I believe that we all have a purpose to fulfill. We all have something that we are intended to do, but that we are not predestined to fulfill that purpose. We must work in order to fulfill our purpose. It is possible that we will choose not to pursue this purpose…that we will veer instead towards things that are more comfortable and less work. It is possible that even if we work, we may not succeed at whatever it is that we were purposed to do. But this should not be a cause to give up. The mere working towards something, specifically doing your best and giving everything you have to give, is a success in its own right.
I wanted you to have this in mind when I told you what I know is my single most important job as a parent. It is not necessarily protecting them and it is not even necessarily teaching them. My job is to prepare them. Yes, I have my own purposes. One of my purposes is to be a parent. I honestly don’t know exactly what my others are, but I have made a promise to myself that I will do my best at the things I do so that I can fulfill every purpose I am intended to. But within my purpose to be a parent, I have a purpose to prepare my children for their purposes.
What does this entail? I must protect them until they learn to protect themselves. But I must also teach them to protect themselves, and to allow me to protect them. I must allow them to hurt themselves so that they will learn what it is like to be hurt and how to recover from that injury, whether physical or emotional. I must give them boundaries and rules in order to guide them until they learn to be self-dependent. But I must teach them to be self-dependent and, at the same time, to allow me to guide them. I must let them set some of their own boundaries and rules in order to learn to be self-dependent. I must teach them to love being taught and to love learning from others and to be open to learning from others. Yet I must also teach them to teach themselves, so that they will not be reliant upon others. I must encourage them to learn things that I do not know and to learn to teach me and each other, for that is how they learn to teach others. I must teach them to be prepared by showing them preparedness by example and by preparing things for them. I must also push them to begin to be prepared on their own so that they will not expect others to be prepared for them.
Parenting requires being strong and sure in your decisions while being humble and open to learning new things. Parenting is nearly contradictory, and almost paradoxical. Yet, it simply requires a balance of these things. As we strive for this balance, we are preparing our children for whatever awaits them in their lives. We can only hope that we are doing our job quickly and thoroughly enough, for their purposes in life may be many and widely varied and may begin early.
Parenting, though ultimately intimidating, especially with this revelation, is the greatest joy in my life. Though I hope that my work in previous jobs and in my future career has and will touch people and help to
bring great joy and positivity to their lives, none of that is as amazing and fulfilling as the purpose I am carrying out in this stage of my life.
How do you view your role as a parent? Does my explanation speak to you, or you have different viewpoint? I want to hear from you!