Today it really hit me how important my job as a mother is. My daughter is 11, I only have 7 more years until I am officially and legally not responsible for her - but I wonder if I will ever NOT feel responsible for my children. Because right now every word I say, or don't say; every thing I do for them, or don't do; is shaping who they are and who they will become. Everything about who I am contributes to who they will become... that is a whole lot of responsibility!
With that thought came a lot of pressure; I truly want to equip my kids to be successful in every way. I want them to have integrity, common sense, decision making skills, confidence, compassion, persistence, health, respect (given and received), discipline, intelligence, and appreciation for life and all that comes with it. But I don't really know what I am doing, or more specifically I don't have a plan to get them there.
I couldn't help but feel like I was failing them, that I wasn't giving them my best or preparing them to be their best. I felt helpless...scared...I just don't want to screw up my kids! I completely understand that they have free will and will do as they choose when they get older, but how I raise them directly influences they types of choices they will make.
So after my anxiety about being the perfect mom holding the weight of the future in her hands subsided, I realized that I already have two amazing kids. And looking back at my list of what I want for my kids, I think that Madison has most of them, and Maddox is only 3 and is learning them... so we (Brian and I -- because I couldn't, and wouldn't want to, do it with out him) must be doing something right.
Not that there isn't room for improvement... Two new (or newly re-enforced) Caster rules that will be followed in our home starting tonight are:
1)No TV until after dinner, the time after school until dinner is for homework, creative play, cooperative dinner making, dog walking, and sibling play.
2)Dinner will be eaten together at the dinner table. This is such a huge one for me. I remember my mom sticking to this as a kid and I never understood the importance of it. But Brian just share a factoid he heard that the average parent only talks with their child 4 minutes a day! True or not, that is just unacceptable for me and my family. The time may not be far off when dinner time may be the only time that I get my daughter to talk to us.
I refuse to let "life is so busy" be a reason for my kids to fail, or for me to fail my kids. They are just too important!
Learned: In parenting there really are no "do overs", I have got one shot to raise my kids and it passes all to quickly.