When asked how the workshop went last weekend, “It was amazing,” I said.
It was amazing not because parents now would have angelic little children await when they get home.
It was amazing not because parents now have the instructions to fix and change their children or their parenting styles–the workshop did not, and will never intend to fix or change people, or families.
It was amazing to see people in the workshop experience being free, peaceful, and at ease about being parents.
It was amazing because I did not have to have the answers to what parents are dealing with. Through generous and authentic sharing, they saw answers for themselves, and realized the upset, frustration, worries, and overwhelmed they have been experiencing from time to time as parents is nothing more than the desire of wanting their children to turn out. Somehow that desire turned into unfulfilled expectation. Love and joy of parenting had gone out of the window.
A friend of ours, Leah Siegel, mother of three young children, passed away last Monday due to breast cancer. The journey of fighting the illness was “haunted by the idea that her children would grow up without any memory of her.” As I read the tribute Sunday morning, tears streamed down on my face. Leah said, “It breaks my heart that they may not get to know me… That’s half the reason I keep fighting, damn it. I’m going to stay alive long enough for them to have some kind of memory of me.” My heart ached for what Leah had to go through–the physical pain and emotional turmoil–all of it for loving her children. I wondered…
Where did the burden and fear of not having to do an impeccable job in protecting and raising our children come from? We expect we SHOULD provide our children a perfect life, a life without set backs and tragedies, because one mistake may ruin them.
Maybe we have assumed too much as parents–too much responsibility, too much seriousness, too much burden. Maybe we have assumed too much about ourselves and our children. Maybe as a society, we don’t even know what a parent is, not to mention what a parent’s job is.
Perhaps it’s time to unburden yourself. Allow yourself to put those nagging questions “Have I done my job?” “Would my children be OK/turn out without me?” to rest, and never have to rustle with them any more. Peace and freedom is just a conversation away. Join us in the next Familying Workshop in which you regain the experience of joy and wonder of being parents.