In all the parenting classes I facilitate, we discuss how we were parented, it’s our starting point. For many, they share what great role models they had and carry with them fond memories of their childhood. I have also worked with families who had the opposite experience and suffered through years of trauma at the hands of their parents. But mostly, we fall somewhere in the middle and when we become parents we can choose to pick the best lessons and repeat them for our children and leave the rest.
I remember going through a tough phase in my parenting journey, I was beating myself up for not being able to be the mum to my girls that my mum was to my brothers and me. We always had home made food in the house. My brothers and I would come home from school on a wet cold Winters day to hot home-baked bread and buns coming out the oven; perfectly timed for when we walked through the door. Mum was at every game, concert, performance we were ever in, normally scoring or taking on a role of some kind. She worked in the school canteen and was the Chairperson of every Parent Committee of each of the schools we went to, and between us we went to 4! My mum was the parent the teachers would call to come on all the excursions or camps, everyone loved her then as they do now.
No wonder I felt a bit of an under achiever as a parent! I mean come on, how I am meant to do that!! I kept forgetting, my mum was still with her husband, my dad and she didn’t work outside the home, so for her, this was her job. She threw herself into every aspect of the role and she was the best at it she could be.
My story was different, my marriage had failed, I was working hard to keep my house and raising 3 young girls all still under 10 years old. I was happy and life was going well, but I did feel like I was not good enough because my girls sometimes had packet biscuits in their lunch boxes!!! Sounds ridiculous now I write it, but that was my reality.
Family life is different for our kids than it was for us, it’s not necessarily worse, but it is different. We each get to choose and prioritize where we invest our time and energy into our families.
- What are the aspects of your upbringing that you are wanting to replicate for your kids as they grow up?
- What aspects will you leave in the past?
- And no matter how many times we swore we would never say THAT to our kids, have you caught your mum or dad’s words slipping out of your mouth?
I have let go of baking all day Sunday, my kids can now bake their own gluten free biscuits if they want them…as long as they clean up the kitchen after!
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