Parenting is the epitome of what mothers are made to do, right? As a mother I know that parenting is probably the number one thing that is on my mind the most. My mind is a constant pile of parenting thoughts, “Did my child go potty recently? Is is almost nap time? Did my child eat? It sure is quiet, maybe I should check on them..” I am sure all parents have these thoughts constantly and that every decision they make they have the thought of how that decision is going to affect their child..
We make these decision and make parenting a priority in an attempt to be good parents. For me, the point of being a good parent isn’t because it’s “what I should be” or because society wants me to be a good parent but because when I decided to have my children their lives became my priority and for the sake of my children and their happiness I want to be the best parent for them that I can be. For the sake of my child’s future and their well being I will do whatever it takes to be a good parent.
Now that I am an adult and I see the person I am and see people I know and see how they are as people, I begin to question and wonder a lot about children and parenting. We hear so often how children are a productive of their environment and that children will do/be what they live. I’m not questioning that or saying that is not true and honestly I am no psychologist that can say scientifically this is true or not true, but I can say that I am a mother who has had a mother and am now grown and can say from my experiences as a child and what I have gotten out of these theories.
I can say that yes, I have taken a lot of defense mechanism and have a few habits that I probably gathered from my environment as a child, like: the fact that I am a very skeptical person, that I don’t like to wear make up, get all dress up and pretty, I am an introvert/kind of a loner, I love to read and many more. All of these I can gather that I have developed from my environment and not just from my mother and father but from my grandparents and aunts, uncles, etc. These components are all factors in making me who I am and without one of these I wouldn’t be “Natalie” but I don’t contribute these factors to be major components of making me who I am.
So this brings me to the fact that my mother and father divorced when I was three weeks of age and my birth father was not a major part of my life until I was around 13. My main parental figures were my mother, step-father, grandmother and grandfather. So as these the saying go, I would be substantially more like my mother than my father because she was my environment, or maybe even like my stepfather or my grandparents. But I can honestly say, I’m not. I am nothing like my mother, we are what most would call complete opposites, I am neither like my stepfather, I have taken a few traits from both of them but in the scheme of themes I am not a product of them (environmentally speaking 😉 ) and same goes for my grandparents, although I am more like my grandmother than my mother. Not saying that I don’t love any of them or that I grew up saying “I never wanna be like my mom, grandma, grandpa, stepdad, etc.” but I just didn’t.
Since I have grown up and have spent quite a bit more time with my father and have gotten to know him on a deeper level I have realized how much I am like my dad. I am truly a product of him. To go even deeper, as an adult I became acquainted with my father’s sister with whom is a lot younger than him and so they never grew up together or spent much time with one another. I had found that I had a mutual friend with my aunt and gotten to know her and hang out with her family and we have became quite close. The more we spent together the more I realized how much I am like my aunt as well. Two people who are blood related but never knew each other until we were adults and yet we have a lot of the same personality traits, mannerism, among other things.
This leads me to the thought of maybe who we are isn’t from our environment, yes we may get some traits based off of the situations and environments we are put in as a child which could lead to certain habits, etc, but also I believe sometimes we are who we are supposed to be no matter where we come from. Chemicals and DNA could play more in a part of who we are than who raised us. People who are adopted have been said that they always knew they were adopted because they always felt out of place in their family and maybe that is why. Not saying that parents don’t need to try so hard because it doesn’t matter anyway but I do believe that when parenting we should take into account who our children really are and use that to our parenting techniques.
I think expecting our children to be someone because “that’s how they were raised” is a bit harsh and some children may take that a bit too heart. Wouldn’t it be better to know who our children are as a person and get to know them as more than just “our children” and raise them according to their personalities. I believe it could help us as parents as well, imagine how hard it can be on a parent to feel like you have done your parenting the best way you knew how and yet your child is still rebellious and isn’t following “how you raised them to be”. Maybe it has nothing to do with how you raised your child or what you put them through but maybe it has more to do with the fact that your child is destined to be who he/she is supposed to be and maybe their personality causes them to have to learn the hard way, etc.
Let’s still be good parents and put our parenting first and help our children feel safe but maybe we can help them feel safer by knowing who they are, what kind of person they are and use that to help us in our parenting endeavors.
Love, light and namaste.