Parenting is a very individual experience and one that many can struggle with as there are just so many ideals and beliefs on what a parent should look like and behave like.
There are also many parents who may make it look like everything is ‘all good’ on the outside but really you can feel that this may not always be the truth. Even writing on the subject of parenting felt like a topic that only certain people could possibly write about.
I have often thought that I was not a very good parent, but can today question this: by whose standards am I not enough? I can now clearly see how much I have compared myself to others, rather than really appreciating myself and my own experience of parenting.
I now know that I am a great parent and the evidence is in my child, but I’ve realised that I don’t need any set result to be a parent, I just need to be my true self.
Parenting is a very individual experience and one that many can struggle with, particularly if we let ourselves be run by the many ideals and beliefs on how the perfect parent should be. I know that I have had many pictures in my head about what the perfect parent should look like.
One thing is for sure, I am not perfect and parenting really has taught me so much and continues to do so every day, in so many ways. It has not been easy and there have been many times that I have wanted to give up and run away, but I am still here 12 years later and I can look back on those years and really appreciate how far I have come and all that I have to offer as a parent, not just to my child but to all children in my life.
I have learnt from my mistakes and have come to appreciate that as well as all the awesome choices I have made, and that is all that matters. We make mistakes, so what? What matters is how we deal with them and what we do next.
I am a single parent and have always used this fact to confirm to myself that I was somehow a victim, and that being a parent is so much harder for me, but the truth is, it really doesn’t matter whether you are single or not, it is how you choose to parent that matters most and that of course will depend on the individual child, as no two children are the same or need the same life teachings.
I used to think that it was hard as I was alone in this role of raising a child and everything depended on me, and if anything went wrong, or if my child made the wrong choices, it would be all my fault. How wrong was I!
First of all, to even think that I am the only person in my child’s life and her only influence is just crazy. I used to keep us separate from others without realising, and these days I have turned that around.
I now choose to let us be part of other people’s lives and ask for support when I need it. I used to think that asking for support meant that I was a failure, but realised that was just a belief I wasn’t aware of.
What this has allowed me to see is that we are never alone and that we are part of a much bigger family, and that there is so much support there for us. It is amazing to recognise the impact this has on our lives.
Recently we celebrated my daughter’s 12th birthday and I decided to have a family dinner, as she didn’t want a party. It was very special as when thinking of who her family was, I had to invite quite a lot of people.
The concept of family just being blood related is so restrictive and we all miss out with that kind of thinking. We used to think our family was just my daughter, myself and my dad, but this family gathering had 4 mothers, 2 fathers, 3 grand parents, an uncle and aunt and 6 siblings.
How much we share and let others support us really is up to us. I no longer choose to be a single parent and go it alone.
I have also seen my responsibility as a parent does not only include my own child, but all children in my life equally, as they are all equally important. This does not mean I have to control other children but, rather than leave things to their mum or dad to sort out, I can talk to anyone’s children and bring their awareness to what’s going on. I can also encourage them and confirm them in ways that perhaps another cannot. If we all express our special qualities and what comes naturally to us and share this with others, we all benefit.
Another big belief that I have had is that everything that my child chooses is my fault. I have come to realise and accept that I am here as a role model and as a reflection, but it is up to my child and other children in my life to make their own choices.
It is not my right to try to control or need things to be a certain way. I’ve realised that I have no right to try to coerce my child to excel in a certain area of school because I might need that for my own recognition. It is also not my place to get in the way of her life and to fix things for her, otherwise she will not learn from her own choices and consequences. This has been a big lesson for me to learn and to surrender to – and one that I am still working on as I become more and more aware of my tendency to want things to be a certain way.
One thing that I am really learning about these days is my responsibility as a parent. I can honestly say that I have been through and trialled a few different parenting approaches and one that didn’t work at all was the ‘laissez-fair’ approach, which translates into just letting children do their own thing. I also tried the ‘no boundaries’ approach and let my daughter be a ‘free spirit’, but I am still dealing with the consequences of that today.
