By Daneen James
When I think of all the ways my mom has influenced my life, I am overwhelmed. Evidence of her character and courage is abundant. The strength and integrity I so admire in her is alive in me. She gave me an incredible foundation. Yet, I look back at my childhood and wish some things were different. My mom does too. But one indisputable fact remains. My mother loves me and I know it.
Parents Are People
After becoming a mother, I came to better understand that parents are people. We have needs and wants and pain that can color the relationships we have with our children. For example, I didn't have the relationship a daughter should have with her father. So, I was determined to ensure my daughter experience everything that I didn’t. While a healthy father-daughter relationship is critical. My feelings were more about me than my daughter. I was projecting my pain on to her. I needed to accept that my daughter was not me. Living vicariously through her wouldn’t fix my broken places.
Let Love Lead
As women, we've likely had experiences that have hardened or calloused our hearts. Disappointments that make us more distant than we care to be. But once we become a mother, our responsibility is to become the best version of ourselves. We’re called to deal with our stuff and not project it on to our kids. It's our job to give them a better starting position than we had. Ironically, releasing our kids to become who they are activates the power of love to heal the splintered places within us.
To every mother, caretaker and woman who answers the call to give a child her best.
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