Oct 21, 2010

On my mind

This sweet cheery girl has been on my mind for quite some time now.  She has the unfortunate experience of being our first child and therefore our guinny pig.  I have found myself over the last few weeks examining how we get to be who we are.  I can tell you a handful of childhood/young adult experiences that truley shaped me as a person.  Many of them were situations out of my control yet had such an intense impact on who I am today.  While my parents have never been the kind of parents I needed, they did the best they were willing to do.  I often thought when I was a kid that they were just making do until we were out of the house.  Sometimes I still think that but as I look back I see two people who had a lot going on (6 kids!) and who weren't really ready(or willing) to be parents.

However when it comes to our family I don't want to just get by.  I really want to be the very best parent I am possibly capable of being, trying everything I can to help shape these little people into outstanding people.  To me mothering is an intentional act.  Some women are inately a mother but most of us have to try and be the mother we wish to be.  As I have pondered our family and that sweet girl above, I realize that I have floated through this parenting maze with my head just barely above water.  There is so much to know and I feel so ill-equiped with thte knowledge.  For me, having a child who is different than what I thought she would be, this has intensified the drowning feelings.  I sometimes (okay very often) end my days with tears in my eyes because I fear I have failed this child. 

Over the years we have dealt with many different issues that have come up and sometimes I wonder if I have started to see only the "issues" instead of the little girl.  Sometimes my mind is so filled with "what will work?", "how can I fix, change, help, etc?", "what can I do?" that I have forgotten the very most important thing that I as a mother can do.  I must make my deep love of her known.  No matter what "problems", "differences", or "issues" come up I fear I have forgotten to let her know that I love her no matter what.  I love her for all her quirks.  I have forgotten that she is not an "issue" to be fixed but a gentle, loving little girl. 

So in the last few weeks I have been thinking how I can show this to her and accept her more.  As I ponder this more and more I have noticed that I am dealing with her differently.  I am seeing some of the old habits and frustrations slip away.  I am enjoying her for who she is instead of what I can fix.  (Can you tell I am a total type A, first born, personallity here, nope didn't think so!)  Things are  much smoother around here and oddly enough I am less inclined to change her and more inclined to embrace her differences, to view them as strengths rather than faults.

In the coming months I hope to see some positive changes in her but more importantly in Me and my expectations of our family. 

Anyway it was just on my mind.


Paul and Nicole Rhien said...

When you get the mothering thing down, let me know how I can! Some day's I don't feel like I'm fit even to have kids....but others, I love it. This kind of thing has been on my mind a lot lately as well. Please share!

Kim said...

Glad its not just me. Some days I wonder how in the world I got here and someone should save my kids from me!

I think we have to learn as we go and for me that just doesn't sit well!