It is Not Possible to Do Things Differently While Raising Children
I married at 21-years of age in 1969 to my husband of 43-years in 2014. We had our first son in 1970, second son in 1971 and daughter in 1974. By the time, the grandchildren came along in 2006 and 2010, I had wished that I had known a lot more as a mother then I did back in the 1970’s. All new mothers seem to fly by the seat of their pants. We mothers learn as we go, but as years pass every one of us have said, “I wish I had realized that when the kids were young”, or “I could have done things differently if I had only known or realized”.
It is practically impossible to pass on to our children the lessons we have learned in child rearing for a couple of different reasons. Generally, our children think we are crazy and we do not know what we are talking about or our children think they have a better way in raising children and declare that they will not make the same mistakes as their parents made. Mothers can consider all the various theories when raising children, but in actuality, all a mother has to do is love those children. Life is a learning process. If we have not learned our lessons by the time the grandchildren come along we are a lost cause.
In the end, if our children appreciate our sacrifices for them and they have held close the values we tried to teach them, then in spite of our mistakes we mothers did not do too bad. We mothers learned from our mistakes while raising our children. By the time, we are grandmothers we recognized the things we could have done differently and try not to repeat these mistakes with our precious grandchildren. This is our second chance to do it right.
My husband and I have been blessed with three lovely children who we know love us by the things they say and do for us. Some children do not give their parents the time of day. It is a blessing for us that our children do pay attention to us. Not only are we blessed to have three lovely children, we have a son-in-law and daughter-in-law that we call our children also, who are just as attentive.
Parents Take on New Fears When Children Come Along
New parents find that when children come into their life so do new and dreadful fears. Parents fear leaving children behind unintentionally. We did this once. Our first son had to go to the emergency room for stitches, and we were in such a hurry to get to the hospital we forgot baby Dawn (two months old). We had the boys and were backing out of the driveway when suddenly we both said, “THE BABY”!
The fears that parents have are many and varied such as,
- Fears of a child running into the street and a car hitting them
- Fears of a kidnapping
- Fear of forgetting to lock doors at night and the children are harmed by intruders
- Fears of the child drowning in bathwater
- Fears of the child riding in another car, such as mom and dad’s
- Fears of the beach, or water
It is normal and ok to be fearful of something happening to our children, however when fears become silly and ridiculous then we have to reason our fears out. Fears such as not letting the children play outside for fear of the sky falling on them is not a reasonable fear.
Child Sharing is Difficult
It makes no difference where parents raise their children or what level of economy, children do not like to share. We found this to be true with our children. Children are selfish individuals. This is nothing for parents to be ashamed of, but this behavior needs correcting. Parents should not dismiss selfishness as growing pains, or say their children are just being kids.
What we found with our children was the only thing they shared when younger was stuff they should not share, such as our creditors and all the nasty diseases they caught growing up. We noticed that our kids did not ofter share toys but they would barter with each other if they wanted what the other had.
Spend More Time with the Kids and Less Money on the Kids
We parents want to be able to give our kids everything. We want them to be happy with these things and happy with us because we were able to do this for them. Children easily forget all the material things we bought them as they were growing up. What children do not forget is what we did with them while they were growing up. They never forget the time we spent with them, and the things we did with them.
My husband was always playing basketball out back, or football in the lot across the street with the kids. We took the kids camping and on trips every year, depending on how much money we had. Some years it was Walt Disney World yet other years it was camping in the back yard due to lack of funds. Kids remember these quality times.
As the mother, I was always too busy for a game of football or basketball in the backyard. I worked full-time however, I never missed a game or event at school and since I was always cooking or baking the kids and I spent quality time in the kitchen. The boys and our daughter learned how to cook at an early age, thus all of them are good cooks today. As a mother, we teach our children how to prepare a balanced meal and healthy food so when the children are older they know how to fix a good meal and not fast food their dinner.
Build Memories Using Quality Time
Parents and children build memories at these times. Families are not able to toss memories in the trash as they would old worn out and broken toys. It is more important to spend quality time and make memories then quality money on childhood whims. When the holidays roll around, we never tire of the memories. When all of our family is fortunate to get together someone starts stories of long ago, and memories bring about laughs and thoughts of days gone by as though it all happen the day before.
Children need love, they need feeding, they need discipline, and at days end, they need to be set free so that we can have a long and fruitful relationship with them.
Of all the things, a parent is responsible for, the hardest is setting their children free.
Article inspired by a petite book from my daughter Dawn called, “For Mom”