Love in Hindsight II

In the first post of this series, I reflected on my teaching career.

Teaching has been a big part of my life, spanning nearly two decades. What I didn’t know back then was how much I was learning about myself as a person and a future parent as I learnt to teach.

Over the years I have met as many different kinds of parents as I have students. Parent teacher interviews always afforded an insight into the children’s personalities, home life and behaviour. It also led to a deeper understanding, at times, leaving me with the saying, ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,’ swirling inside my brain.

These parents came from all walks of life. There were those that had little but provided an abundance of love and support. The type of parents who expected the best from, and for, their child were in abundance. The couldn’t-care-less approach was adopted by the minority.

I saw parents arrive holding their little one’s hand and helping them prepare for the day. They fostered their independence but assisted them if need be. I vowed to be that type of parent.

I saw parents arrive early and stand chatting until the bell went-always there to greet their child with a warm hug and a kiss at the end of their day. I vowed to be that type of parent.

I saw parents only to willing to help out at school. They were never too busy to lend a hand, listen to reading or applaud their child when they received an award at assembly or sports day. I vowed to be that type of parent.

I saw parents rush their kids to the car, in a hurry to get to that appointment or sports practice. ‘Get in the car, now,’ they’d say through gritted teeth. I vowed not to be that type of parent.

I saw grandparents bring their children’s children to school every day of the week. Some of their circumstances necessitated this, of that I was sure. I vowed not to be that type of parent as long as I could help it.

I saw parents ‘drag their kids up’ rather than raise them, some showing their children that they were a burden rather than a privilege. I vowed not to be that type of parent.

I knew what kind of parent I wanted to be.

Like most non-parents I stood in judgment of all other parents, keeping my thoughts to myself. Somehow I was of the conclusion that my teaching degree gave me an understanding of children that non-teaching parents didn’t have.

So here I sit, with two gorgeous boys who are now 6 and 3.

All I can say now is….

as they continue to grow, the more I need to know.

And I still have visions of the type of parent I want to become.

To be continued.

Image from: here.

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11 thoughts on “Love in Hindsight II

  1. The acquisition of knowledge will never end. It is constantly evolving. When you think you have a clue, new situations present themselves. Just like life – never a full moment. xxx

  2. I still wonder if I’m the parent that I always thought I’d be. It’s hard to tell at times because the situation isn’t what I expected when I dreamed of parenthood. All I can think is we do the best we can.

    • I see a lot of my own mum when I look at my parenting style. I think that’s a good thing but I’m biased. I know I don’t have as much patience as she did/does with my sister and I but I have two boys so it’s probably not comparable. I agree-we do the best we can. And I know I’m continually trying to do better.

      • I hate to admit that I’m trying to parent differently than my dad. We butt heads a lot, so I keep trying to think about what he did that I didn’t like and do the opposite. In the end, I still end up copying him at times. Usually when my son goes into full stubbornness mode.

  3. I guess we all had visions of the kind of parents we would be. And then there’s the wake up call and reality is so far from that fantasy. But I guess you just do your best, love them more than anything in the whole wide world, and cross your fingers and toes for extra luck. 🙂

    • Yes, my reality is a combination of the vows that I promised I would and wouldn’t do. I had an idealistic vision and, yes, I have fallen short of that. Love is so very important, no matter how much you may grumble in between. Looking back, the cranky mum was far outweighed by the memories we created together. Luck most certainly does play a part too. 🙂

  4. I don’t think a parent ever stops learning until the day they die. You are a parent even when your children grow up. When you are in your 80’s you will still be a parent. It is a gift that keeps on giving. I think we all strive to our best. I know the things I don’t want to do as a parent and I know the things I do want to do as a parent. Sometimes the two get mixed up. My hope is that at the end of the day our children know that they are loved. That is what is most important xoxo

    • You and I both know how much I go on about love here so no more needs to be said on that subject by me. ‘Parent for life’ really does mean exactly that and the same goes for life-long learning. ♥

  5. Pingback: Love in Hindsight III | Free Little Words

  6. Similarly to you, I wanted to be all those things too. But I am also the parent rushing their child in the car at the end of the day; yes, probably yelling too. This is because I have to get quickly between preschool and school pick ups. What a comfortable place that was; being a teacher who had all the answers to being perfect! I didn’t realise that by parenting more than one child, these ideals would come into conflict. While trying to meet the needs of one child, I am sometimes ‘being less than perfect’ for the others. How simplistic we were to think that parenting was simple, managable, planned. It is complex, a juggle and unpredictable. Sometimes, I do catch myself being the parent I never wanted to be. Other times, I exceed my own expectations and have a little dance of celebration! In reality I am both types of parent; cringing at myself one minute and high fiving myself in the next.

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