When I became a mom, I got lots of advice on how to love my child. But not until a few years ago did someone actually point out that loving a child means wanting what’s best for them long-term.
When my four daughters were young, long-term didn’t resonate with me. Back then it was about survival, meeting daily needs and keeping my head above water.
Now that my kids are maturing, however, the fog is lifting. I’m no longer a pledge of parenting, but rather an indoctrinated member. The perk of this stage is that my kids want to spend time with me. We have real conversations that reveal their beautiful personalities. With everyone sleeping through the night, I’m sleeping better, too. I can think coherently and be more intentional in how I raise them.
These days, I put more thought into long-term. I think about the kind of adults I hope my children will be and work backward to ask, “What can I do today to foster that?” Being mindful of their future has changed my parenting paradigm, because what makes my children happy at age 10 or 15 is somewhat different from what will make them happy at age 25, 30, 40 and beyond.