I read an interesting article today that really hit home for me. It was about how our lives are impacted by our relationships. Then I started thinking about how much our children are impacted by our every move.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the examples I set for my children and how it affects their lives. My divorce, my current relationship, and the way I deal with stress, my relationship with my mother, my friendships, my value system, my work, etc.
Some people say we are our parents, or we marry them. I am not so sure I fully believe that, but I do know how impressionable the tender years are and that most of my habits are shaping their lives. It’s amazing how it affects each one of my children differently. They all have their own strong personalities, but I am sure that every move I make is making an impact on them. They will repeat my words to someone, they will discipline their doll while role-playing exactly as I do them, and they will internalize stress at home and act it out in different ways.
The quality of our children’s lives depends largely on the quality of ours.
I remember winning Dancing With The Stars and how it opened the creative minds of my girls as they watched me dance each week. They learned about sacrifice, commitment, achievement, and they watched me do what I thought was the impossible. Bringing home the trophy was a bonus, but experiencing my artistic process was huge for them.
My older girls unfortunately went through a divorce at age 3 and 5. They saw their Dad and me in a lot of pain, they were forced to experience change, sadness, and question forever at a very young age. That impacted them in more ways than I have room to describe. It was hopefully the most difficult time in all our lives.
Then, they were introduced to the concept of a blended family, integrating a step-parent, and becoming big sisters again as Rain and Shaya were born. I am certain and they would tell you, that their baby brother and sister were the greatest gifts in their lives. The step-parent part… not so easy but that is another blog in itself!
It is not about life’s moments, it’s about how we experience them. I think as parents we need to remember how we are shaping our children’s world by the way we process everything. I used to think I could hide my stress and emotions from my kids. Now that my oldest daughter is almost 10 and we have many mature conversations, she speaks of many times I failed at the poker face. Sometimes her interpretation was wrong and I have been thankful that our lines of communication are open so I can help her make sense of many things.
I know we can’t control the cards we are dealt as parents, but we can choose how to deal with them and we can certainly help our children make the most of it. I’m not sure I have dealt with some of my more challenging times the best I could have. But, I am committed to being more aware of the little lives that are experiencing life with me – in their own way.
I’m glad I read that article today as I was in my office doing some research for ModernMom. Another woman shared her story and it reminded me of something important. I’ll be more aware because of it.
That’s why I blog…
Even though we are super moms, we make our human mistakes.