Growing up I had a mother of the 'hands off' type of parenting approach. To give you an idea of how 'hands-off' she really was, at the age of 9 years old I took the public transport with my 7 year old sister to go back and forth from grade school. I want you to stop right now and really think about that for a moment ... not the school bus commissioned by the board ... not a car pool ... but rather the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) from downtown Wellesely all the way to Rosedale in GRADE SCHOOL.
In her defense, a part of it was her naivety as a newly arrived immigrant unaware of the dangers that big cities come with like Toronto did. The other part, a result of her being consumed with the idea of empowering me and my sisters to be independent young because she grew up in an overly controlling household. The ever feminist, I always refer to my mother and for her I am ever indebted for the resilient woman I've become.
Reflecting back on this though and my experience as a first time mom we were markedly different.
When Adam was born, it was shear magic sprinkled with shear anxiety. The first 4 weeks, I'd hover over him all night making sure he was breathing worrying sick that somehow he'd stop breathing. At that age, I could hardly wait until he'd start moving. When he started crawling (refusing to baby proof), I'd hover over him to make sure he didn't fall over or get himself into dangers, I started to crave when he'd start talking. In came his toddler years and I'd hover over how and when he communicated those glorious terrible twos.
I could go on ... but you get the picture ... I was ALWAYS hovering and thinking ahead to the next stage we could get to, naively assuming that it would get easier and not fully appreciating that we are in the EXACT right spot we were supposed to be in this journey called CHILDHOOD. That's exactly what I've observed reflecting back, I was always seeing our journey from MY perspective, motherhood, and not HIS, childhood, discovery.
How can I empower, inspire and connect with my kids if I don't see it from their world view.
So this morning's cup of coffee in celebration of my birthday I set my intention to transforming, transitioning or substituting my narrative from MY journey to THEIR journey by remembering that:
Both of my kids do a better job at living in the present, focused on the here and now.
Both of my kids are enormously capable no matter their age or stage. Like this morning when Nia took the initiative to tidy up the bathroom at 4 years old as a gift to start my birthday morning on the right foot.
Both of my kids are some of the most authentic people around me because they are direct and honest and their authenticity is infectious if I see how they wear their heart on their sleeves.
Both my kids are brilliant and I need to emulate more of what they are to me back and I can only do that with 'change' as my guiding light.
Mom got it right all along, she believed in me first and trusted in the journey of motherhood!
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