HOME TRAINING, Parenting Boot Camp – Society paints single sided portraits depicting the rewards of motherhood.
Although being a mom isn’t always easy, and being a single mom can be quite challenging. Wassily Kandinsky was a Russian abstract artist known for painting on both sides of the canvass. Hopefully, by the time you’ve finished reading this blog, my personal experiences will paint a better picture of what it was like raising three boys in the 80’s a single mom.
I referenced the timeframe because the backdrop of raising children in the 80’s looked somewhat different – social media hadn’t invaded our homes with outside influences.
It was critical that I knew my children’s friends, and knowing their parents was a necessity.
If I didn’t know where they were going, and who they were going with, then going wasn’t an option.
There are so many influences that impact parenting, from peer pressure, mixed messages in music, and so much more. Parenting is even more difficult nowadays.
Times have changed.
There are a lot of parents that don’t take the time or show interest in parenting.
Clearly, moms and dads have their own definitions of the word, so let’s dig deep beyond a surface or biological understanding of the word.
What does it mean to functionally be a parent?
After birth, parents are responsible for making the sacrificial transformation into a caretaker, provider, protector, counselor, teacher and possibly role model.
Instead, lately abstract dysfunction, inexperienced opinions, neglect, and absence have embodied the definition of parenting.
Many parents are so desperate to maintain their youth, and others are in fear of living life alone, and as a result, they become friends to their children.
Seriously, friendships are supposed to be mutual relationships, equal in authority, and reciprocal by nature.
For various reasons, these parents walk alongside their kids like buddies instead of protecting them as guardians.
It’s usually an inauthentic dysfunctional type of friendship that allows the parent to live vicariously through their children.
Ultimately, these warped friendships I’m describing are unhealthy for both the parent and the children. Children need someone to make the decisions for them, which will in turn give them structure and preserve their innocence.
This will also teach children how to make adult decisions for themselves.
As a single parent, I had to keep my eye on what was important.
It was my responsibility to keep a roof over their head, providing food to eat, clothes to wear, and other necessities, along with guidance, discipline and love.
They may have wanted more, but they always had what they needed.
It would be perfect if every child came with their own personal manual. I remember when I had my first son, people reminded me that there is no manual on how to be a parent.
But really, there are literally dozens of books on how, what and when to expect things to happen during the growth of a child.
These books offer great strategies at helping parent get through the beginning stages, but what about the rest?
What about those random situations that arise that leave you feeling like “What the what?”
As a parents, I quickly realized that raising children in the real world, as opposed to the psychological text book analysis, was completely different.
Children don’t always stick to a script and paint between the lines. The real life portrait of raising kids is like an abstract painting. When all is said and done, parenting is beautiful, amazing, and invaluable, but circumstances happen whether you’re ready or not.
The art of learning how to parent is a process.
My children are adults, I’m a grandmother, step-mother, and a wife. I seen life from multiple vantage points.
Living single, and then married with a ready-made family, everything about being a parent is offering solid guidance.
I lived in the inner city and the suburbs. I’ve struggled financially and emotionally.
Painting the perfect portrait of my life as a mom raising three boys was challenging, and sharing my successes, secrets, failures and fears is even more vulnerable.
So, as I blog about proper parenting, hopefully I’ll help other mothers by painting perspectives on both side of the canvass.