This time of year always brings up some interesting feelings.
All these parents posting their kids awards and certificates on line, ‘so proud of’ moments.
Social media is inundated with everyone’s magic moments of their kids achievements.
Its like this big writhing competition.
My daughter got best…
my son is top…
my kid is dating the (insert something high profile)…
my child received…. For …. (insert best ranking something)
my baby farted pink fluff… my child is lead, head, biggest, best, first, most, top……………
you name it.. its on some social media site… certificates, cups ribbons gowns, smiles, congratulations banners etc etc.
Now I’m not in any way intentionally dissing those parents and kids who did fucking awesome and worked hard to achieve those results, good on you and you bloody well deserve your accolades and I’m certainly not berating anyone but it makes me look back over my year and go…hmmmmm what did my kids achieve
one got pregnant at 19
One got stood down for smoking weed…then stood down again for drawing a penis on a chrome book
One wants to wear makeup to school at 11 years old and have a boyfriend
And one did a wee in his shorts last week
So no certificates here!!!
As I quietly sit scrolling through Instagram and facebook comparing myself, questioning my self and feeling like I’ve failed no end… asking where did I go wrong?…what did I not do the correct way?…how could I have bettered my kids????
I feel a familiar sensation, as the ever faithful mumma bear inside of me rises on her hind leg and bitch slaps me across the face
She roars “ Are you fucking kidding me lady????”
‘You have created 4 spectacular human beings!!!!”
You have a child who has so much faith in her ability to parent that she chose to do so…because she trusts in what she knows and she knows what she grew up with.. you have a teenager who will be the most loving, nurturing and abundant mother her child could hope for.. she is kind and gentle and responsible, and she has an inherent softness and inner strength that will be a blessing to all children… she is deep and creative and beautiful to her core …she bravely moved away to find herself and her strength and now she has come home to her safe place to raise her baby. There is no certificate or award that could ever match her value!!!
You have another teenage daughter who refuses to conform to the rules society has set her, she is fierce in her autonomy and she is not afraid to stand up for herself to speak her mind or to defend others in need, she is loyal and she is wild hearted in all the best ways…she is not another sheep, she is not another follower, she will stand alone and stand tall and stand free…your job is not to tame her it is to help her gallop wildly, freely and safely, you have done a phenomenal job of navigating her through all her roughest terrains and she is here with you still, connected, faithful to you because you rode with her through the fires and didn’t force her or break her…and a penis on chrome book is pretty funny (just the dick bit not the vandalizing property bit!!) and she’s pretty fricken good at getting you laughing… (or at least rolling your eyes) there is no ribbon worthy of a child such as this
You have a pre-teen who is open clear and absorbent, she is willing to hear all you have to say and does not hide from or cower away from guidance and information, she is eager to fit in yet will allow you to set boundaries for her and her age appropriateness, she feels safe to come to you and ask you about life and your intuition is very strong with sensing when she needs extra input, she is tumultuous and moody and creative and beautiful, she has your inner sense of making with passion and she still looks at you with adoration when you are being your “alternative self” and she wants to be and bathe in it with you, and she’s a mean shot on the bow and arrow. There is no trophy that will honour her
And your baby boy, your son. .he’s bouncing back and forth between being the “boy” the world expects of him. .and being the child who is solid, grounded, deep-hearted and strong.. he is finding his feet in a society that tells him he must be rough and tough and yet he has such a beautiful solid presence to him that only you can bring out in him and allow in him, in such a way that he will grow to be such a divine example of true masculinity. Do not be afraid of your need to nurture him, he responds with such openness and love… there is no award grand enough to give to him”
And when this internal part of me gently placed her paws back on the ground and she looked into my weeping eyes, I saw how great my triumphs are….My babies..... I saw why I parent perfectly for the children I have birthed…. I remembered that they are valuable beyond any recognition society could place on them.. and I know I have not failed.. my only failure was in forgetting how I first met each of them.. in spirit before conception and the moment when each of us decided that we would do this life together.
My failure was in trying to measure myself against the success of others and what certain groups deemed “worthy”
I have 4 rock-star children who are talented, beautiful and phenomenal…. each in their own unique way…
So here is my new measure of success for all you parents who might be feeling less than
If your child cuddles you at night…success
If your child wants to talk to you….success
If you child let you see them cry…success
If your child wants to bring their friends into you home….success
If your child wants to be near you….success
If you can laugh with your child….success
If you can sit down together and eat a meal with your child…success
If you can be completely open and honest with your child….success
If you child looks you in the eye…success
If your child lets themselves be angry in front of you…success
If your child challenges you…success
If you child acknowledges you….success
If you love your child…success
If you like your child ( and it doesn’t have to be all the time lol)…success
Lets move the measuring stones and create our own, based on what and who our children are.. not just what they achieve…but who they really truly are…
The true failure is that we let social media affect our sense of worth in such a detrimental way
Here’s to penises on chrome books, teen pregnancies, pre-pubescent teens and wet undies!!!!!