I’ve learnt that what does work for me is consistency, and boundaries are a loving thing to have in place as children then have a solid concept of what is okay and what is not.
I used to need my child to like me and to be my friend, but because of this I was so easily manipulated into doing things that I didn’t want to do, or I allowed myself to be walked over. Through realising how damaging that was I have now stopped imposing myself on my child. She is not here to make me feel enough, or so I can be identified by her.
We are both here together to learn from each other, and we are equal, but as her parent I am here to show her by example rather than say one thing and live another. I am here to support and guide her but not control her. I am here to be me so that she can see that just being herself is enough and that she doesn’t have to do anything to be someone, as she is already amazing as she is.
By Rosie Bason
Re-claiming the Responsibility of Being a Parent
Parenting from the Heart
Building true relationships and positive parenting
“we are never alone and that we are part of a much bigger family,” This is a beautiful realisation and learning for every parent and child.
I am not a parent, but I know from being around children that there is much to learn from them and they can learn from me. No different to adult to adult relationships.
Our kids are eternal expansion but by applying the constraints of beliefs, ideals, hopes, dreams, aspirations and expectations on them we crush them into submission and dim their natural light. It happened to all of us and we, in turn, do it to our kids.
If we could only remove the word ‘mistake’ from our language then the world would be a much truer place. It is such a damning word that has horrible repercussions and a word that often leads to more negativity. It is much more truthful to free ourselves up from the constraints of viewing something as a ‘mistake’ and see it as a ‘springboard for evolution’. By changing the way that we describe/view something we are able to change potential contraction into expansion without having to actually change the situation or the experience itself.
Traditionally parenting is about having very set ideas about how we want our kids to turn out and doing our damn-ness to make it happen. We do this in every conceivable way, we put our kids in certain schools and certain activities, we instruct them to behave in certain ways, we punish and chastise them for behaving or not behaving according to our set ideas about how they should behave, we nag and cajole them constantly. We also praise and encourage them according to what we deem is worthy of our praise. We micro manage our kids constantly with our eyes fixed very securely on the end result that we want to achieve. The image of a sausage meat factory comes to mind, rather than the glory of allowing and recognising that our kids have so much already within them and so much to explore and experience based on their own specific needs as the individual that they were born as. Am I advocating that we simply let them go, no, not at all but simply suggesting that we don’t try and get our kids to match our pre set ideas about who we think they should be.
“We make mistakes, so what? What matters is how we deal with them and what we do next”, this is pure gold. No time spent lamenting about what we could have done differently, no time wasted torturing ourselves over what we did or didn’t do, no time spent wishing that we had done things differently, just a simple ‘so what, I’ll use this experience to make a better choice next time’, love it’s simplicity.
‘I now know that I am a great parent and the evidence is in my child, but I’ve realised that I don’t need any set result to be a parent, I just need to be my true self.’ So often we judge success by outer markers and especially when it comes to our kids many parents feel like they have done a good job if their sons and daughters get a good career, enter into relationships and have kids themselves. That may be all well and good, but if the quality taken into all those areas is not of a person who is at ease with themselves, knows to the core what they bring to humanity and are committed to life, then as parents we may not have been our true selves, but have simply communicated that function is the way to go. All our kids really want from us is for us to be ourselves with them, to be met for who they are by us and to be supported and loved in a way that doesn’t judge but holds them in equality in the understanding of who they are in truth, not what we want, or society wants them to be.
Thank you Rosie, we can all re-learn how important parenting is and that self-parenting can set a trend for every other relationship we have as we never stop parenting in one form or another.
‘I’ve realised that I don’t need any set result to be a parent, I just need to be my true self.’ It is so liberating to let go of any ideals and beliefs we have about parenting and simply be ourselves as we are doing it. I know that my children love me for who I am and the more I let them see the true me, the more settled and happy they are in our relationship. At the end of the day all our children really want is to connect to us and us with them, and for me and my children when we meet each other on this level we are all in joy.
