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.