Remember what it was like when we saw our parents as perfect? They were strong and never got sick. They were smart and had all the answers. They were there to encourage us during the day and calm our fears at night. I believed mine were on this earth solely for me. That’s the way it should be when you are a little person, right?
But at some point, we begin to see our parents for who they really are. I started knowing Mom and Dad as people when I was 14 and they were around 40. They announced they were divorcing and that was enough for me to realize that they were not the super-humans I’d always thought they were. They were just like me. They dealt with challenges and insecurities, too.
I finally saw Mom and Dad as the human beings they were. I could comfort them. I could support them and start a new journey into understanding them, flaws and all. Our relationships began to evolve and mature.
As a parent myself, there was a time when I didn’t want my kids to see my flaws and lived life in the safe zone – seldom risking my dreams for fear of failure. I have realized how wrong that thinking is. It’s our imperfections that make us perfect. They make us unique.
I was also around 40 when I consciously chose to show my kids that I am a person with an identity of my own. Instead of always doing for them, I decided it would be good for them to see me doing for myself by working with journal writing.
Ultimately, I waffled back and forth between the struggle of working on my own venture and the regular pay cheque of a full-time job. Life isn’t always simple and it was okay for them to see that. They saw that things don’t always turn out as planned, just as I’d learned from my parents.
But, in the doing, Buddy and Princess saw the hopes and dreams that made their mom a human being, an individual. Now they see that you can come back to your dreams as I try again.
Are you a parent whose main focus is family?
Do your kids know who you were before they came along? At some point, our children need to see us for who we really are. I say, sooner than later. Show your whole self, imperfections and all. Admit when you’ve made a mistake and demonstrate how to correct it. Admit when you are wrong and apologize. It is okay for your kids to know that you have times of uncertainty and there are times you need to walk through fear without having all the answers.
Writing about this makes me think –
- we want to be better people. It is never too late to be the parent and person we want our kids to see.
- who we are as parents and who we are as people in our working lives might seem very different. We can find ways to connect them.
- we can show our kids who we are and still be good parents.
- who we are as parents combined with who we are on the inside complement each other so that we bring something unique to the world.
When your kids see you, who is it they see? Who are you?