Every life comes with a death sentence. From the second we enter the world the clock ticks until we depart. During that precious little time, many things develop; passions, potential, purpose. These factors are influenced by our environment and those around us. Mostly, our parents are the biggest investors in personal development. I understand that there are degrees of variance. However i think that for the vast majority of society; children come to define themselves in terms of how they think their parents see them.
How heavy of a task! It’s a responsibility that ultimately burdens us, trying to provide the perfect atmosphere for our children to recognize their potential. We pour ourselves into it. Every ticking second that passes is a struggle to create an ambiance of opportunity. Positive reinforcement, proper discipline, setting an appropriate example; all daily chores of an active parent. Of course there’s dirty diapers, school, baseball practice, ballet recital, PTA meetings, laundry, dinner, and dishes but who’s counting? Moreover, who’s keeping eye on the clock?
Our efforts in this endeavor is a time-consuming one. Before we know it, the once relevant “hip” individual that had an active social synergy with friends and peers, is now this cave dwelling shadow monster that no one has seen in public in ages! That’s the stigma with becoming a parent. Our lives become one with our drive to raise our children properly. Many parents feel as if they lose who they were as a person after procreation. Remember how we used to like reading books, going to concerts, and sleeping until noon? How about when you used to post pictures of your beach body around a bonfire with friends. Now our feeds are endless photos of our children with comments from grandma and great-aunt “so and so” mixed with dinner recipes shared from Tasty.
I’m happy to report, mom and dad, that you haven’t lost your identity. You’ve simply lost your time. The question is, how do we allot this golden asset of time while the getting is good? We can’t just make choices from that impulsive “Spring Break” style state anymore. My solution, is twofold.
First, create your space in a structured schedule. That schedule can be both or either routine or targeted. For example; if you’re wine night or yoga class is every Thursday, grandparents and other relatives love special family time. Even partner with another couple for playdate sharing. Your week my week type thing. Or there’s the targeted schedule that you make time for that concert coming to town. Perhaps an annual adult vacation that you can count on every year with old friends. Second, and the one I highly recommend you integrate into your routine, is involving your kids in your interests and hobbies. Barring the wine nights of course. Sharing who you are with your kids enhance so much more than you staying grounded and sane. It’ll introduce your kids to your passion, and a give them connection with these beings that lurk around picking up laundry and looking over their shoulders while they text their friends. You pursing interests and hobbies in front of your children show them how to undertake a venture of their own. Our example shows interest, involvement, dedication, enthusiasm, and many other principles that will enable them to succeed in every aspect of their growing life.
Our kids are going to have their own lives and direction. Its our job to facilitate their journey with love and guidance. That doesn’t mean you only walk behind your child in their shadow through life. Hand in hand and by example we give them pieces of us to carry.