There are stages you need to be aware of in this thing called parenting. Infants grow into toddlers and toddlers into preschoolers. Then it’s on to preschool and grade school. Adolescence follows and then POW! They have grown into young adults, college students, husbands, wives and parents right before your very eyes and it all happened faster than you ever imagined possible.
Your expectations for your children are always set high – higher than what you ever set for yourself. You want better for them and your priorities are not always in their best interest even if you think they are. Sure, when they are small you cuddle and love on them and push, push, push to the next phase of life, giving them all you think they need. If I’d had hindsight I may have done a few things differently.
Sometimes when I look back I can see how easy it was when they were young. They fall down – you pick them up – slap a Band-Aid on the scrape with a kiss for good measure and off they go again. However, as they grow older, Band-Aids are not always in the form of bandages. Sometimes they are hidden behind pushing, persuasion, and tough love.
Now that they are grown and out in the big ugly world, helpless in the hands of others, (for life can throw them a curve now and then) they should be able to handle the ups and the downs. But can they? I’ve asked myself these questions often. Did I do it right? Did I instill some good qualities in them? Will they know how to manage the perils of life? Can they persevere? And I always second guess myself. What if?
Then add that one final stage of parenting that is never listed, never talked about. It’s called TRUST. Actually trust is sprinkled throughout every stage of parenting and comes into its own when you let them go, as you must at one point. You must trust they will always try to do the right thing. You must trust you have taught them the basics and from there they will be able to take it to the next level.
Sometimes being a mom hurts. I can’t always fix things as I did when they were young. I can’t pay their bills, raise their children, or mend their broken hearts. But I can lend an ear, be there for them when they call, make suggestions, and hold their hand.