Some days I’m a frazzled mess. I share more similarities with the street cat that frequents our garden space than a human being. Maybe it’s because the five people I spend the most time with are my kids, husband, that annoying cat and a cricket.
Parenting Is Tough
Sometimes it’s challenging to spend all your time with consuming little beings. All of the “I want, I need” all day and all night is exhausting. Does this mean I should seek out better people so that I can become an average of 5 great people instead of letting the little ones drag me down? Assuming that great people always lift you up, don’t make you angry, tired or discouraged is nonsense.
Maybe deciding carefully who you spend your time with isn’t such a simple task of picking people who are better, smarter or different than you, as this article suggests. Maybe those who are best for helping us grow are actually right beside us, yanking on our sleeve.
Being A Parent Helps Us Grow
I believe that I am a better person today (although frazzled) than I was before I got married. And so much of that is because we became parents to these two demanding, but loving human beings.
Parenting teaches you so many things that nothing else in the journey of life can. Your boundaries stretch and break. Your heart grows to reach the size of the universe itself. You become unselfish and generous (if giving your child the last bite of a chocolate bar to your child isn’t an act of selfless love, I don’t know what is). Although many times I feel impatient, I’m certain that my pre-parent self was even less patient. I just have more opportunities to practice my patience now than before.
Kids show an enthusiasm for life that few grown-ups can match. Their unconditional love and ability to live outside the rules of society’s prejudices is a testament to the innate goodness of humans.
As a teacher, I often felt that I learned and gained so much from spending time with the kids. Their fresh perspective and curiosity are a great lesson for any adult.
Now, this doesn’t mean that parents shouldn’t make time for pursuing hobbies, projects, friendships and social interaction outside of the family. On the contrary, I’m a big fan of “me-time”. Taking time each week to renew and refresh ourselves is vital to ensuring that we have energy to offer our children.
But, maybe we as parents come to take our children for granted. We forget to appreciate what they have to offer us. Rather, we moan and groan over all of the energy they require.
So, perhaps Mr. Jim Rohn is right. Maybe we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. I’m glad that the five people I spend the most time with include my rock of a husband and my 2 spunky kids.