What I’ve Learned About Parenting From My Sons

My Sons

Marie Roker-Jones shares how her sons have taught her that being a parent means you learn as much as you teach.

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They say when the student is ready, the teacher arrives. This saying definitely can apply to parenting. As a mom, I often get caught up in wanting to teach my sons important life skills and instill core values that I miss my own opportunities to learn.

The problem is that I become so distracted with wanting to make sure my sons are a happy, healthy and successful, that I miss opportunities to just enjoy them. There are days I am so busy balancing my business and personal life, that my life resembles a sitcom without a laugh track.  That’s when I wish that conflicts could be resolved in 22 minutes and kids would learn a valuable lesson in less than 20 minutes.

Some nights, I am so tired, that I can’t even remember what happened during the day. It is on those nights, that I beat myself up and doubt my parenting skills.   I think about how my toddler has tantrums in public and my teen son has moody days and wonder am I really raising great men?

My sons are not a brand, they’re kids. Imperfect kids who help me to see life through their eyes. My sons just want to spend time with me. My little one just wants me to read bedtime stories, dance to Yo Gabba Gabba and play with his Thomas the Tank Engine trains.  My teen just wants me to listen and engage in a conversation when he’s ready to talk.  It’s the simple things that mean a lot to them. While looking for life changing moments, I may miss life affirming moments because of my preoccupation with being a “good mom” and raising “good kids”.

Being a parent means you learn just as much as you teach. Parenting is more than life lessons and teachable moments. Parenting is receiving hugs and kisses unexpectedly. Parenting is watching your child sleep and feeling so much love for them, it overwhelms you. Parenting is sticky fingers and fart jokes. Parenting is accepting that your child has their own personality. Parenting is listening without judgement.  Parenting is love in action.

As a parent, I’ve learned not to take people, time or opportunities for granted. My children remind me of this daily.

Image Credit: Provided by Author

Originally appeared at Raising Great Men

 

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About Marie Roker-Jones

Marie Roker-Jones is the senior editor of the Raising Boy section of The Good Men Project and the Founder of Raising Great Men™ which provides parenting programs and workshops for raising boys and navigating the challenges of military deployments. Marie also provides social media strategy consulting to small businesses that market to parents of boys and military families . Follow her on Twitter, LinkedIn, and G+

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