Be Who You Needed When You Were Younger

I’m passionate about motherhood. I am so thankful for the small group of authentic friends I have formulated over the years because being a parent is hard. I feel like that is something society can agree on as a whole. In this day in age where the stereotypical mom, dad, sister, brother is being challenged it makes it even harder.

We as parents are faced with the questions the generations before us were not. Why does Suzy’s mom have a wife or Johnny has siblings with different dads? Jackie lives with her grandma and grandpa. Freddie is moving to a different house with different parents again.

In this world, at this time, things are hard.

We have to answer these hard questions whether you’re conservative, liberal, left, right, up, down, inside or outside.

Let me be clear: HOW YOU ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD.

In my house we’re conservative.

GASP I know I shared a political view, the world shall crumble into the comments section.

I do believe in Jesus, I believe he died for our sins. I believe Christmas is his birthday and Easter is the day he rose from the dead. I teach my children all these things, but I also understand that other households don’t.

My son is in the first grade and I can not tell you how many times I have said “our home doesn’t live like Suzy, Johnny, Jackie or Freddie but that doesn’t make us any better or any worse than those people, it just makes us different, and that’s ok.”

The one quote I live by is “be what you needed when you were younger.”

I had great parents, they did their best to provide us with what they could, and I primarily had a pretty great childhood. Although, even with that, I had times where my voice felt like it wasn’t loud enough, I wasn’t heard, or couldn’t formulate in to words the way I felt. My pastor preached a message at one point and said to start keeping a diary. I did for a while because I wasn’t a talker. I didn’t share my feelings until I was a steaming teapot ready to release.

I want my kids to feel like at any point they can share their beliefs, thoughts, or struggles with me. That they have a voice and opinion in their own lives. I want them to know that sometimes what they are saying might be painful for me to hear, or might not be what I think is best for them at that moment, but if they aren’t comfortable enough to open those thoughts to me I would have never known they were struggling with their emotions in the first place, and to me that’s way worse then feeling a moment of selfish parental pain. We have to be adult enough, mature enough, nurturing enough, and focused enough on our kids to see that what they are saying may be difficult, but it will never make us love them any less.

My kids back talk me, not in a disrespectful way but in a way that I allow them to have a voice. They tell me why they think it is ok for them not to clean their room, to have an extra piece of candy, or not eat their dinner. At this time in our home our children are still young, so those issues don’t seem huge to them until I say, “If you don’t get your clothes to the washer you wont have anything to wear, if you eat too much candy your belly will hurt, if you don’t eat your dinner your body won’t grow sufficiently.” These are all things my little ones may not know the answer to yet. I hope by conditioning them in this manor that when they are older and the big issues arise, they will have the confidence and be comfortable enough to ask me why they aren’t allowed to attend a party with no adult supervision, stay out past curfew, smoke, or drink – whatever it may be at the time.

I find myself in a unique position at this point in my life. I am a mother, a step mother, consequently, a child of divorce and a child of a blended family. Truly believing I have a exclusive perspective on seeing my children in a different light. As a child I was blessed with a heightened sense of awareness. I remember all those feelings of happiness, sadness, anxiety, courage, and resiliency.  Also, witnessing as an adult all the things that you have riding on your back. Understanding when I told my mom I wanted to grow up, why she kept telling me not to rush it.

I’ve learned that a big issue as an adult can seem just as big as a scuffle on the playground to a child. Be mindful of your babies, let them have a voice, and most importantly,

Be who you needed when you were younger.

💜 Jess

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