Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life - Psalm23:6
This post is dedicated to my 3 children. Ashley 21, Damian 19 and Keisha 18. All the goodness through the years of trials and tribulations, especially as a single mom. Things I learnt through parenting my kids through the years 🙏🏼
There will be no current photos of them in this post to respect their identities.
🗻 Valley High Valley Low 🗻
Before you read the following, just remember that no matter how deep or dark the valley, know that no valley lasts forever.
God's goodness 🌞 is often forged through pain and valleys and dark nights. 🌙...Jesus went through the darkness to bring us to the goodness of salvation. And if I am going to follow Christ ... through the valley I will go, trusting HIM. - Grace looks amazing on you by Amy Seiffert
✨ Before my first born arrived and after, I had read almost every book on raising a child, what to do and so forth. In fact, for all three of them, I'd say they were exposed to more unconventional educational methods, seeing that their mother was an educator herself. This was especially so for the first born and second. I think by the time the third one arrived, it was pretty much less sanitising stuff and instead wiping them and letting her continue with play instead. (because cannot be bothered anymore lol)
✨ Unknownst to them, much care and thought had been put in place to ensure they florished in the school system and so on. Take Damian for example. He had to go for weekly speech therapy lessons when he was young. Which turned out to be excellent Mother-son bonding moments. His reward for doing well during the lesson was to buy one of those coin slot pokeyball things. The type where you don't really know what you get inside. Keisha too. Discovered to be dyslexic in Primary One, she not only had to be assessed at P1, but at P6, before her Sec 4 exams too. All so she could be granted the extra time that she so needed for her exams. Think in terms not only of money spent, but of the psychological framing put in place (I always told her she was helping the assessor, so that she would not think there is something wrong with her)
✨ Number one too. She would argue that I spend more time on her brother and sister but it is not true. She's always been a fighter and I knew that she could do many things if she set her mind and heart to it. For her? Early exposure to many experiences and kids older than her and got the main attention of both sides of the family because she was the first one! Then there are the countless violin lessons, concerts, being a parent volunteer at those events etc. Good memories. Although I'm not sure how she feels about the violin now.
Yeah. Single parenting in those days was so hard. Although me being a Mindset educator did help me think positive most of the time.Still, there were days where I didn't know how to survive. Think - not only emotionally, mentally but financially too. So many bills to pay, not enough time!
I remember clearly after an outing where they had misbehaved. When we got home, I got them to line up in 1 row at the entrance of my flat and I took the hanger and caned them one after the other.😤 I also remember throwing away my son's lamb lamb and frog frog (yes his name for his animals all double up lol) Why? Cos never do tuition homework. I was furious. Of course later I regretted but no way of retrieving the animals since they already went down the rubbish chute hahaha.
Proof above 👆🏼 that I used to hold family sessions in hopes of better communication and such back in the day... In note 1, me prepping them mentally for outing with the ex. Oops. I called my children monsters! In note 2 how mama (my mom) and mommy have nothing written next to our names hahaha! We are already responsible! HAHAHA! 🤣
So. Lots of books and advise on how to parent up till teens. How about as they reach adulthood? I'd say adult parenting is tough. There are virtually no books on how to parent your adult child. I guess because maybe by 17 or 18, you assume they have embodied your value system and are ready to go out into the world. Wrong! I think this period is so so crucial. How will they make decisions as an adult that are based on wisdom and discernment?
How about adult parenting from hospital post AML diagnosis? 😕
I spend more time in hospital than at home. Communicating via whatsapp is not ideal. They have busy schedules and we don't often video call. It has never been our go to strategy.
Pray and reflect...
I also found a book on Praying for your adult children by Stormie Omartian. This book expanded my vocabulary on how I wanted to address each child, what I wished for and prayed for them and much more. As I did that, my attitude changed from inspector-mom mode to a softening of approach...taking the right time to approach them and understanding it takes time. Also not to compare them to anyone. Each of them is unique. I do not need to measure against conventional societal standards but theirs and mine.
So why do I go on home leave when my doctor allows me to, sometimes 2 days in a row? Even though I need to do ART when I return? Even though sometimes going on home leave in itself is tiring...
If they come see me in hospital, I am the patient. I'm still not good at showing pain to my kids. I am always the strong one, always there for them..(another topic for another blog) Vulnerability is not one of my strong suits!
Anyway, when I go home, it allows me to be their mother again. Even if sometimes there isn't much talking invoived, but we know we are in the same space and sometimes that is enough. As I mentioned to my sis in law after the transplant. I did not need to go anywhere for the most important people were already with me - at home. This is not a concept that all my friends understand. Some cannot fathom how I am STUCK at home.
If anything, AML has taught me that homelife is PRECIOUS ❤️ and something to be treasured. And remember...no valley lasts forever. I will get past this incredibly tough season of my life because I have the power of God and his protection going into it. The same goes for my kids. We all go through phases and when we look back...we wonder how we made it through. So true! ❤️
I close with a pic of me and my 3 many many Christmases ago...awwww where did the time go? ❤️ 👇🏼