Absolutely, we are here to reflect and inspire another by how we are and how we live, ‘as her parent I am here to show her by example rather than say one thing and live another.’
What arises in a relationship between a parent and child is the opportunity for growth. It is not about the parent telling the child what to do or trying to fix them but being open to what is on offer for all parties to deepen the relationship by deepening the relationship to self.
Rosie, this feels so true; ‘How much we share and let others support us really is up to us. I no longer choose to be a single parent and go it alone.’ I love to ask for support from people that I know in my community and enjoy supporting others, this feels very natural and is a win, win situation for everyone.
Great article. It is lovely to read that you are appreciating yourself, this feels important to do as a parent, there is so much advice about parenting which can be really confusing. Parenting in a way that feels true for us and our child is the most simple way of parenting.
Great claiming, and realisation, ‘I now know that I am a great parent and the evidence is in my child, but I’ve realised that I don’t need any set result to be a parent, I just need to be my true self.’
A beautiful lesson on parenting and an inspiration for all the children in your wider family of how we are all responsible for raising each other.
Since having children I realise how it takes a community to raise them – not just blood family but people around you. I now have many role models who are part of my children’s lives – and it is a joy to see that parenting is not just about mum and dad but about a community working together.
Great blog Rosie, so much to learn about parenting starting with how we parent ourselves. I had four children to parent on my own for quite a number of years, and yes I did have boundaries but there was a lot of control, it was do as I say, and the thought of looking for support was out of the question, I felt at the time I had to go it alone. I love how you have let go of the ideals and beliefs around parenting and found that being true to your self, finding your own truth, and holding your daughter as equal with her own wisdom to share, also opening up to realise that we are all one big family, living on planet earth.
If there is something that is profoundly and disturbingly run by pictures and images, it is parenting.
I can really relate to feeling the burden of being a single parent and that it was all down to me. When we were discussing it recently my daughter supported me to feel how quick I am to be hard on myself for the ‘mistakes’ I am so aware of having made but slow to appreciate the many things that I did well. I can’t change the past but I can be open to and appreciate how our relationship is evolving as 2 adults.
Your daughters birthday meal sounded lovely, a mix of all ages coming together to celebrate her. My daughter had a similar meal last year and hasn’t stopped talking about it. She enjoyed it far more than any of her ‘parties’.
Children have a wonderful way of teaching us that we have a lot to learn from them.
And we can learn a lot if we get our arrogance and ‘better than you’ attitude out of the way and be open to learning.
Yes, a friend pointed this out to me yesterday and it made us really laugh as I was caught up in blame or it’s nothing to do with me … when I was just not wanting to see what was actually being reflected to me in that moment.
Brilliant Rosie – I feel what you share here can be applied to all relationships we have. It’s never our job to fix or to mould another into a picture we have but just to role model embracing Love. What another chooses to do with this is up to them, we align to the divine but can’t control what happens next.
Yes, it does apply to any and all relationships. We can only be responsible for our part, live it and then allows others to choose their part.
Great article Rosie, thank you. Love the concept of the fact that family is not necessarily blood family. It makes life so much richer and parenting so much easier and less of a struggle. Letting go of the perfect image that a parent has to do it all him or herself.
We have a choice to think we are not good enough at this or that, or we can appreciate ourselves for what we are doing, knowing that what we are doing is true for us, ‘I can now clearly see how much I have compared myself to others, rather than really appreciating myself and my own experience of parenting.’
I know! How often do we compare and how often do we appreciate. I know that for a long time I was well practised in criticizing and ripping myself to pieces rather than appreciating the good choices I have made.
There is such a strong belief for many that as parents we have to ‘do it alone’ and that it is a ‘failure’ if we have to ask for support. When we look back at ancient cultures it was never just the responsibility of one or two people to raise a child but the whole family and community played a part as this is needed. It is our natural way to have many people play a part in raising and supporting the development of a child.
We all have so much to offer by way of reflection to children, to keep them isolated with just one or two parents is a shame as they really do miss out.
