Monday, September 9, 2013

Parenthood: Week 15 – Saying (or texting) What We Feel

The greatest text ever:

“You’re great parents.”
This is the most powerful text that I have ever received and one of the most touching things my mother has ever told me.

When people talk about dreading the idea that they are going to become like their parents when they have kids themselves, I can't empathize. I’ve always hoped that when I become a father, I could be as great parents as my mom and dad were for me.

There are things that bug me about my parents. Our relationship isn’t perfect, but they have always loved being parents and their unconditional love and support for me throughout my entire life outweighs the minor misunderstandings.

Being a parent has been a role that I’ve looked forward to my entire life. When I was growing up I could see that there were things that were difficult about being a parent but my parents never steered away from the challenge. They embraced their role as parents and never made me feel like I was a burden. And I never felt that they were sacrificing something else to be my parents. For them it was a choice, and from the joy I see in my parents’ lives, it was the greatest choice they ever made in their lives.  My parents showed me a love of parenting but I worried I couldn’t live up to the example my parents set.

Insecurities are a funny thing. We we are at rest they can take over you entire being but when you are moving, they seem to dissolve. As I tried to balance my work life, take care of Diana, try to sell our condo and find a house, I didn’t have time to be insecure.

This approach continued after Ollie was born. There were moments when I thought about what my mom would say about what I was doing but these thoughts would quickly diminish as a diapers needed to be changed.

Sometimes at night when Ollie is sleeping, I wonder about how a good father I’m being. Diana assures me that I’m doing a great job  It seems like there is so much at stake and it’s hard to know if you’re doing things right.

My mom visited us for the past week and helped out with Ollie and watched Diana and I take care of him. She saw the decisions that we’ve made about the way we take care of Ollie and she never once questioned something we did.  I’m sure there were moments that she thought we were crazy but she just went with what we thought was best.

There was one moments when I was giving Ollie a bottle and my mom was watching and suddenly I felt gripped with insecurity. What is my mom thinking? Am I doing something horribly wrong? Instead she sat there and told me that I was doing a good job.

That would have been enough. My mom’s actions for the past week showed us that she believed that we were great parents. Yes, actions speak louder than words, but words are important especially coming from parents to their children.

Our inner monologue is filled by the words of our parents. It’s not enough for a child to feel loved, they need to be told that they are loved so that these words can echo in his or her consciousness throughout their lives. Now that my mother has told me that I’m a great parent, I think I can begin to reassure myself that I am a great dad.

In this text my mom has taught me one of the most important things about being a parent. Loving actions are important but you have to speak you feelings to your children.  Tonight, I’m going to make sure that I tell Ollie that I am proud of him and that I love him, so that one day the voice inside of him comforts him with warmth and compassion.  

No comments:

Post a Comment