This summer we look forward to baseball, sun, a trip to South Dakota to see Mt. Rushmore and more with some of my family, a trip back to IA for a dear friend’s wedding, and quality time with friends & family. The boys will also spend some time vacationing with Eric’s family in August. I am really looking forward to a more quiet summer and COULDN’T BE HAPPIER to NOT be moving!!!!
I know I’ve been a single parent for awhile now, but lately I’ve really been thinking about parenting and what I want to model for my kids and what I want to make sure I teach them about life. Being a parent is really hard, whether you are a two-parent family, single parent, only parent, foster parent, guardian, or grandparents raising their grandchildren. It is the ultimate responsibility you will ever take on in your life. I am the first to admit that I am NOT the perfect parent. I make mistakes in parenting every single day. When I am laying in bed thinking at night, I often re-examine my day and think about the “parenting moments” I can be proud as well as those “parenting moments” I’m NOT so proud of.
Life Lessons I want my boys to learn:
1. Be strong in your faith and know you are never alone. Trust in Him and LET Him guide you in your life. He has a plan for you. When things aren’t going the way you think they should go, remember His plan is ALWAYS better than yours. Keep Him close and always make your faith a priority.
2. Celebrate your mistakes and imperfection: You will make MANY mistakes in your life. You are not perfect and you never will be. Don’t beat yourself up over them, but instead learn from them and become a better person. Apologize, right your wrongs when you can and try not to make the same mistake twice.
3. People are good: Instead of putting all of your time and energy into people who hurt you, surround yourself with people who make your heart smile.
4. Never let pessimism win: It is easy to look at the bad things that happen each day but don’t let that consume you. So many more GOOD things are happening every day. You just have to open your eyes a little wider to see them sometimes.
5. When life knocks you down, get back up: Life isn’t fair sometimes and you WILL have really difficult times in your life. When those times come, know you are stronger than you ever imagined you were and know that eventually you will come out on the other side a stronger person.
6. Believe in yourself and who you want to be: ALWAYS be the person you want to be in spite of obstacles others may put in your way. Be true to yourself and trust your gut. It’s usually right. Do the right thing even when others aren’t. Do the right thing even if nobody is watching. It takes A LOT more courage to do that than to follow the crowd. Do what will make you happy, not just for the short-term, but long-term.
7. Handle difficult situations with grace and respect: Know others WILL wrong you and hurt you in your life. You will have the temptation to throw hurt back. Have the courage and humility to do the right thing and turn the other cheek. This is one of the hardest things to do in life, but you can feel proud of yourself that you held true to who you are and what you know is right.
8. Never lose your child-like spirit and zest for life: As people grow older, they tend to lose this. It is so unfortunate because life can be such a beautiful experience and each day brings new opportunity to enrich your life. I hope you never lose sight of this, as I have more often than I’d like to admit.
9. Always practice the “art of giving” and be humble: Make it a point to make “giving” a part of your everyday life and pay it forward. It feels good to know you made someone’s heart smile, even if they never know it was you. You CAN make the world a better place by spreading kindness and in doing so, encouraging others to do the same.
10. Family is FOREVER: Always know your family is here for you and loves you like nobody else will ever love you. You are brothers and that is a bond that you will never have with anyone else in this life. Stay close, forgive, be patient and love each other.
11. Everyone who touches your life is a part of you: As life changes, people will go out of your life and new people will come into your life. Some people will only be in your life for a short while, and others will remain in your life for a long time but maybe in a different way. Embrace these people and when things change, know that your heart has the capacity to keep every one of these people in it for as long as you live. They are a part of who you are and who you will become.
12. Know that I love you: Please understand that I have/will make many mistakes as a parent. I have made you angry, frustrated and sad but I am doing the best I can to carry out the task that God gave me as your mom. I hope you look back on your life and have many good childhood memories and will look at your mom as a person you can look up to and be proud of. As long as I live, and when I am an angel like your dad watching over you, know that I have loved you more than anything in this world since the day God put you in my belly. You are my most cherished gift and greatest accomplishment.
I know that I’m a little biased but I know that the boys have already learned some of these lessons already. Some of them are easier to learn than others. I know they are destined to do great things, will make a positive mark on this world and will bless countless people on their path.