I have been changing and maturing over the years. I have done lots of self work, have sought therapists and professionals to help me overcome my emotional struggles, I have ended toxic friendships and nurtured positive relationships. I have grown as a Christian, a wife, a mother, and a daughter.
Over the past few days I have discovered that I am entering another level of parenting I never knew existed.
As I have discussed on this blog, I am constantly looking for ways to help my kids. I take A to counseling appointments, psychiatrist appointments, I read books about childhood anxiety, I have set a strict (for me) routine for our days so she doesn't feel overwhelmed. I have become an expert on SPD, building my relationship with A, and loving her in the way She needs to be loved (instead of the way I think she should be shown love).
I make sure Bug is allowed to be a boy. I try hard not to cringe when he makes a disgusting mess. I let him have the opportunity to run, jump, and rough house. The Hubby and I have done what it takes to make sure Bug gets to go to preschool. I push him out of his comfort zone within reason. I do my best to make sure he knows it's OK for boys to cry.
I have endured some uncomfortable counseling appointments in order to be a better mother, wife, and person.
So what else could there possibly be to parenting?
I've been getting bogged down lately with all the negative things going on in my life. I keep thinking back to when I was in high school and how simple life seemed then (in hindsight, of course. In reality, I was stressed out then and handling things much worse than I do now!).
The more I thought, the more I realized that it's this parenting gig that's hard. I see friends on facebook who are single parents and are trying their hardest just to survive life. Their lives are not what they would have envisioned for themselves, and yet here they are. Struggling. Plodding along. Doing their best for their kids, so those children may have a better chance of living the life they want.
Everyone says a parent's life changes when her child is born.
Of course my life changed when we had A. I had a precious child who was dependent on me for everything.
Now, however, I'm discovering that I'm no longer living my life for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm not blurring the line between where A stops and I begin. I'm not pushing my fears and dreams on to her (or Bug for that matter).
My life is no longer necessarily about what Alexis wants to do. It's about weighing what is best for my entire family. I don't feel that I've necessarily been selfish up to this point in my life, but I do feel that my perspective needed some tweaking.
The choices I make now impact me and my children (and my husband, too).
I can make bad choices and I can reap the negative consequences. I also leave my kids with that bad example to reference as they grow up.
Or, I can make good choices, and A and Bug can have that positive influence guiding their thoughts as they go throughout life.
Of course no one is perfect and over the span of my life I will make some poor choices. However, I pray that my soul will be humble and willing to do what it takes to make things right in the sight of those around me, as well as in the sight of God.
Looking at parenting and life from that perspective makes me smile. Sure it's hard, but my kids, my life, and our souls are worth it!
So instead of focusing on how hard life is right now, I think I'm gonna look at what an amazing person I have become because I'm a parent!