There is only one role we play in life I know of that can make you cry and laugh at the same time, as well as wanting to run away and not ever leave within moments of each other...
This role (when allowed) also has great potential to be the greatest teacher you have ever had, and to show you that life truly is a miracle.
This role is parenthood.
Parenthood, while being limiting in some ways, however, it also provides many new opportunities and experiences. In the last few years, I have started teaching myself some ukulele, recorder, and most recently skateboarding. I take a swing on the monkey bars whenever I get the chance. I think the ukulele is the only thing (out of what I just mentioned) I am likely to have tried if I didnít have children.
Apart from the fact the I enjoy trying new things, I feel it is important to show my kids that parents - us old folk, can still learn and try new things.
Understanding that life is a miracle
Life is a miracle. For me having children increased my understanding of this. I found having a baby growing inside me to be an amazing experience, and the actual birth too...while not really something I would chose to do every day, it was amazing none the less.
Both my boys (like all babies) have been little miracles, watching them sleeping when they were babies, and even now its like watching angels. Seeing my boys learn new things; tackle new tasks, and grow into little people has given me more hope and joy in my life then I ever would have imagined.
Learning and reflecting
I am continually learning about myself from my kids. They are great mirrors. I remember my son telling me off for interrupting him mid sentence once; just what I had been teaching him. I have had many other experiences where I have wondered where my kids picked up particular actions or phrases, before realising it was either from me or from my partner.
Sadly some parents donít see where their children get negative traits from. I believe to be a good parent you need to be prepared to be self reflective, and to take personal responsibility for what you can.
As a parent you need to be prepared to be bigger - to be the one that apologises first. In those times when I have lost it with my kids; I am quick to acknowledge that I havenít dealt with the issue as best as I could.
I truly believe (for the most part) that every parent does their best and uses their own experiences to be the best parent they know how. It is something I need to remind myself of too when I am self critical. I also need to remind myself that a happy mum is a better mum, and to remember to take time for me.
Part of me is a little sad that my boys are no longer babies or toddlers, yet I am now ready to support my boys as they grow into big kids, and then teenagers and adults. I am ready for the next phase of the parenthood journey...as ready as Iíll ever be.
Like everything in life, parenthood is at its best when you dive in and embrace it.