Oh it’s pretty easy having the child, but then comes the awareness that you must grow them. Caring for them at all times, nurturing them, making sure that they receive warmth and sunlight are fed good nourishing food so they can be healthy and strong physically. Loving and supporting them so they grow strong emotionally.
I never liked using the word raise, as in raising children because it sounds too much like you simply let them grow taller, while growing them gives you more of the picture of what really occurs.
The complexity of the relationship grows to becomes a jumble of love and hate, resistance and surrender, war and peace, and that can be had in a single day. Your relationship can be amazing or it can be troubled and that too can change in a heartbeat.
We want so badly to allow our children to become who they are destined to grow to become, but at the same time shape them into who we think they should be, or worse, who we wanted to be, but never achieved.
I know from raising my children that if love is at the core of everything you do, then you have given your kids amazing soil in which to bloom, and as their roots get stronger so does their foundation which will support them when the storms of life blow in.
To celebrate Mother’s Day I wanted to give to you some of my own observations from growing my children.
Be keenly aware that children will see everything you do, they will take in visually much more than they will hear what you say. Being an example by your actions will have a much greater impact on them than simply telling them how they should be and what they should or should not do. Be kind and your children will follow in kind, love and your children will love, make unkind assumptions about others and your children will also.
Be true to your word. If you say you are going to do something do it. If you can’t follow through on your commitment then explain why. By following through with what you say, your children will not only know what their punishment will be if they break the rules but will also know that they can trust that you will always be there for them. When they know you speak the truth to them, I love you and I will always be there to support and help you, they can move through their days more confident and assured.
Pick your fights. If everything is important than nothing becomes important. Decide what you can tolerate and where the line is for you and you will know when to stand your ground. Children crave limits and structure and even though they will test you they want to know that you care enough to draw a line and stick to it. But if you redraw that line in a different spot every day they will know they have the power to move it and battles ensue.
Love and respect your children’s father. If you are together speak kindly and lovingly about him at all times. If you argue keep it civil ~ remember they are watching and learning how to act when they grow up. Even if you are no longer together and he is a thorn in your foot. Children know the truth about the character of their parents and will eventually make up their own mind. Keep your opinions and negativity to yourself.
Spend time with your children as a family. Put the phones away and turn off the television and play a board game, go for a bike ride or have a picnic. Eat dinner together and have everyone tell the best and the worst thing that happened that day ~ you and your spouse included. Don’t simply turn on a movie and watch in silence. Be engaged with them, do something fun together.
So what is one of the best parts about growing children?
It is that you become a better person because of it. While you focus on growing them, you also are growing yourself. Even if you did not have rich nourishing soil to grow and the water was muddy and dark with negativity and hurtful words or worse physical abuse, you are now creating an environment for your children to grow in which you also can thrive.
My wish for you this Mother’s Day is that your days be filled with lovingly tending your garden, with the awareness that someday you will reap the benefits of your hard work. Growing strong and healthy children is a gift not only to yourself but to the entire world .
Blessings for a beautiful Mother’s Day!