I was 24 when my first daughter was born. I was very curious how I will be as a mom and I was very sure that I was going to be a great mom. As Wayne Dyer once said: “Before I had children, I had 8 theories on how to raise them. Now I have 8 children and no theories.”
Well, I have only 2 children but I knew very well before I became a parent what other people do wrong and I am not going to be that person for sure who makes these mistakes. Ever! It went well for a long time. I was making mistakes for sure but I was devoted, I tried my best and I was very proud.
My kids did well, they were – and still are – beautiful, smart, diligent, kind. Everything that any parents can ask for. I heard people talking about teenagers and I smiled. Yes, it happens to others but I am doing a good job here. Look at her! She is a dancer, she is a great student, popular in school. I must be doing something very well.
This idyllic stage shattered one day and I didn’t even know what was happening. Nothing was good enough anymore, her room was messy beyond my comfort zone, her popularity dropped at school after breaking up with THE boyfriend and parallel with that more often than I liked there was slamming doors at home and constant argument and yelling. I started to get scared. Can’t say a single sentence that she agrees with it? Now the question was: what am I doing wrong?
There is this saying: new level new devil. We definitely were facing a new devil and I had mostly no idea what to say or what to do so the devil doesn’t become angrier. There came the time when she needed to decide about the direction after high school. I had suggestions but she wanted to learn more about dance. I put some pressure on her to go to a different direction because I believed that dance is not good enough and she will not make enough money with it to support herself. I was saying in general: follow your dreams. But when I was really facing it when my daughter wanted to follow her dreams I was scared. It provided some conflicts for sure. I did not feel anymore that I am a great mom.
Fast forward 5 years and I feel secure again as a mom. Our relationship is solid, she comes to me when she needs me and I give her as much space as she needs. What happened? My beautiful first born daughter taught me to go after my dreams. It was not the way around, I didn’t teach her that because I didn’t know how to do it for a long time as you can guess. I was living from fear and I didn’t understand her. Really? Do you want to dance? When are you going to have something “normal” to do for a living? She said it makes her happy.
I didn’t know what that meant because I never did anything for work that made me happy. I thought for a long time that money is more important than happiness. When she didn’t dance for a year after high school she was not happy. She did what I told her to do, go to a school, get a degree. As it turned out she was smarter than me by following her heart. She found her way back to dance, she does what makes her happy while she makes a living and goes to school. I was trying to stop her from something that I believed was not good for her. I was able to see the world through my own eyes only and what she did was threatening to me.
Now, years later when I also do what makes me happy I understand her better and I have to admit that she inspired me in many ways since the day she was born. I’m grateful for that realization. Thank you, Kinga for this lesson. A friend of mine told me this: Sooner or later all of us find our place in the world. We just have to be loving, trusting the process and patient enough until it unfolds. I learned my lesson and I am much more relaxed about my second daughter. There are challenges – different ones – with her too but it is another story for another time.
What did you learn from your children?
Wonder what to do on a Sunday morning? You will want to check out this article by Anita.