My Motto on Self Growth: "Wherever you go, you take yourself with you."
This saying is one of the phrases I live by. It wasn't
always like that, though. In my early teens, I was (unintentionally) running
from the pain I was feeling. I was trying to cope with low self-esteem,
feelings of loneliness, and desperately trying to prove that I fit in, trying
to prove that I was loveable but in all the wrong ways. Wherever I went, I
couldn't shake the feeling that I wasn't enough. You know how I always say, you are enough, now? I say it a lot. It's genuine, and back then, I desperately needed someone to acknowledge that.
It wasn't until that person became me that life began to change.
In my mid 20's I realized that all of the things that happened to me, all of the stuff I carried, were baggage that I needed to unpack. It was a dauntingly slow process. It changed me; it changed my perspective. I still hold on to some of the distant past's feelings today, though; it's now more like a small running belt. It's just enough to remind me of how far I have come and some of the lessons I learned along the way. Understanding my past helps me to see where I want to change in the future. It also helped me to prepare for one of my most incredible growth opportunities, becoming a parent.
My Motto on Parenting: "Be the person you needed when you were younger."
This phrase set the tone for my parenting goals. I am a good parent; I love being a mom, and I love my kids. I am not bragging, but I worked hard to be there, to support my kids for who they are. Parenting is hard, especially when you want to give them all that you never felt that you had. It's a process of continuous reflection and being willing to say I was wrong, to readjust. I think most parents want this for their kids, but it does take work. Looking back with a parenting lens, I realized that my parents truly loved me and never felt less from them through all my issues. They gave me their best, even when I wasn't mine. I can't thank them enough for that because, trust me, there has been some stuff.
Both of my kids are in college now. I have learned so far is that Parenting is not a one-way relationship (just a parent showing love). It's a two-way relationship that involves building trust, love, communication, respect, safety, support, building self-esteem, and the willingness to give them some autonomy. Each stage of life is unique to the biological growth process and the capability of the individual child. Each child, even within the same family, is an individual. Individually the way they learn, think, feel, react, adjust, and their temperaments matter. Good Parenting is learning to nurture a child, specific to their individual qualities and biological growth, to become their best selves.
Changing my parenting strategy as they grow, accessing their strengths, and readjusting is vital in changing the future narrative. Of course, we are all growing and evolving. Life successes and disappointments force us to use the tools we have to adapt, learn, change and cope. As a parent, it is my goal to set my kids up for the journey and prepare them for self-assessment and growth. I am not a perfect parent, but I am trying to raise kids who contribute to this world positively and lovingly while knowing that they are enough as they are.