Many people realize there is a responsibility in parenting, but until we know ourselves, then we just cannot know or define what that responsibility is.
Scratch the surface of most peoples lives and the perfect picture on the outside is seen as the facade it is.
I like this and it is so true. It is refreshing when you meet people who are not putting on a front and are transparent and open.
Seeing our mistakes for what they are, learning from them and moving on is the way to go, I love the book Whoops Oops by Sunlight Publishing as it is really great for both adults and children for learning to embrace our mistakes.
Yeah, no point dwelling on your mistakes or beating yourself up as that just keeps you in it, rather than learning and moving on.
I just love this blog – there are so many words of gold in it. “Parenting is a very individual experience and one that many can struggle with, particularly if we let ourselves be run by the many ideals and beliefs on how the perfect parent should be.” We set ourselves up to fail especially when we have a picture of how we ‘should’ parent. As you mention, we just need to be our true selves and feel what is needed in each moment.
My daughter was having a go at me the other day saying just because you wrote a blog about parenting, doesn’t mean you are a good parent… and I have to agree, but its good to write about it, talk about and share because we all start to see that there are many of us, all with our own lessons and things to learn in this journey of parenting.
Yes, I agree – that is how we all learn, through living life, learning from our decisions and learning from others too. Writing, reading and talking about our experiences is part of this because it shows us different perspectives and other ways of doing things that we might not have got to so quickly on our own.
‘It is not my right to try to control or need things to be a certain way. I’ve realised that I have no right to try to coerce my child to excel in a certain area of school because I might need that for my own recognition.’ – this is a biggie and something I have had to work very hard at. I have certainly struggled with ostensibly wanting to support my children so their journey post school is as ‘easy’ for them as possible in terms of job opportunities etc. All this translates into wanting them to do well at school so they have options after school. However, what I have come to realise is that because I wasn’t every engaged at school, my grades weren’t good enough to get into a lot of places and I felt a sense of failure as a result. This consequence was personal to me, as part of my learning, and has nothing to do with my children. So, to interfere in their learning is very dis-empowering for them. They need to have consequences for their choices, this is how they get to learn their lessons, which are unique for them, and in so doing, this is what stops them from repeating the same patterns over and over. The more we try to control outcomes for our children, the more we dis-empower them and retard their learning and evolution.
I agree one hundred percent! I used to worry about my daughter having the same experience as me as I was molested as a child, but reality is, we are all here with our own lessons to learn as part of our own karma. Our children have their own and it may not be anything like ours.
‘I now know that I am a great parent and the evidence is in my child, but I’ve realised that I don’t need any set result to be a parent, I just need to be my true self.’ – love what you share here, Rosie.
Needing certain ‘results’ to feel like we’re meeting the false ideals and beliefs we’re fed about what it is to be a ‘good parent’ is a ginormous trap that it’s so easy to fall into, I know I have. As you say, the greatest gift we can offer our children is to be our true selves and to meet them for their true selves whilst supporting them to share the love and light that they are in this world of ours, that can be very challenging to navigate at times.
Be yourself and reflect that, then the child gets to see that they are enough just as themselves and they don’t need to try or morph into anyone else or do anything to be enough.
Rosie, this is very beautiful and feels like true parenting; ‘We are both here together to learn from each other, and we are equal, but as her parent I am here to show her by example rather than say one thing and live another. I am here to support and guide her but not control her.’ I particularly like that we are to support and guide our children and not control them, I have noticed that if I try and control my son this feels hard in my body and he does not like this, I am learning that there is a different way and that he needs to make his own choices and learn from these, this feels much more true and empowering and much less hard in my body.
Children has been taught to blame their parents, which they often do…. but giving them the power so to speak, to make and feel the consequences of their own choices, gives them the opportunity to be responsible or not and learn how it is up to them really.
