I WILL be patient and not lose my cool with my kids”, “I WILL be consistent in the discipline of my children”. Ok, what about my “I will NOT”? Here goes:“I will NOT run to carry my baby when he/she cries.” “I will NOT allow my kids to watch TV while having their meal”, “I will NOT be an overly protective parent…” And the list goes on.
These were but a small sample of what I used to tell myself before I got married and had children of my own. But alas, almost a decade later, now with one husband and two daughters, I have come to realize that such beliefs were unrealistic, even immature. We have all these ideals – in other words, fantasies of how our life in terms of career, marriage and children would pan out when we are young and care-free. Worse still, when we are free from parental responsibilities, we are quick to judge others with children and offer unsolicited advice on how they should raise their kids! “Tsk tsk tsk… these unruly kids!” Or we make comments like, “What’s wrong with their parents?” or “Let me teach them how to parent their children?”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should swing to the other extreme and not set any goals or expectations for the future. What I am saying is, we don’t hold on to some of our ideals rigidly like we would hold on to our dear life. Sure, there are some non-negotiable matters such as integrity and faithfulness that we should not compromise on but I am talking about approaches / methods of doing things. It would probably be more realistic to have expectations but be willing to re-evaluate and modify them as we journey through parenthood.
Having been a mother for eight years now, I am still learning and needing to modify my expectations as I steer through the different phases of my children’s growth and development. It is a bitter-sweet voyage, with much joy and tears. Some of the tears are beneficial and necessary for character building – both for ourselves and our children. If I have to choose all over again, I wcxill not trade motherhood for anything in the world!
For those who are planning to embark on this journey or already in it, Bon Voyage!
Our guest blogger this week is Diana Chan. She is part of our Focus on the Family Singapore staff team. Diana is our (part-time) Communications Manager, to be precise.