Good day, my Wonderful Friend!
We always find what we look for. If we look for exceptional qualities in our children, we will definitely see them. I did not notice these qualities in them before, but I see them now. The qualities that I observe in them now are maturity, honesty, reliability, dignity, and independence. My sons are no longer little boys – they are men.
When my younger son was little, he adored me so much that he wanted to be inseparable from me, and once asked me if he could marry me after growing up. My older son was always eager to hug me when I was picking him up from the kindergarten, and now the only times I get a hug are when I ask for it.
Time passes by, a lot of things change. When our children were little, they satisfied some of our needs to feel loved, needed and wanted. I lead a busy life as an independent woman who loves her career. The mother in me still feels at times the desire of being needed. I feel that I am no longer necessary to my sons and that they are rapidly moving into their own adult lives that I might no longer fully be a part of. It means that I need to create my own fulfilling and vibrant life in order to be a self-reliant and supportive parent and not a burden to my sons. In my heart, I know that no matter how rough, masculine and strict my boys look on the surface, deep inside they still need their mother’s encouragement, approval, and respect for who they are and what they do.
I miss those fun times when they were younger and we traveled together or went for short ski trips. We used to laugh and joke around more. Now that they are adults, I feel that our time together is less relaxed. We have serious and deep conversations, and sometimes heated discussions. I do admire their intelligence, curiosity, and love for learning. They have become my greatest teachers. The latest technology related items and knowledge I possess is because of my children. They constantly contribute to my progress, and I feel blessed.
I must confess: my sons’ honest feedback can be painful. Because they know me so well, they can offer me the best insight, the most accurate memory of my past, the harshest criticism and the sincere compliment that means more than praise received from any other person. I know their compliments are usually sincere and truthful.
When I was not as confident in myself as I am now, I could not take their feedback. I used to shut my children down when they tried to offer me advice or start an argument. I was so self-critical of myself that any additional even minor piece of criticism could literary break my spirit. I noticed my increased emotional strength from my improved ability to listen and to take in what my sons had to say, even if it is very uncomfortable or even hurtful. Someone said that truth hurts. I do agree.
I learned to manage my own perception of what I want my children to be or do, and just let them be. I am not perfect, and even though I give parenting training and counsel parents, I am guilty of still offering my sons unsolicited advice or a critical remark that perhaps did not have to be said. God knows I try very hard to be more mindful of what kind of impact I have on my children and how I can be more helpful rather than harmful to their self-esteem or state of mind.
We never retire from the parenting role, and I know I still have a lot of work to do to show my sons how much I believe in them and appreciate their efforts to grow at their own pace. They never complain, but I know they face and overcome their own challenges, just like every one of us in this life.
The stronger and confident we become as humans, the kinder and more accepting we show up as parents. The moment we stop growing spiritually, mentally and intellectually, the bigger the gap between us and our children will become. To be able to connect with our children, we must stay connected with our own selves. I noticed a strong correlation here: the more I appreciate and respect myself – the more appreciation and respect I can show to my sons. I am committed to being a better mother every day. It was my choice to become a mother, I take full responsibility to excel in this role: perhaps the most challenging and rewarding task of my life.