“I hope you believe in yourself as much as they believe in you, I hope you trust yourself as much as they trust you, and I hope you love yourself, as much as they love you.”
Being a parent has been one of the most rewarding feats in my life. I recall being an expectant parent, thinking at the age of 27 I was too young to have a child and then feeling very afraid that I would fail at parenting and nurturing a child. I thought I needed more babysitting experience or more time working with my “school children” to gain more capabilities to become a fit mother. While carrying my child, I searched for parenting manuals and books to help me understand what I needed to do to “get it right”. And then I realized most parents are just winging it.
One of the first things I learned is that no matter how many mistakes I made as a parent, I had to pick up the pieces and try again. There was a little one looking to me for guidance and protection. More importantly, there was a little one needing me to love with everything in me. I had to grasp the idea that children truly watch their parents and emulate their behaviors. This forced me to appear strong on days when I was weary. Pretending became the norm for me. From pretending I had the concept of breast feeding to pretending I understood everything there was to know about schooling and the curriculum that went along with it. And in the midst of this, I recognized my child was hanging on to every word, as if what I said was golden.
Because my child believed in me, I had to learn to believe in myself. I had to learn to trust who I was, Whose I was and remember all that I was capable of doing. I loved myself even on those days I didn’t think I was worthy of love because I knew it was the only way to love my son unconditionally. I couldn’t put out something that wasn’t in me.
As my child has grown into a young adult, I can definitely say I am proud of the young man I have sent out into the world. I’ve learned to apologize, own up to my faults (most of them) and more importantly, ask for forgiveness while forgiving myself. If anyone thinks this parenting job is easy and only for 18 years, they don’t have a clue. It will forever be a process for me because I won’t stop until I become the mom I needed and/or wanted when I was younger.