This post is the second part of a four part series about creating happy homes during the holidays. The series, Happy Holidays in Happy Homes, is a collaborative effort between Angelique Felix, Jared Ritter, and myself. If you’d like more info, check out my introduction post.
I don’t think of becoming a parent as a single, one-time event. I believe it to be a process. It’s a process that starts when we are born. We start becoming a parent when our parents “parent” us. How they take on … or reject … the job influences how we in-turn will become a parent ourselves. It may be that we want to follow their lead because we felt comfort in what they did … or it might be to reject their way and find our own … or, even more likely, a combination of the two.
As I stated last week in Part One of the “Happy Holidays in Happy Homes” series … being in relationship with a soulmate, a love, isn’t just finding them and being “complete” … it’s continuing to work on oneself and the relationship. Parenting is the same thing. Becoming a parent didn’t start … or end … when I gave birth for the first time.
No, for me, parenting begun by being parented by two very loving individuals who really wanted me in their life. It continued in my practice play and love for baby dolls. It continued when I was 8 and my baby sister was born … where I had real-life experience and also got to see from a new perspective my parents model parenting. It continued when I fell in love with my husband, but needed to make sure that he, too, wanted children because if he didn’t then I knew that our lives were on different paths. (Although I loved, and still love!, him I knew that I would not be happy or feel fulfilled if my life didn’t contain children.) It continued when we were engaged to be married and I asked him about his commitment to being in a relationship with our future children … not just a sperm donor, but an actual father. He responded, with tears in his eyes that he did want that, he wanted a close, loving relationship with the children we would someday make. It continued when we decided to wait to have children until after I was done obtaining my doctorate degree because I knew I wanted to be able to focus on the baby when it was born. It continued when I found out that I was pregnant … eight weeks before graduation. It continued during the nine months of preparation and celebration of carrying the baby inside my body. It continued through the long, natural childbirth. It continued when my husband looked into my tired eyes and told me that we had a son. It continued when I held my infant son for the first time and named him Henry. It continued through all of his firsts … and our firsts as parents. It continued when we planned on trying for a second child. It continued when I found out I was pregnant for the 2nd time. It continued when I held my baby girl for the first time and named her Honor. It continued through all of her firsts … and becoming parents of 2 children instead of being able to focus on one.
It continues EVERYDAY. It continues when I read parenting books, blogs, and articles. It continues when I attempt to navigate the social scene in the neighborhood and school as a mom. It continues … with each new challenge.
I continue to become a parent everyday.
Paths to parenthood may not all be as purposeful as mine. However, purposeful or not, it is a continuous lifelong process. No matter what the circumstances of becoming a parent …. planned/unplanned, natural/IVF/surrogacy/foster/adoption, biological/adopted/”step” … the events and relationships in our lives impact who were are as parents. In turn, they effect how our own children will become parents. Whatever the circumstances are (happy/ sad, painful/blissful) being mindful and trying to understand how they impact us as parents can help us to become better, happier parents.
Be sure to check out Angelique Felix’s (The Magic of Play) post and Jared Ritter’s (of Solgave) post for the other writings in Part 2 of the collaborative series. Also, check back each week for the next 2 parts of the series:
Monday 26.11.2012: Creating a Family
Monday 3-12-2012: 101 ways of staying Happy
The series will be brought by you by three blogging parents:
Solgave.com is more than a blog, it’s a unique philosophy of life shared by Jared, an American now living in Sweden, and his wife Sunniva originally from Norway, and her 4 year old daughter Gabi, as they navigate the waters of life by focusing on the core elements that define them. Nature, animals, families, travel, healing, and overcoming obstacles are some of the things they share with passion.
AngeliqueFelix.com – The Magic Of Play is on a mission to bring play back in daily lives through bilingual songs, movement & creativity. Angelique teaches 0 to 6 years old in Italy, but comes from the Netherlands. She is a single mom loving passionately her only daughter Chanel every day.
AND ME, PLAYDRMOM!!!
We would be delighted to have you join us on our journey towards Christmas, please come back next week on one of our blogs!