I am a mother of two, a nanny and a daughter. I have a very good understanding of what children feel in certain situations, so I’m writing mostly according to my own experiences as a daughter first, as a mother and as a certified nanny, things I research about and my own reasoning of things and observations.
Since a very young age, around 8-10 years old, I already used to take care of some of my younger cousins, nothing serious and not for long hours, but I have a vague memory of playing and making them laugh lots, putting them to sleep, dressed them up in funny clothes, etc.
Then, I had my first child when I was 19, and even though I was still very innocent and immature, having him was like a huge door, full of opportunities, opened for me. He became my whole world, I wanted to do so much for him. Looking back I believed that, for me, it was exactly what I needed to wake up from fantasy and get off at reality.
Obviously, I don’t advise young girls to have children early, I had many difficulties which could have been avoided if I just had listened to my parents and even good friends. Let me explain briefly.
I made many silly mistakes in life.
I became very possessive, over protective, and even jealous, I wanted my baby just for myself. I always felt lonely so I saw my boy as my escape, I had this idea that I would never ever be alone again, now that I had him. I didn’t care about my partner anymore; my eyes, my care, my love was just for the baby. I totally started disregarding his father, we would argue a lot, for money mostly as we didn’t have much, until we separated when my son was 3 years old.
In order to support myself and him, I had to work, so, first, I started looking after other children together with mine and I also worked at McDonald’s at the weekends. Eventually, when he went to nursery, I started working full time as a Children’s party entertainer and many other roles, also at McD’s for many years.
Our house was often full of children, they would come to play with my boy, or we just used to throw parties. But that was just to cover up for the time I was supposed to spend with him, I was too busy working and studying. What I didn’t do before having him, I had to do it now so I missed out on many special moments, and that had a negative effect on his upbringing.
When we, parents, start thinking more about ourselves, our careers, work, friends… than in our children, somehow we end up neglecting them, neglecting their education and even their future. We are the ones who must set a good foundation in our children’s lives. They are our responsibility until they become adults and independent and if we are not there available for them, who will?
That’s why there is a right time for everything, parents should make sure they are settled and happy with themselves before thinking of bringing a child into this world. It’s a very selfish actitud. Many mothers feel the need of filling up a gap inside of them and that’s why they desperately want a child, but then they realise they don’t have time for themselves and start looking for other things to make them feel fulfilled while their children are either taken care by themselves or others.
Children are cute and fun to have them around but they need constant care, love, attention, and security, not only financial but mostly emotionally.
Throughout my son’s childhood, we were very unsettled, in thirteen years, we moved house 11 times, he kept going from dad’s to mum’s house every other week, changed 4 different schools and even, once, had to live with my mum back in Spain for 2 years. All because of my selfish actions of wanting to achieve something in life, even though, with the intention of giving him a better life. And the problem is not even the moving around and changes we have experienced, but the different kind of education and care he received from many people, there it is where the problem lies the most. Because a family can go through many problems and changes but as long as they stand together as a family, the child will learn one sort of principles and values that no one will ever take away from him. If a child learns from different homes and people, he will keep what he thinks is best and more convenient for him as an emotional and moulding creature. Can you imagine the confusion in a child’s mind growing up with different ideas and beliefs from different people?
Children need a strong foundation of care and education, they need an established routine and discipline so they can be more centered in life and firm with their decisions. Our intentions are to give our children the best and that is why we work hard and provide the best for them. It is quite rewarding to see your own children with a big smile on their little faces when receiving a new gift, however, a child doesn’t need much to be happy and well educated. Materially they need the basic things but if we give them love, emotional support, quality time, set rules and security, you can be sure, they will appreciate us much more than a room full of toys and entertainment.
They need their mother as much as they need their father. Unfortunately, my relationship with the fathers of my children did not work very well, the first one because we were too young and unsettle, we did not know how to deal with each other, and the second one also broke because we both carried into our marriage a huge luggage of issues from the past. Nevertheless, my kids had nothing to do with the problems I had with their dads so we always tried to keep in touch as much as possible. I do not understand women who keep their children away from their dads. It is cruel, they are damaging their children’s character. They grow up full of insecurities, anger and with a void inside that makes them search for fulfilment in the wrong places and, consequently, misbehave. I invite you to do a research on ‘Consequences of children brought up by a single parent’, for example.
I thank God for my life because I do not know where I would be if it was not for His word. A word that made me realise all the mistakes I made, and guided me in order to repair and change my ways of dealing with my kids. Who can know better than our Father? He has all the answers, a good parent just needs to follow His example.
Now, what it is done it is done, I can not go back and change it but I can certainly keep changing myself in order to still make a difference in their lives when possible.
I will tell you more about my experiences in future articles. For now, I just would like to call the attention of single parents or future parents:
Think about your kids before you think about yourself, they are your responsibility, they are the future of our society. Who are you bringing up? What kind of person are you forming? Are you able to be present throughout their childhood? What kind of example are you giving? Do you want them to be like you? If the answer is no, then change yourself first.
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