I was the best parent before I had children. Really. I used to have all the ideals to create this *perfect world with my *perfect children.
It's funny how often I, as a parent do things out of my pride trying to push my own agenda. When I try so hard to put my foot down for something which has to do with any of my kids, I am learning to examine my heart to see the reason behind it. I am learning to let go more. If the reason is because my kids may embarrass me, then, let it go. If it is life-threatening or harmful to the child, make sure I win the fight. If it is because it causes inconvenience to me, then just get off my butt and do it. This has served me well so far, but I am just beginning this journey called parenting. I am learning that it isn't about me--most of the time.
Parenting is absolutely wonderful. My children are delightful. I must admit a few things here though. I used to be the kinda parent that would fight with my child about what to wear because I wanted her to look nice (here is my pride). I never liked pink on my girls (and I have 3 girls). In fact, I think the very reason why I was blessed with 3 girls is just so I would let go of this silly agenda of mine. Now we have pink--lots of it. I have some strong opinions about certain toys, food or what kind of friends to keep. On one hand, some of those issues are important in life, I also realized that I need give my children room to breathe and the freedom to make their own decisions. Sometimes, my kids would ask me if they could do this or that, which seems very polite, but at the same time, I wonder if they are afraid to make their own decisions, like whether they can wear short sleeves or not.
I remember when I was just a new parent, I used to go to the grocery store and roll my eyes at people with badly behaved children. Last time I was getting groceries with all my 3 kids, I lost my youngest. And by the time I found her, she was all the way to the opposite end of the store. She took all her clothes off at the check out and took a chocolate bar and ate it with wrapper and all. I carried her under my arm like a little football with her kicking and screaming. I think it's good that I have Tori. My older two girls were unusually well behaved for their age. Some of my friends are laughing at me as I struggle to parent Tori. But in the end, I think I will be a better parent because of Tori. She is nothing like what I have ever imagined. Delightful and full of wonder. Always dirty and passionate. She never keeps her clothes on and always covered in marker stains. Today, I found her sitting on her sister's bed with a big mouthful of chocolate she found in Mona's candy dish. The chocolate covered face. I love her. I love it that with each passing moment, all my ideals and opinions of parenting is getting stripped away, making what really matters more apparent. I am grateful for the chance to be stretched and challenged so I can be a better mom to my wonderful and delightful girls.