This week's #Friday Reflection is "Is motherhood how you imagined it?"
I guess my answer would be "yes" and "no"....... "yes" because I am extremely proud of how my children have turned out and how independent and self-sufficient they are. The "no" part is the little bit of my mother's heart that wants to hold on long after my children have grown and flown, where I still want to be a major part of their lives. The whole idea of successful parenting is learning to detach and most of the time I manage to do it quite well - there's just a little twinge now and then!
I often wonder how you decide if you did a good job of parenting your children. So many people struggle with putting in the effort and then having their adult children turn their back on everything and make some truly awful decisions. It is so hard to be a mother of a child who makes wrong choices over and over again. I know people who have adult "children" with drug problems or who are in jail from getting mixed up with the wrong peer group and heading off down the wrong track that eventually ended up with them doing time. It is even sadder when jail can sometimes not be enough to turn them around again.
Fortunately those children are in the minority. For most of us, there is a sense of satisfaction in seeing our children launch themselves into the world and find their own way to a good life. It has been so rewarding watching both our children exceed us in their education and in their careers. They have both progressed further and faster than we did at their age and it is a testimony to their diligence and commitment to study and a strong work ethic that got them there. (I'd like to think that we had a little bit of input too!)
But it's not just how well they've done in their material world, it's also about the type of people they are becoming. As a mother I think I am even more pleased to see them mature and make good decisions and become really good human beings. It's nice to see them contributing to the world and investing in other people and in the generation behind them too. Our son was a Boys Brigade leader for years and our daughter invests in the teenagers she teaches far and above what is required as part of the job. The rewards are few and far between (although one of our daughter's students made an outfit for her cat as a gift - strange but nice at the same time.)
It's an honor as a mother to have produced children that have turned out to be good people. Although I know in the back of my mind that it is by luck as much as by design, I am still relieved and pleased to know that they are adding value to our society and not adding to the problems of the world. My heart goes out to parents who are struggling with children who are breaking their hearts with their life choices - no parent should have to go through that. I truly believe that the foundations we put into our children when they are young will eventually show through and that is the hope that these parents hold to. I just keep praying every day for my kids and I am so thankful they turned out to be adults I can be proud of.