Oh for a manual on how to be a parent. A real live manual that applied directly to your child, not something general, but one written just for them. As I reflect and look back at my 24 years of parenting I cringe with many many many memories of bad decisions and wrong actions.
Being a mum was number one on my life to-do-list. It didn’t happen easily. Nothing seemed to happen for months and months and months, then two miscarriages, more months of nothing, then finally pregnant for a third time but it wasn’t looking good. Months in bed, months being ill and a few different hospitalisations. Finally on May 6, 1991 a tiny little girl was born. Ten days early. I was a mum.
Then one became two and two became three; in five years this lucky woman was the mum of three wonderful children. Brown-eyed daughter #1, Blondie daughter #1 and son #1 (they are all number ones to me).
As an unsporty type it just so happens that my three are unsporty too. Many a discussion was had with fit, muscly, tracksuit-clad sports teachers about why my brood didn’t participate in sport. It wasn’t that they weren’t allowed, I would’ve taken them; they just weren’t interested. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree it would seem.
But sport teaches discipline, sport teaches team work, sport teaches commitment.
Really? So does working in a Girl Guide or Scout Patrol. So does learning to play an instrument and learning to be a ballet dancer. So does playing in an orchestra and so does taking a role in a musical.
Those poor sport teachers – they were no match for my unsporty arguments.
I’m not sure if my approach was the right one but it’s too late now. Those children of mine have all grown up and flown the nest. One is about to wake up on a Saturday morning and prepare to be a Bride. That is my little runner girl.
This is proving to be a huge time of reflection for me. With all the twists and turns of my life, dark days and sunny, no matter how I assess the quality of my parenting one thing is for sure.
My three children are happy.
They know how to be disciplined, committed and how to work in a team. They are active. They are living their goals. They are all working and earning their own incomes. They do things that they love to do. They have friends. They love their mum.
Many many many bad decisions, yes. Regrets and wishes that I had done things better (whatever better may have been, I do not know and will never know).
But those babies of mine have turned out just fine. I think in amongst all the bad I must’ve got a few things right. And you never know, one day they too may discover for themselves the unbridled joy of running just like their unsporty mum has.
Happy running 🙂