As I was driving my six-year old daughter to school one morning, I told her how anxious I was about another weekend without her. I’m a weekend orphan, as she spends weekends with her dad. With wisdom pulled out from I don’t know where, she calmly tells me that I shouldn’t be sad even if she’s away. “Mama, why don’t you go out with your friends? You’re happy when you see me playing with my friends, right? It’s the same… I’m happy when you see your friends.”
I couldn’t help but smile after she consoled me with those words. It was jaw-dropping to think how mature she seems for her age. There was nobody else there to witness that spectacle of wisdom, but I was beaming with pride at my little girl’s views on life. At the rate she’s going with her smarts, I’m pretty sure that learning the ropes of government contracting basics will be a breeze for her- if she decides to pursue a career in that direction.
She has just taught me a valuable lesson in parenting. When you give their kids everything, it gives them the impression that you don’t have a life of your own. It sends a message to them that you don’t value yourself, because you have put your needs at the bottom of your priorities list.
I have built my entire world around my daughter and have let go of my identity. I have given up so many things for her, but instead of her appreciating this, it makes her feel sad, knowing that this is slowly gnawing at my personal happiness and contentment. This self-sacrifice is doing me- and her- more harm than good, I realized.
So on this solo Saturday night, I’ll grab this opportunity to just enjoy and bury myself in some reality TV. Life isn’t only about Phineas and Ferb it seems…