If there is one thing that I know with absolute certainty it is that parenting, to me, requires commitment, honesty and approachability. Parenting with intent.
A commitment to my child, to be there. An honesty that allows my child to know that he can trust me. An approachability that makes him feel secure in the knowledge that he can speak to me – that I am here, no matter what. This, my parenting ethos – the MOST challenging foundation that I am building on every single day!
Because this commitment requires self-sacrifice. Sacrifices that may not always come easy – where you make a choice to go without in order for your child to have. The kind of sacrifice where you recognise that your time is a valued currency that always needs to favour your child. A life-long commitment to guide and care for another human being to become the best that they can be. A commitment to show up and be present.
Because honesty does not come easy when you have to deal with questions about an absent father and the lack of emotional expression when your father died. Explaining about financial limitations when the geyser is switched off and your child insists on having a bath, but instead you boil some water in the kettle because the electricity needs to stretch for another week before payday. Honesty, an age appropriate language of love.
Because being approachable is sometimes the hardest thing to do when all you want is to be left alone. An approachability that let’s your child know that even if he’s called you the worst names on this planet in the depths of a meltdown, he still knows that your arms remains wide open when he needs a secure hug, understanding and acceptance.
These are some realities that I’ve faced, that my child has faced, and these three words is what keeps me grounded and helps me parent with intent, for my child – every single day. A belief system that I am subtly sharing with my child because it works both ways – we are a team, a mother and a child.
I’ve called my child out on being an asshole and he has called me out on being a bullshit mother – honesty – right there! We don’t shy away from it, we keep it real. He has exercised self-sacrifice, especially during my dad’s illness, reflecting his understanding of commitment to family. And then there is his understanding when I explain my need for personal space.
Commitment. Honesty. Approachability. Reflections of my child’s character as he develops as an individual. Parenting – an opportunity to help shape a child to become the world we want to live in . . . It is a gift of infinite possibilities – embrace it!