Over the past couple of weeks I have been posting on the twelve life areas that I coach on in my coaching practice. Today is one which many struggle with and that is the life area of: Family and Parenting. Unfortunately, none of us came out of our mother’s womb with an instruction booklet and even if we did, I doubt that any new mother would have the energy to read every page once that newborn enters into her world. So the inevitable question arises here as in previous life areas: “What do you believe about family and parenting?”
When we get married we bring with us about 6 sets of ideas about parenting from our side and our spouse another 6 and you have a huge opinionated bunch of people who are all telling you what is best for your family. So where did you learn your parenting skills? Whose beliefs will you use? What happens when you run head long into an obstinate teenager who pushes every button and tests every boundary you set out?
If you are like most, during your pregnancy, you read every book and magazine and blog you can get your hands on so that you “do the right thing” (I’d like to challenge you on this mindset….no one can do it right…because there is no right, only the story you tell yourself). Then you give birth and you find out that this is way more than you ever imagined and wonder what you have gotten yourself into.
So again, I ask: What do you believe about family/parenting?
Why do you hold this belief?
Where did this belief come from?
How are you and your spouse going to deal with the inevitable discord that will arise over child rearing and family life?
Most of us stumble and make mistakes and manage to launch children just as thousands of generations have done before us. We try to pass along what we can to those who inquire, but it seems that the human race likes to feel its way in the dark and make those mistakes and decisions on their own in search of the “right” way to raise a family and parent their own children for only they know what is best for their own offspring. We are constantly worrying if we are doing the right thing. We are in a state of constant turmoil over “time” and our family. There never seems to be enough money for all of the needs that lay before us in our children’s future.
You know once they are gone the house seems strangely quite again, much like that 9 months of concentrated preparation and then a weight seems to be lifted off and you can breathe deeply again. It is only a temporary illusion however, because we never stop being a parent; the phone will ring with that familiar voice on the end in need of reassurance or counsel to know if they are doing the right thing and it begins all over again.