Here are 5 things that parenting has taught me to never take for granted. As always, I solicit your feedback in the comments section!
When you are a parent, time seems to fly by so fast that you wonder where it went. It’s hard to remember when my older kids were babies and all of the little things that they did that were so cute. That’s part of the reason I have this blog – to document and record a little bit of their lives as they are in the present. Don’t take time with your kids for granted. One day they may move away for college and start their own family. I live 8 hours away from my parents. I can only imagine how they feel with their son in another state.
Perspective on what’s really important
Becoming a parent has put everything into perspective for me. The things that were important to me before becoming a parent probably didn’t even cross my mind beforehand. Now that I’m a parent of 4 kids, safety, security, shelter, financial needs, employment, and education are all at the top of my list. You think more about protecting your house than you may have when you were a teenager. I worry every day about whether or not I should install a security system. With the way the world is today, chances are I’m going to do that. But 10 years ago, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it. I didn’t worry about having a roof over my head when I was a kid. Both of my parents provided it for me and I always assumed I would have a place to call home. Now that I’m a parent, I have to budget and plan for the mortgage payment, take care of maintenance issues, make repairs and try to keep things clean and orderly. While I did have employment when I was younger, it was more about a little spending money from a part time job. I had a $100 car payment but after that my parents paid for all of my other needs. Today, my employment is a career, providing me with experience I need to advance, benefits for the family, and a financially-secure future. Education has always been important, but has shifted gears from my education to my kids’ education. I help them read and work on their homework. I am responsible now to make sure my kids have a proper education and the tools they need to succeed in life. A school can only provide so much, but it’s the parents’ job to provide the foundation.
My Kids’ Health
There are so many underprivileged children in the world today. Some have physical and mental impairments while others are orphaned. As a parent, I have learned to not take for granted that my kids are healthy and can do many things that other kids only wish they could do. I try to put this into perspective when my kids complain about having to eat dinner or do routine chores or homework. I explain that if they could only see how unfortunate some other kids have it they would understand that their lives are quite comfortable in comparison.
Opportunity to be a role model
I have learned never to take for granted that being a parent means having the opportunity to be a role model for our kids. Kids have access to other people (TV, music, sports, etc.) that really shouldn’t be a role model, but because their parents don’t take the time to be a positive role model, they turn to others to be the role model for them. I have the opportunity now to instill the type of behavior I want them to imitate. Whatever I do, my kids are watching me.
Importance of family
We all need our family and we need to make time to visit and get to know our family members. My kids need their grandparents and see them every chance they get. Unfortunately, all of my grandparents have since passed so my kids may not remember my grandmother (who was the only one alive when my kids were born). There are so many times I wish I could go back and get to know my grandfather better and to spend more time with my grandmother while I had the time. We can’t turn back the clock so it’s up to us now to invest in creating valuable relationships with our families. They are the only ones we know we will always be able to count on.