06 Dec Thankful for Parenthood
As we come off this long weekend, full of family, blessings and, let’s face it, food, I can’t help but reflect on the things I am thankful for in my life. I looked around the table on Thursday evening and saw all my reasons for living sitting right in front of me. My children, my husband, my parents, my family; they are all reflections of my life and how far life has taken me.
Then it dawned on me, as this year is quickly coming to a close, how much I’ve changed as a person, most of which is due to being a parent. When I became a mother, many people said, “Things will never be the same”. I took that literally, in the sense that I could never just get up and go to the market; plan a date with my husband without the children being cared for, etc. But I failed to realize that many changes would come from within. The person I am today reflects the mother I have grown in to. And it is a growth that takes time, effort and countless days of giving more of yourself you never knew was possible.
Giving the proper time to myself has always been a struggle for me. I feel I take on more than I can handle, and simply keep going until my body gives up. In order to remedy this personal struggle, I’ve taken on Yoga. The yoga practice has helped to carve a small amount of time to myself daily, as a type of self-reflection. With such reflections, it has brought about realizations as to the person I see in the mirror today versus the person that once stood there in my place. This new outlook made me realize I’ve let go of so much, yet gained an incredible amount of perspective into the adult I continue to evolve in to.
As I’ve met more people in my life, I realize many truly standstill, believing they’ve conquered the growth they believe to be adulthood. However, I’ve come to realize each day brings the opportunity to grow and become better than you were. I consider myself a work-in-progress. I make mistakes, I have fallen, but it’s how I pick myself back up that gives me the most growth. I see my reflection and see my age creeping up on me, but I am trying to embrace that more than fight it.
Parenting has been the biggest form of growth for me, personally. Before we become parents we believe our worlds as mothers and fathers will be like so, controlling every portion of it in our head, without giving this new baby the respect he or she deserves, because they too, have a personality all of their own. Once we become parents, we slowly start to realize things are not shaped in the manner we may have previously envisioned. There is a lot of disorder, chaos, moments of self-doubt, and most of all, flexibility. I have changed as a parent, becoming stricter in areas I didn’t previously care about, however, becoming more flexible in some other aspects.
I can tell I’m tired, my inability to sleep well shows in my eyes. My body doesn’t reflect that young build I once had. My smile brings out wrinkles in my face I never had before. I can see the gray hair poking out as I wish it would hide itself amongst the rest of my brown hair. But, when I look further, beyond the superficial changes I’ve undergone through aging, I see a change within whom I am inside. I see strength, something I could have never felt if it wasn’t for parenting itself. My role as a mother has taken me down paths I never saw coming. I can easily say that I have gone down many roads I wish I never had to encounter, however, when I look back, I know such passages in my life have added to the strength I see in myself today.
There are days I wish sitting in bed, watching reruns of my favorites shows was a reality for me, but that’s not what being an adult entails. And as parents, there is always something to do with our time. We could prepare the lunches for the next day, get clothes laid out for the children to wear the following morning, work on laundry—a never-ending task it seems these days. These are just a tiny part of tasks we could do. The list is endless, as we parents know all too well. And while doing all these things to facilitate our hectic lives for the days to follow, I can’t help but feel thankful for such duties.
That’s what this past weekend brought to me, a moment of reflection and perspective into how I have evolved, morphed into the adult I see before me. I give praise to my husband and I for withstanding some hard times together and growing from them as individuals, as a couple, and as parents. I hope that we can continue to grow from our life, because we all know that parenting is a learning process for all of us. We may teach our children many things throughout the day, but we also need to be aware that our lessons are also for us to incorporate into ourselves. I can finally feel comfortable that my opinions, my mindset, can change. I am, in the end, constantly trying to better the person in that mirror.
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