Came across this great post on the passion of parenting. Here's a clip:
I’ve been a single dad for 13 years. As with most single parents — and indeed with most parents — it hasn’t always been easy.
People sometimes say that parenting is the toughest job you’ll ever love. But I believe that parenting is sometimes so tough — and exhausting — that you don’t always remember to slow down enough to love it. Sometimes the love is registered in retrospect.
We jockey to give our children the best without giving them so much that they can’t appreciate what they have. We try to encourage them without coddling them. We lavish gifts upon them while simultaneously trying to nurture grit within them.
Parents walk a thin line between oppositional forces, never knowing if we are truly getting it right, judging ourselves and being judged by others.
And we are inundated by studies and books and advice: do this or that if you want your child to succeed and not spend his or her 20s on your sofa.
I try to tune most of it out. When I feel overwhelmed, I call my mother. She always seems to know what to say. I guess that’s why they call it “mother’s wit.”
When my three children were younger, and the strain of taking care of them seemed as though it would overwhelm me, my mother would tell me what an elderly babysitter once told her when she too felt overwhelmed: “Baby, one day they’ll be able to get themselves a cup of water.”
It was a simple way of saying that children grow up and become more self-reliant and eventually they set out on their own to chart their own course. You won’t always have to wait on them hand and foot.
She told me to remember that the more people a child has who truly loves him or her, the happier that child will be. So I work hard to maintain and expand their circles of love.
She taught me that parenting was a lot like giving a hug: It’s all about love and pressure and there is no one way to do it.
Click here to read the rest.