We do naturally know how to parent but we get caught up in the right and wrong and the berating if we get it wrong. As long as we are willing to observe and learn from the things that maybe are not working so well and be honest with ourselves and with the children then parenting does not have to be as complicated as we sometimes make it
There is a quality of humility in accepting that we are all equal and learning alongside one another, that is one of the greatest gifts we can bring to parenting.
There is a lot of pressure to be perfect and get it right….. but in showing others that we are not and that we are all equal and always learning, gives them permission to not be perfect too…. ah a sigh of relief!
When you actually try and imagine what perfect is, you realise that it is simply an illusionary idea based on yet more illusionary ideas. It’s not a solid tangible thing at all and is different according to who you ask . The idea of being perfect is just that, an idea, a notion, you can’t grasp it and never can it be reached or achieved.
Rosie, this is such a beautiful article, there is much wisdom here that is really supportive to read; ‘I have come to realise and accept that I am here as a role model and as a reflection, but it is up to my child and other children in my life to make their own choices.’ I am learning that trying to control my child does not work, that my child needs to make his own choices and learn from his mistakes and that as a parent I cant protect him as this only causes frustration from him and exhaustion for me.
There is a great difference between mothering and smothering. And you don’t need to have given birth to be in the position to do either….and we can mother or smother both children and adults.
The most important things I am learning about parenting is the the same in every aspect of what I’m learning in my life, and that is to be and bring all of me without holding back. My reflection is what does the parenting.
We can isolate ourselves so easily without seeing we are doing it and then run with the victim mentality that squashes any openness to support. Our children are already community beings, they know we are not here to live in isolation, so our fear of asking for help goes against everything the child knows to be true. Great blog for us all to read to remind us what we can offer our children as they grow up in our care.
Yes it is quite common for us to isolate ourselves yet it is the very opposite of how we love to live, and unfortunately, the separate, isolated way has become more and more accepted yet not what we all deeply want or crave in our lives.
I always said that I wouldn’t parent a child on my own without a father’s presence. This was a fixed picture I had about how parenting should be that was very far away from the reality. In fact we all are parenting all the time not only biological but of every children we meet with, of every children who see us in the street. So everyone has the opportunity of sharing themselves everytime as the example that they can be. When we see the whole picture, we are able to connect with the responsibility that this entails.
We have so many thoughts and beliefs of how I will do it… (in an ideal world and perfect picture)!! but reality is not that. We are all parents and we can all make a big difference in each others lives if we are open to not making it about ourselves and supporting each other and not getting caught in any roles.
Thank you Rosie, parenting can be an amazing experience when we approach our children or another person as an equal with the knowing that we are here to learn from each other’s differences and offer true support to be who they truly are.
Yes Francisco, I agree. There is always so much to learn from each other and It can be very difficult if we have expectations, judgements and need things to look a certain way.
Rosie, you should write a book on parenting. Your story has all the ingredients on what true parenting is about. With also everything that does not work.
Thanks Willem, it is a great idea but I really at times struggle with the whole thing, so writing a blog is one thing, but writing a book is another. Maybe one day when I have mastered the teenage years I may, but for now, I am learning, experimenting, getting it wrong, learning, letting go of my own beliefs, healing my old hurts… its all happening and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
At present I am seeing reflections of how I lived as a teenager and what troubles I caused to those around me and it is a great learning.
Beautiful what you have discovered and are living as a parent. I don’t have any children of my own in this life but I am starting to discover that I am a parent to many children. That is enriching and gets me very much out of the ideal that a parent shoud “have” children themselves.
All parents, need more parents like you around, as it is the friends and support that we have around who are not attached emotionally that can be like lighthouses in the midst of a storm, there to light the way when things get tricky.
I think that it’s also very limiting to believe that parenting is always about our relationship with those who are younger than us, I am coming to realise that we can be parented by our own kids as well as others who are younger than us. Parenting surely is simply about guidance, be that in the form of counsel, role modelling, support, understanding, nourishing and nurturing etc. There are so many way that we can parent another and the world would be so much richer if we didn’t hold back with who and when we parented from truth.
