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How Parents Grow - Parenting & Isolation

July 26, 2018

I remember feeling isolated. Even though I had four kids and was never alone, I often felt apart from other adults, but mostly from myself.

If I'm honest.

The more I made my life about my kids the more isolated I felt.

It's pretty simple now to understand, but back then, it felt almost impossible to comprehend because I believed being a parent was my whole identity.

It felt like I had to choose and, of course, I chose my kids. Because I loved them more than I loved myself.

Later I would understand, I was hiding behind my "new" identity of "parent" and postponing the hard work of discovering me. It's easy to do when you're a young parent.

Choosing my kids over me seemed natural and right.

In my mind, personal growth and parenting were not compatible. It took a while to figure out how to do both, but eventually, I did.

What became clear from the feeling that isolation spawned in me was that I had to make my needs a little more important than my kid's needs to be happy.

It came down to answering this question -

"Am I willing to commit to me?"

At the time, honestly, maybe not.

"If it means being a better parent?"

Well, yes. I am, then. I'll do anything for my kids.

Well then. That's good enough motivation. Let's get going.

I stopped feeling isolated and picked up a few truths along the way.

1. Children are not here to save us, define us or meet our needs.
2. We must keep moving, dealing, growing, healing.
3. Being a parent is part of who you are, but not all of who you are.

And it's ok to want more.




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