Tenacity. It’s easy to give up when things don’t go the way I want but being a parent means I don’t get to throw in the towel. Parenting often doesn’t go the way I want it to but no matter how difficult it gets or how tired I am, I have to keep going. No matter how much my kids may hate me for something I did or how much I feel like I may have failed them, I get up another day to give it yet another try because I will never stop being their mom.
Communication. Communicating with kids is key and it requires quite a variation of skills. I yell, I whisper, I sing, have serious one-on-one talks and open discussions at dinner. I have had conversations I don’t want to have and conversations they don’t want to hear. I try my best to let them know my door is always open because I want them to always feel they can come to me. As they get older, I know the need for communication will become greater while their willingness to do so won’ t be so easy. It is constant, ever changing and exhausting but so very necessary.
Forgiveness. As I have stated many times before, I mess this mom thing up regularly. I yell, I make the wrong decision, I push when I should back off, I don’t always listen when my kids need me to hear them. But time after time, they are able to let it go and still want kisses and cuddles from me at the end of the day. I can’t say that this will hold true through the teen years but for now I will bask in their ability to forgive my parenting indiscretions.
Letting Go. I am beginning to realize that parenting seems to be a ongoing series of learning to let go. We have to let go of the cuddly stages of babyhood and the fun yet frustrating stages of toddlerhood. We have to let go of control and responsibility for their actions and let them grow up and become their own person. Because ideally if we are doing our job right as parents they should need us less and less as they get older and older. And after spending so much of our lives watching over our kiddos, it is hard to step back and hand the reigns over to them even if it is just a little at a time.