Reading your blog made me wonder if there are any parenting forums out there .. I checked and there aren’t that many. I am not a parent but have nephews and nieces and from experience of other parents know they need someone to talk to. You are right it is not about being perfect. Only the other day I was at a workshop that asked how would you parent your children (if you had any for those that didn’t) and for me what came was in knowing we are both equal I would learn just as much from them as they would from me. I would have to deal with and heal things from the past in how I was brought up so I didn’t impose these on another and ultimately I felt it was about providing a safe space that they could be held in to enable them to be all that they are ✨
Hi Vicky, there are some parenting forums, and Facebook groups but I find that most don’t work because we all let our own ideals and beliefs get in the way and feel judged and therefore don’t want to be part of the group. Its such a tricky subject this parenting and quite individual for each young person so there is no one answer for all.
And on the subject of dealing with how you were brought up and any hurts you may still carry, it is something we can all do, parent or not but when you are a parent, it is often triggered just a bit more when you have a mini me in front of you, reflecting it all to you.
Our role as parents requires an enormous level of responsibility and honesty. If we are not willing to deal with our own hurts of the past and childhood issues, then out of reaction to what has occurred to us, we try to control and protect the child to fit what we think is the best way they ought to be which is simply a perception that has come about from what we have experienced. This however is not the truth, for if we had truly healed our hurts from the past we would not need the child to be any way at all! They can be themselves and we can simply be their inspiration and guide.
Even when we think we have healed from the past, there are times or events that trigger or cause me to react for example and I am coming to appreciate these uncomfortable moments, as it brings my awareness to another part of my life that I may have buried and not really dealt with.
With consistency we bring to our children a wonderful foundation.
This point about not feeling that we are enough, and then questioning by who’s standards are we judging ourselves by is huge. Perhaps it is in these moments when we stop that these questions are given the most space.
The exclusive ideal of “this is my family” and everyone else is not part of it, is ridiculous in the way it splits humanity into segments and maintains those boundaries as if they are something to be championed, when that is not the truth of our essence.
There are certain practicalities to the commitment of being a ‘main’ adult figure in a child’s life, but further than that what a blessing that there are a plethora of amazing people each able to offer a reflection and understanding according to their own flavour of life.
Yes, I love and appreciate all the mother and fatherly figures I have myself as well as the ones that my daughter has. The more the better, I say!
Children do make their own choices… And if we as parents can let go of our desire to control, then we can as Rosie says, simply be there as role models and leading by example
Yes Chris, and what do we think, gives us the right to get in their way, or their learning. If we try to control and not let them make choices and suffer the consequences, how will they learn and know how to live in life.
Reading this blog is very inspiring as it comes clearly from what you have learned. There is something very valuable that comes with lived experience that you can’t find in most textbooks at the moment.
I grew sailing and didn’t go to school too much so never had to deal with text book after text book but rather meeting people and sharing stories and lived experiences. I feel very lucky to be able to have learnt this way as more recently I have been studying and reading textbooks is really hard work as they are so boring and lifeless in so many ways!
“We are both here together to learn from each other, and we are equal, but as her parent I am here to show her by example rather than say one thing and live another.” We are not here to control our children into who or what we think they should be, but to live from our own true essence, holding ourself in love and reflecting this love to them, knowing that they too come from the same essence.
As parents we need to walk our talk – living from ideals of what a parent is and playing any of the many roles and faces we may adopt prevents true connection with the very people we claim to love.
And the reality is, the children see right through the falseness, the lies and double standards.
Recently I have been learning that mothering energy is a beholding energy and that we do not need to have given birth to be a mother. This completely fits with my expereince as someone who did not have children. The more we are able to be with ourselves and hold ourselves steady the better parent we will be.
And I think we can all be so supported, if we realise this as it means that we as the birth mother, do not have to be the only mother…. and this way the child has many reflections and heaps of support. And yes, I know some women who are more like a mother than some that have given birth. The act of giving birth is not the be all and end all that is for sure!
