When I was pregnant with my son I could not imagine my precious baby ever growing up. I did not consider one day he would be a man. Even along the years from baby to toddler to teen, I still did not acknowledge some day he would be a ‘man.’
It occurred to me that, though I consciously did not consider it at the time, I was growing a ‘man’ all along. Every subtle nuance, every teaching moment, and each time I role modeled how to love; I was indeed training him up to be a man.
It makes me wonder (looking back) what I should have, could have, or would have done differently if I thought about it along the way.
Like most moms, I know there are things I could have done differently. I know I made mistakes at times and failed him. But on the other hand, I also showed him much love and deep caring.
I see myself and his dad in him; when he speaks, his gestures, and even some of his values. And then there is the glorious part that is simply him being him, a new and wondrous creature gracing our world, which is completely unique.
I naively thought I could ‘make’ all three of my children be the perfect beings that I imagined. I thought I could guard them from any and all sorts of pain. I figured of course they would think, do, and act as I do (only the good parts of me!). That’s a nice sentiment but impossible!
Our life is not our children’s lives. We may create them in the basic sense of giving them life, and we definitely influence them, but they become who THEY are because of their own thoughts and experiences.
I want my son to be a wonderful, loving, respectful, and kind man. I watch him as he interacts with others. I see his heart. He is everything I could have hoped for.
So many people along the way commented on how ‘hard’ boys are to raise; they are wild and out of control and so on. Not my son. He has been such a blessing of peace and joy and never was high maintenance.
I cannot take all the credit. It’s never just about a mom raising kids. It’s not about being truly alone, even though many of us are single moms. It’s also about the teachers, the male figures of whatever sort, the other siblings, and the family. That indeed is the village it takes to raise a young boy into a good man.
I had two daughters prior to my son. They were what many moms call the ‘training’ period of motherhood. I made many mistakes. I learned to be a mom while being a mom, if that makes sense. I pretty much grew up alongside my youngest as she came into my life at the young age of 19.
My son undoubtedly got the better parts of me. I was more experienced. I was less a crazy, neurotic mommy. Though he may disagree! (My daughters, who are older than him, will verify he has been the ‘golden child’ and spoiled unlike them!) And, perhaps, this is another part of why he is evolving into being a good man.
All I know for sure after years and years of mommyhood is I gave my all to each of my kids. I possibly put more effort into my son because of various circumstances, but mostly because I wanted (perhaps needed for my own healing?) him to evolve into being a good man. It is a big driver with many moms to show the world your son can be a better man than any man you have ever known.
For me and many moms, it was important to infuse the needed care and love into your son, so there is no possibility of him being cruel or unloving; especially to his future wife and children. I (we- our village) raised a good boy who in turn has become a great young man.
“We should fill the world with good men who can be great at whatever role they choose… not for us, but for them.” – Angela Davis Schaefers, mom to Sean.
Angela Schaefers is a speaker, writer and producer and host of Your Story Matters show. She speaks as keynote for organizations and at events and speaks to groups to inspire them. She is a TEDx speaker – Your Story Matters Creating Connection & Collaboration Through Sharing Your Story. Angela is author of Your Story Matters You Matter, A guide to healing, learning from and sharing your story. She has also co-authored several books, writes for online publications and blogs. She has previously counseled families, couples, children and individuals, and has provided career and personal development coaching. She has worked with and consulted with various non-profit organizations, government entities and the corporate sector. Contact – Website – Books
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