa. We later explained that we tried not to set them up to fail because there were certain things not even the so called “best behaved children” could resist such as not having a party if your parents left you alone for an extended period of time without accountability, Not Leaving the house stocked with liquor in an unlocked liquor cabinet, oh just not leaving them unattended period even if they were 16.
Parenthood is still full of choices and priorities even with them being older.
My priority as a mother of young adults is now to step aside and let them be adults with minimal input unless asked.
Failure is the tuition they need to pay for the success they will achieve.
These days my husband and I still make ourselves available to help advise, guide and just be the ear to listen.
I am happy to report that we have managed to achieve the number one goal of raising autonomous children/adults.
Our daughter is a model/actress. She is getting married this year and we are pleased with her fiancé who makes her very happy. Our Second child, oldest son graduated College, landed a great job and is contemplating his MBA from Columbia. Our Youngest son is still attending College, builds computers, fixes computers and is presently writing an Iphone application. All of them are very supportive of me and my business and help in any way they can.
Back to the initial question. “Do I think I am a good Parent and how do I know”?
Yes I think I am a good parent. Have I made mistakes? Absolutely but keeping my eye on the priority and not allowing the plethora of choices become the prioritiy has determined where we all are today and that is a family with great stories of insane parents.