On Parenting

I think every parent has moments where the insecurities creep in, I know they do. I know we all have too much capacity to doubt our own abilities and our own actions. I mean – truth be told – overall I’m pretty confident in our parenting so far. We make choices (good or bad), we live with them, we move on, we love, we try to always be quick to forgive. I know over time those tests will change, along with our son. That the battles will sometimes get lost and those moments of defeat (for him, for us) will creep in.

I find it interesting, as a society, that we’re so obsessed with the concept of what others are doing. You see it so much right now it scares me sometimes – why do we do that. Why can’t we find individual worth vs. knocking another down to build ourselves up? Another ethnic group, another sexual orientation, another parent – it’s ubiquitous and permeates through our society. I think it’s to validate our own choices and life path, that we need to compare ourselves to others so we can feel like we stack up in some way. Like we’re doing something right – especially when it comes to parenting. As a working parent (mother) I am a bit flummoxed at times with the push back I get. It’s gentle at times (that must be so hard… or, so, you’re working full time?), and more pointed at others (You work full-time? Oh, I see. Who takes care of your son?) – but it’s consistently there. My husband, take note, has never once gotten the line of inquiry ending in “why do you work”. He is a man, these things are expected. He provides, I nurture.

It’s like I’ve chosen a life path that somehow compromises my son, by working full-time. Like I’ve opted for my needs – a career, financial security, my own independence – over his. And as a parent – our roles – are to put our children’s needs first. Our needs from this point out are secondary, they’re¬†periphery to the needs of our child. So sometimes, you sit there and take a hard look at your circumstances and think – yes – I AM choosing those things over spending time with him. I AM opting to meet my needs before his. I guess you could say, these are hard truths of being a working parent. No matter how you slice it – the time I spend with him in his youth is more limited by choosing a career path. And sometimes, deep in my heart that burdens me, that saddens me.

But then I go out, about my day, ready to take it on, to own it, to show this world what I’ve got, and I’m reminded of a deep debt I have to my son to show him my truest self, my deepest identity. You see, as my son, he holds the deepest part of who I am. My husband is my partner, my confidant, my backbone. My child is my soul, my heart, my home. Without him, what would I be? But the truth is, before him I was my own self – and it’s that soul that I yearn to share with him. I want him to feel my fire. I want him to know that he is capable of all things. I want him to know that this world may knock him down, but he will always get up, with his mother’s hand to guide him at any moment he should need it. I love that boy – I love him more each second and it’s the most humbling, jarring and pure form of love I’ve known.

Each day that passes is another day gone. Another day bigger, longer, faster, stronger. I marvel at your growth and your wit and your sweet laughter. I marvel at your heart – so big and your love – so abundant. I can’t believe how much you are like me – how you frustrate easily and want (so much) to be able to take this world on. It will come, sweet Henry, in time – it will come.

So – my dear child – my dear, sweet, funny, beautiful boy. Please know that I never, ever choose anything but you. Quite simply – how could I. Every moment you are with me – the deepest part of my heart – I carry you each step I take, as if you were still there, flesh of my flesh, right there in my womb.

Pullen

One thought on “On Parenting

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *