One of the very hardest things about being a parent is making sure you are a good role model. Like all the time. Which is hard. Obviously, most of us are just trying are best at this parenting thing. It is without any hesitation a high demanding job, a job we do for quite a while before we see any reward.
We pray our children grow into awesome, contributing members to society.
We want to leave a legacy. We want our kids to be better than what we are or were.
My mother is an extreme talent. Her specialty and one true love has always been the piano. She used to tell me she always had a dream to play at Carnegie Hall in her youth. The biggest reason her dream never came to fruition was her own self-doubt. When she got married and became a mother three times over her dreams seemed to fade even faster.
When I was a young child, she taught piano lessons in our home. Even during my high school years, she taught on and off. I used to take her talent for granted. She had tried to teach me piano but I never had a real inclination to learn. And I never really gave her skill much thought until I became an adult and a mother myself. Her gift is obvious to all that hear her play.
My mother always second guessed herself. She always compared her talent to others. And I think after she divorced my father she was very depressed but never truly admitted it and I do believe if affected her self-worth even more.
A couple of years ago, she bought my oldest daughter a keyboard and said, “I hope she learns to play.” My daughter was 3-years-old at the time and had no interest in learning to play – rather banging on the keyboard was her idea of fun. Two years later and now my mom is just beginning to teach my oldest the basics of the keys, how to read music, etc.
My mother is in her 70s now and I know her biggest hope is that one of her grandchildren learns to play the piano. The one legacy she can leave. A piece of her undeniable talent, her contribution to this world. And a knowing she taught her grandchild to play.
But, if neither of my girls shows interest in the piano, that’s OK. Whatever passion they have, whatever it is that motivates them, I want them to attack it with full throttle. No second guessing themselves. I often say, “when there is a will, there is a way.” And I truly believe that.
Just like my mom, throughout my life, I’ve often doubted myself. My capabilities. My skills. In my early 30s, I guess you could say my soul was craving a creative outlet. I found myself writing a story that consumed me. That story was later self-published, thanks to the help of a family member. I was pregnant with my daughter when the finished product landed on my doorstep. I remember thinking how surreal it was – a book I wrote, in the flesh.
I never really marketed the book. And I really started to doubt its worth. My worth as a writer. I mean, I never really wrote before. How could I think my novella was a worth a read? Looking back now, I see that I allowed my ego to get in the way. I allowed my own self-criticism make me believe I wasn’t worthy of being a successful writer. And then just like my mother, I started my family and put my dream of being a writer on hold.
But the one thing I have that my mom didn’t is a supportive husband. I am grateful to my husband for always telling me, reminding me, that I am good enough.
When I became pregnant a second time, my mindset shifted and my creativity started to nudge at me. There is something about being a mother that makes you feel empowered. Something that makes you feel like you can do anything. And after the birth of my second child, I started this blog.
I had no idea how much time went into blogging; something I am still learning. It’s a slow process because I work outside of the home and my blog has now become like my third child who doesn’t get fed often. Oops.
There have been times I’ve said to my husband, “Maybe I should just quit. I don’t think many people read what I post.” But he always encourages me to keep at it. Something I am grateful for. And isn’t this a dilemma many bloggers face?
And, I can’t quit. I enjoy it too much. I enjoy the expression of writing, the freedom, the creativity.
I also want my girls to witness my efforts towards something I am passionate about. My 5-year-old knows I blog and will ask about it every now and then.
I try to never talk myself down in front of my kids. Regardless of how I feel inside. I want them to witness my hard work and to see my achievements. So that one day, when they find their true passion, they always believe in themselves.
Confidence is an important trait for everyone to have, but its weight is slightly heavier when you’re a parent. For the words you say have an echo effect on your children. It’s important for them to see and hear a mother who believes in herself.
You have to show your kids you can do it – whatever it is. So they believe they can, too.