Detachment is good and what I have learnt also is that just because it was my experience when I was a child, it does not mean that my daughter will have the same karma as me so her experience and story will be completely different.
The pictures we have of what a good parent would do or be like are very strong and it is a constant process of revealing and discarding them as we go along. There are also the reactions we have to how we were parented that don’t help at all, as they come loaded with the past and don’t respond to the child in front of us. What I am learning is that parenting needs detachment to give the child space to be themselves and for us to read whats going on. This is the only way we can present what is true for the child so they have the choice, without our needs getting in the way.
Like so much of modern science, parenting has become an evidence based pursuit which leaves us behind as the people who are caught in the relentless swathes of need for recognition and acceptance. Parenting is a science because it is a daily lived experience that as a result shows and teaches more each day because it is about relationships or brotherhood. And although there may not in reality ever be a perfect family – there can be love – and that is what truly counts.
When parenting is a science, where is the true education where we get taught the wisdom what true parenting is about? We have so many educational instutions, but surelly the most important one is missing: The Master of Science in True Parenting.
Parenting has such a massive influence on how the child is and grows simply because as parents we form the foundations of what the child initially learns is accepted and not accepted in life. In doing so we can either be confirming the truth they know inside them or equally be imposing on it and promoting the child to shut it away. In this way as parents we have a massive responsibility in how we are when raising a child. But equally the end result of the child’s choices cannot afford to be taken personally as they still are responsible for their own choices even if we have been imposing ideals and expectations onto them or not.
There is that saying monkey see, monkey do and I always think of when I was young and everyone around me smoked, so to me it was normal to smoke…. now I see that it is not.
We learn so much from those around us. It is important to see if we have role models that are supporting us or leading us astray as it is up to us to choose who we hang out with.
When I live my life as a parent, I know I am not the only one living like me. And if as a parent I
did not come to the awareness of truly being a parent until my child was going to pre-adolescent, but still keep connecting in all imperfections and keep opening connections around with school and slowly with friends and family, I know many other parents can do the same. The term single parent has always bothered me, as it gives out a connotation that something is missing from start and that has been the energy I became a parent in–because that is the energy that I already have within myself, that of comparison and feeling not enough. And how many parents–single or not–parent from this place of lack and thus always remain in the state of being controlled by their child–in my observations there are so many. So this realization and a subsequent honesty and a gradual returning back to what is truth, is a process, albeit not an easy one, requiring lots of steadiness and lots of connection, but a process that is not only for me or my child.
There are lots of pictures, ideals and beliefs around single or solo parenting but it doesn’t mean the child gets any thing less. In some cases, it is more loving and a better option for the child to have just one parent rather than be in a family full of abuse and lies.
I am very imperfect in parenting but I appreciate myself as often as possible in being a parent. Every day I am learning more and more what being a parent means. It has highlighted for me how parenting is a responsibility that comes even before the conception of the baby happens. This is an
awareness which I did not have back then and with that I have delayed even more the returning of being true to my child, by the debilitating emotions of guilt. Which when seen in the big picture of learning in life, every step of the process means something and contributes to the next step. Being a parent is the area which reflects back truth to me always.
And there is such a simplicity in this. Inspired by our hearts as headquarters, we can relinquish the agony of trying to get things right by some set of ideals (which often change) about how we should do things.
Thank you for this article, Rosie, a clear confirmation that it is in the way we live that we support, guide, nurture and teach our children and that well spoken words without the examples in what we do, are actually empty rules with which our children can rebel.
Gorgeous Rosie, I love how you parent not from a point of ‘raising a child’ to be something that they weren’t already before, but expanding who they are and supporting them to stay themselves out in the world… And yes you’re absolutely correct – we can offer this support to ALL children not just our own.
Consistency is something I have had to learn first for myself and then to share in my parenting. Still something I am working on… oh another imperfection! But when I do have it, I can feel the support and solidness that it brings.
You said it so well Rosie at the start of this piece when you said: I just need to be my true self. The importance of this goes way deep because with every step that you are you, your child learns that it is safe and normal to be themselves too. Even in the supermarket with children who we do not know, they are always observing and even if it is just a glance, the message remains – you can be yourself in this world.
