Parenting, Plain and Simple (Sylvia Collins)

The job is parenting. Someone has to do it.

The people that created the small being are the ones originally blessed with that responsibility. They have a choice to take on the responsibility, or not.

Sometimes those people choose to pass that responsibility to someone else that would be better suited for the job – this decision is one that is not easy, and deserves a lot of respect.

Sometimes people choose not to have children, and NOT to parent – also not always an easy decision, and one that deserves to be respected.

Sometimes people desperately want to be parents, and just can’t – their choices are to live without children, keep trying for their own, adopt, or just be surrogate parents to family and friend’s children. This is a most difficult situation to be in and deserves to be respected and supported, not questioned and judged.

Once a parent makes a choice, either way, they need to step up to the plate, and do the job.
In order to thrive, a person needs health, shelter, food and love. Children need this in higher doses than adults, and they depend on the adults in their world to get it.

I admit to being a busy parent: meals, work, jobs, three activities per child per season, leisure time, reading, homework, maintaining a house and home, providing skates, bicycles, rollerblades, etc., seasonally appropriate clothing, and time.

I admit to missing out on many precious moments that I will never get back.

I admit to putting the needs of my family first (most of the time).

I admit to doing the best I can with what is gifted to me (most of the time).

I admit to having strong opinions, and making choices for my family based on those opinions.

I admit that I have made mistakes.

I admit that I could have done things in a gentler, softer, kinder way sometimes.

I admit that I have the two best kids in the entire world.

I admit that I have moments of pride and frustration about each of them.

I admit that when I give advice to my children, it is most often from MY perspective, and not always theirs.

I admit that, in hindsight, my advice is probably not always the best for them, and I should not take it personally.

Parenting was, and surprisingly still is, a huge priority for me. I was blessed with a huge support network as my children were growing up. I was blessed with an excellent example from my own mother and father.

I have now been blessed with grandchildren. This is my time to recognize how precious each moment is. This is my time to listen to each word, and have a conversation at their speed, not mine. This is the time to indulge their schedule instead of mine. What difference does it make if we spend ten minutes at the park, and then go home and get supper ready? This is my time to listen to curiosity about what scientists do, or why ice cream drips, or to understand why you can’t wear the pink princess dress with the white crown. This is my reward for making a choice to be a parent, and then to parent!

I was blessed with siblings that were my best friends, so our family was the core of our existence.

I realize that others have not been as lucky as I have been. I know that other families had bigger houses, with pools, and fancier cars, and better bicycles, and fewer siblings to share the time of parents, and more leniency than we had, but no one had a better family for me! No one had a better home for me! No one could have been better parents to me!

I hope that when my kids are all grown up, and they look back on their experiences as kids growing up, that they will reflect on how lucky they were, and how blessed they were, and how full their lives have been. I hope they don’t remember the messy house, the not-so-new cars, the lack of money for big gifts or parties or trips. I hope someday they remember that this was the best family for THEM, and it was the best home for THEM, and that I was the best Mom for THEM.


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