I’m Not Raising a Child


Being a mother is one of the best jobs I have ever been blessed with, but it is also the HARDEST job too.

I think the good reasons go without saying as we have these little people who we adore from the depths of our being. When we look at the hard reasons, I think that these are unique to each of us. What’s a challenge for one person may be a joy for another, and that’s totally okay.

For myself, I believe this job to be the hardest because of my thoughts on parenting…I am not raising a child, I am raising a person.

Raising a person comes with a lot of responsibility in my book.

There are many people who go about their parenting journey planning to raise a child. This isn’t a bad thing to everyone, but when we raise children, we are caring for someone in such a way that they always need to be cared for by you or someone else.

When we raise people, we are caring for someone in such a way that they will be self-sufficient and will one day NOT need to be cared for by someone else.

As a mom, it can be challenging to think about it this way, because we want our sweet little one to need us. If we’re honest with ourselves and ask, do we ALWAYS want them to need us? I should hope not. I want my daughters to eventually grow up, move out, and take care of themselves. Frankly, I’d like to have my house back to being just my husband and me at some point.

So how do we raise people and not children?

When our children want to do something for themselves, we ALLOW them to do it. We set boundaries, and we follow through on enforcing them. When our children ask for new opportunities and experiences, we allow them to try. When we say no, we mean it and don’t let things slide. Could we do things faster for them? Absolutely! Could we listen to fewer tears by letting them do what they want? Most certainly! BUT none of this helps them become self-sufficient and capable people.

How we raise our young people will be unique to our own families, but we do what we can to help them.

For my family at this point, it has been through…
·       baby led weaning
·       using a learning tower in the kitchen
·       putting snacks and cups where the kids can reach
·       allowing our daughter to use plastic knives to help cut things in the kitchen
·       patiently waiting (at least attempting to be patient) while our kids do things themselves

As time goes on I’m sure this list will change and evolve, but it’s been a good start for us. I hope you do what works best for you, but I’d encourage you to raise a person.


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Crystal is a lifelong Richmonder and mother of two girls. If you wonder how deep those RVA roots go...she was born at MCV, graduated from Mills E. Godwin High School, is a VCU alumna, and got her masters from Union Presbyterian Seminary. While attending seminary, she met her husband while working at the church where he grew up. This RVA gal is the is co-founder of The 91 Rewind, which she started with her childhood friend Erica. She hopes that her writing, both here and at The 91 Rewind, will help you take a moment to catch your breath, hit rewind, and try again. We can be far too hard on ourselves and we all deserve love and kindness, but we often forget to share it with ourselves. Crystal believes treating ourselves well sets the example for how we care for others. When Crystal is not chasing after pink, purple, and sparkles, I mean her daughters, you can find her working as a financial educator, investing in her community, enjoying local restaurants, blogging it up, and connecting with folks on social media (Instagram's her favorite).


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