It’s a funny thing when you have your own children, only then do you start to see yourself in such a way that you’ve never seen before. Terrifying yet beautiful.
Before you become a parent, you have this vision of how you swear you will parent. It may be an exact replica of how you were parented or may be completely different.
The only guarantee is that you don’t actually know until you become a parent.
Some days you hear yourself and you sound just like your mother, your father, your grandmother, your aunt, or anyone who was around long enough when you were younger to have some kind of influence on you. Some days that’s okay, and some days it’s not.
Some days when you look at your children, you don’t see them but you see yourself at their exact age, and you find yourself saying the things you wish someone had said to you back then.
Parenting is a wild ride.
I have spent the last three years working to re-parent myself.
Three years ago my oldest child was born, and the little girl inside me started begging for a hug. She wanted to hug me and tell me it was okay to show my two boys the unhealed parts of myself. I started to tell myself it was okay to cry, to show my emotions, to feel all of my feelings—and that I was never too much.
Growing up, each of us are spoon fed messages from everyone in our lives. These messages are delivered through someone else’s lenses, smudged with their own life experiences. The beauty of being able to re-parent yourself is that you are then able to put everyone else’s lenses down and pick up your own. Through your own lenses, you are able to see things you weren’t able to see before. Your lenses are now smudged with your own life experiences.
In the midst of raising children, you want so badly to tell them that the lenses they are wearing are not their own, yet. Their thoughts are not their own, yet. Their views are not their own, yet. Nothing is theirs, yet.
In the midst of raising children, you can begin again.
The process of forgiving yourself can begin. You can forgive yourself for the messages you clung so tightly to when you were younger.
Our children are little mirrors, always reflecting back to us the habits, qualities, and flaws we don’t want to see. It’s always the ones we try so hard to bury but somehow keep coming up to the surface. I see so much of myself in my boys, parts of me I’ve been ashamed to show—and here they are, unapologetically exposing themselves fully to the world. Now that scares me.
The parts of myself I want to keep buried keep finding their way to the surface through my children.
My children don’t yet know that the world will tell them those parts of them are wrong, but they also don’t yet know that one day they will find their way back home to themselves and remember that those parts have, in fact, always been the best parts of them.
Maybe becoming a parent is one way to heal yourself, to give yourself the love that you’ve been craving for too long. Maybe becoming a parent is the north star that will finally bring you back home, to yourself.