Tuesday, August 3, 2010

[def.] Success

My mission statement about parenting:

I want my children to grow up to be men who are capable of loving themselves and loving others. Anything else is just icing on the cake.

Really, what else is truly necessary in life?

Being self-sufficient? Self-sufficiency is an American Myth. Why brainwash my children to seek something that doesn't exist?

Being educated? That's nice, but if they have a 6th grade education, what bearing will that have on Life? Sure, they won't be a nuclear physicist, but so what? It will be harder to get a high-paying job ... but is that critical to having a Good Life?

I want them to have relationships with people which are fulfilling;
I want them to have a good education;
I want them to have hobbies which they enjoy;
I want them to be able to put a roof over their head and food on the table;
I want them to be able to travel the world and appreciate it in all of its glory;
I want many things.
But you know what ... I cannot control any of that.

I can't make any of that happen. So why should my relationship with my children revolve around whether or not those things occur? Will any of those things mean I'm a good mother? No. Will any one say, "Your child failed out of college, therefore you suck as a parent!" I suppose. Not more than once in my presence, though. "Your child just isn't capable of having a meaningful, healthy relationship with other people." Now that I will consider to be the death knell of my maternal efforts.

Reminding myself of this mantra is a key function to reducing parenting-ability stress. So he's not reading up to grade level? Well, yes, let's fix that. But there is only so much I can do about it. Why give myself unending stress about being a Bad Parent only to discover he has an inherent reading disability?

Can you Do Anything About It? if not, get over it. Get help, if necessary, but get over it. Get over it and get on with making sure they grow up to be loving people.

1 comment:

Cindasan21 said...

You may not be able to control all of it completely, but it's still possible for you to influence them. For example, no, you cannot force them to learn, but you CAN provide them the opportunity with a good school.

The other thing I was thinking about this is that you and Peter are models/examples for them for how to be in the world, how to have a relationship with a woman, how to be a good friend, etc., etc. They are watching you far more closely than you may realize...or you probably do. You're smart!