Parenting, Part 3

Enjoy yourselves!  Being a parent is a great thing. When you can embrace all that you are as a parent, your child flourishes beyond measure.

I remember when my daughter was a toddler and I forgot pampers at least three times. I forgot snacks, drinks and activities countless times. I suffered immensely each time. No one could console me because of. I beat myself up, feeling insufficient to be parent of a world citizen. When I was carrying my daughter, I declared that she would be a world citizen. In those moments where I felt incompetent, I questioned that. The years of this self discovering journey called parenting culminated in an epiphany that had me see that I was a great mom just as I was. 

Through the beautiful way that I loved my child, the extremes I would go to to ensure her access to making a difference in the world, the values I devoutly gave her, the mistakes I have made with caretakers, the times I left town for work and questioned whether or not I should have, the parties I encouraged her to attend to ‘get out there’, the times I have trained her to ‘be bored’, and many the other situations I questioned myself in, they are all a part of me as a parent. 

I did what I did and my child is who she is. Life will deal you a mixed hand every moment of every day. How you play the hand and being okay with choosing to stay, take a hit or fold is up to you. Our risks as parents are more challenging than any card game will ever be. Forgive yourselves for what you did not intend to have happen, cherish and acknowledge yourselves for all of the victories you have had. Enjoy your life and enjoy your relationships with your children. You are the amazing designer. And what a masterpiece you’ve made! Keep creating it.

Andrea Swinton
Parenting, Part 2

Being a parent is not easy. Here are a few tips to making parenting easier.

  1. Look at your child or a child. Find three things that you CAN love about them. I am intentional about the word ‘can’. These three things may be things you don’t see love in them but when you look closer and think about it, it may bring a smile to your face. The smile may come from the fact that it’s something about ‘them’ not you, that’s sweet or good. We sometimes look at children through our personal wants or ideals.

  2. See and know that loving them is distinct from loving ourselves. We want to see their beauty distinct from how we want to see our own. They are not us. Love them for them and who they are. Loving who we want them to be is only looking for a reflection of us to love.

  3. You are not always right. When and if (intentionally put) you see that you are not right, acknowledge it to them. Seeing our children as humanly as we see ourselves go a long way for the relationship.

Enjoy parenting!!

Andrea Swinton

I  am a mother of a 19-year-old college sophomore as of fall 2019. My life is and always has been about opening new routes for people who may not see success on their current pathways. Routes may be defined as ideas or innovations. Usually, when situations look overwhelming or are at a standstill new pathways seem immutably closed.

I don’t have everything all figured out, although sometimes people think I do and I sometimes act as though I do. What I have figured out,  practiced and mastered is a way to respond powerfully to situations. My goal is to create new pathways that open doors to a future in which all parents can be empowered.

I consider a parent to be anyone who pours knowledge, love and care into a young person. If you desire to empower a child's conversations, behaviors and/or actions you are parenting them in some way.

Andrea Swinton