It’s NOT all about YOU! A Mother’s wish for her children to recognize others in the world.

From the minute we know we will become parents, we advocate for, make decisions around, and cheer on our children. Give up caffeine and wine. Magically find time for rest, exercise, and excellent nutrition. Make time for doctor’s visits and rearrange or even buy a new house to make room for baby! They come into this world and we instantly revert to no longer having time for rest, exercise, and excellent nutrition because we give that to them – intensely focusing on what and how they eating, the quality and amount of their sleep, and if they grow and develop safely. From the time they say a first word or take a first step to the time they’ll take steps to receive a diploma or down an isle in a church, we cheer them on, become overwhelmed with their joys and their sorrows, and are always there for whatever they need, whenever it is needed. The job of a parent is the most selfless job in the world (well, maybe behind a teacher!) yet miraculously the most rewarding.
I wondered from the time my girls were small, how if I showered them with love, time, support, and affection like I know every child needs (and deserves) and like I naturally want to give to them, they not become self-absorbed. You see, one of my many soap boxes (don’t even get me started on the importance of tummy time, the tragedy of decreased physical activity in schools, and the injustice of the legal system against children) is that so many kids seem to think, “it’s all about me.” It’s really not their fault. I mean, our culture promotes self -obsession through 24-7 reality shows and tweeting and Face booking every time someone in our home blinks.  But even as I myself report our family’s “status updates” to my friends and family around the world, I sincerely want my children to think of others before themselves.
How do we get there? I marvel at the friends that have “gone before me” with grown children who have met this desired goal of mine. I’ve picked their brains…what did they do? How did they promote awareness of others? At the same time I’m not too naïve.  I know that children who see parents who are compassionate and aware of others around them have a better chance of behaving the same way – through example.  Yet still, it seems like in the never ending days of  “I need milk now-wanted a pony tail not a clip-did you bring me a snack-you took my homework out of my bag-where are my shoes” type scenarios, we may never get there no matter how hard I try.
In the past few weeks, our family has begun to juggle some big changes. Nothing earth shattering or devastating…just life.  Arranging to help move and care for an elderly grandparent, possibly changing jobs after a 12 day notice of losing medical insurance (that’s another soapbox for another day!).  Just when I think, do my girls really “get this?” Could they not in their 7 and 5 year old selves perceive stress in their exhausted parents and PUT THEIR LAUNDRY IN THE HAMPER?!
The answer is no. We aren’t there yet, but we’ll get there.  I know this without a doubt because when I came home the other night I found this taped to my fridge.
We started selling some forwarded copies of 1-2-3 Just Play With Me last week (the rest will be here Monday or Tuesday!) and my sweet girl had taped this up for me, for us.  She might not perceive stress or life changes yet, but she does “get it” in a 7 year old way.  She is my little advocate. My little cheerleader. Just as excited for my joys as myself (if not more).  She is proud of me and it makes my heart smile. I left it there this week to remind myself to enjoy where we are right now. Every day. Because even with the stress, and even with the seemingly endless string of self-absorbed moments that my children seem to have, I have hope that they see others as well as themselves.  And that is miraculously rewarding.
0 replies
  1. Denise
    Denise says:

    What a sweetie she is! That is an awesome compliment to you, the mother…She is just a young girl but you have already helped shape her into a lovely little human being.


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