Rosie, thank you for sharing your experience of parenting, I find this article really helpful, I can feel at the moment that as my son is growing he is wanting to take more responsibility and to make his own choices, I can feel there is a temptation to let him make all his own choices and to completely step back, but actually as a parent this also does not feel right and that having boundaries feels loving and supportive as you say here, ‘I’ve learnt that what does work for me is consistency, and boundaries are a loving thing to have in place as children then have a solid concept of what is okay and what is not.’
One thing I have learnt and live is the parenting and mothering is an energy first, well before we have children and we don’t need to have children of our own to live this.
“How much we share and let others support us really is up to us.” So true and when we do open up to that support life shows us how we are not alone but in fact part of a greater family that supersedes bloodlines.
Hi Rosie, I like the point you have made about when you have an agenda or a need this leaves an opening for manipulation. This resonates very strongly for me and is applicable in all our interactions
It is a great point that Rosie makes how as parents we can be so easily manipulated into doing something we don’t want to. Children will at times try it on and they know just how to do it but I am learning to be true to me when this happens. When I slip up and put their needs before mine I know I have an investment, a need, an attachment that needs to be looked at and let go of so that my relationship with my three children is true and a healthy one. I know the fear of losing them is a big one for me… there is much for me to ponder on here.
I have been looking at my investments just this week and realise that I have a lot of them with different people and it is a complete setup and isn’t good for anyone. On one level it is imposing on them and on another level it can leave me frustrated as they are not living up to what I believe is their potential or to the image I think they should be. Once I started to be aware of my investments with one person, I started to be really honest I realised that I have them with lots of people.
Beautiful words Rosie about saying ‘so what’ to our mistakes. Because essentially they do not ultimately define us as the people we are or the parents we have become, they are simply lessons along the way, and like you say, it is not the mistake, or the lesson, itself that matters but what choices we make thereafter. This is a very loving approach not only to ourselves but also to our children, because then they get to learn about learning from mistakes and how this is an integral part of human life, and how this is in fact love.
In thinking about ‘so what to our mistake’ I have noticed lately, and it’s not pretty…. that at times I can focus on the what is not, and focus on the mistake and give it so much attention and make it so much bigger than what it is. It’s almost addictive yet I don’t focus on the what is amazing, the moment of connection, the beautiful moments. They don’t seem to take the front stage, they don’t get the same amount of attention and that is something I have been working on changing. Where do I put my thoughts and my energy. I don’t want to waste it on the mistakes, I want to invest it on the beautiful moments, confirm them and appreciate them and allow more space for them on the centre stage of my life.
We often parent in response or reaction to how we ourselves were parented. As children the foundation of family life is love and this is includes love for oneself and for each other. Children appreciate loving boundaries – even when they try to push the boundaries to make sure they are still there!
The Way of the Livingness as presented by Serge Benhayon is the foundation for humanity to reconnect to the inner hearts and to truly evolve… Along the way such fundamental processes such as parenting are naturally addressed, as when one has a relationship of such depth with oneself, then the dreadful fog of confusion that is around how to be a good parent clears, and we are able to have a totally different experience of parenting.
Ah yes, that dreadful fog of confusion along with all the doubts and what ifs. It is great to be free of it and I know it well and sometimes I even revisit it and and then… remember… to come back to me.
To ascertain the veracity of a teaching, look at what is taught in relation to parenting… for this is where true wisdom is needed
“I’ve learnt that what does work for me is consistency, and boundaries are a loving thing to have in place as children then have a solid concept of what is okay and what is not”.
This is so true Rosie, consistency and lovingly following through is the key to children learning what is healing and harming for themselves and others.
This should be part of a must-read 101 on parenting Rosie, to raise our children to be responsible and responsive to the bigger world out there without losing who they are in the process, is quite something. WE need more of this understanding and appreciation for what a parent can truly offer.