Becoming a parent was a profound transition for me, as it is for all of us. I was completely obsessed with the new life I held in my arms, dreaming of what he would become. Stories of profound magnitude swirled into a fantasy of perfection in my thoughts. He was a magical being, filled with unlimited potential. A few years later, I experienced the same feeling when his brother arrived. They were two perfect male humans that would do great and mighty things all because their mother dreamed and prayed and encouraged them towards greatness. All the while ethereal music played as the soundtrack of their lives…in my mind.
Truthfully, I wasn’t quite that disillusioned, but I did have big plans for my children. I could see crazy awesome potential in each of them and still do. One day, I’m not sure when exactly, I began to see the same potential in myself. I realized that the dreams I had for my children were also dreams I had for myself. I began an internal and external shift. I began a process of saying “yes” to things that were far from comfortable for me, learning and growing through the process.
At times moms tend to feel guilty about not being or doing enough as a parent. I decided to let go of the guilt, recognizing that most of the things I was feeling guilty about lacking were not coming from my deepest truth or honoring my personal values or our family values. Measuring my children to a standard created by society began to dissolve as a concern.
Letting go created space in my mind. Space to dream. I decided to begin a process of realizing my own dreams. The result of that decision has been so good. When I began to live life at my full potential, my children took notice. When we educate ourselves, study, and practice our values, we stop letting life happen to us and begin to live life on our own terms, and our children see.
We can spend our children’s lives telling them what decisions to make, what our opinion of their decisions are, what we think they need to become, projecting our story onto theirs. However, what makes the biggest difference in our children is what we are modeling. The dream I now have for my children are lives filled with love, passion, compassion, adventure, deep connection, courage, and so much more. I cannot teach those things to my children except through demonstration.
I cannot hope my children will be unconditionally loving parents without loving them unconditionally. I cannot hope my children will be authentic in their relationships while pretending in my own. I cannot dream of my children having deep self-respect and love for themselves and all of humanity with my own head low in shame and judging others in any way.
I dream that my children will live the lives they dream of. My dream for them no longer has specifics because those are not my shots to call. I simply want my children to know that whatever they dream, whatever seems impossible doesn’t have to be. They get to live the lives of their own dreams. They will know that is possible because they will witness their mom living her own.