Growing up as a homeschool family, my older 6 children were very close to one another, especially my 4 boys.
We hardly had fights at home and for the most part everyone played together.Our home was calm and quiet. And mostly one of harmony among the kids.
They shared the same circle of friends, most of whom became like family to us and many of whom still hold a very special place in my heart.
We had two rules …. The first anyone coming in our home had to get on with everyone and secondly share everything.
Then I got divorced.
Two of my boys chose to stay with their dad in Johannesburg, my eldest daughter was living alone in Durban and the other 3 kids stayed with me.
That was in 2012 …7 very long years ago.7 years in which they grew apart, especially my boys, turned ugly to each other, picked sides against each other and fought to find an identity separate from their siblings.
My mother heart was breaking.
I had raised loyal, loving children who were grounded in family first thinking so how could they be so selfish and intolerant of each other?
But life has a way of giving us the path we need to grow and learn and over the years, I’ve watched as each one of the boys have chosen a path unique to them. Some have fumbled and fallen as the world has taught them a few rules. Some have acted out and been rebellious.
And whilst I did not always like their behaviour I tried to love them unconditionally through these phases.
It was a lonely place for me as a single mother. How do you admit your child may not be ok? How do you acknowledge you’ve failed? Which mom won’t judge you if you speak out? Where do you unpack the guilt as your child finds their feet through a roller coaster of their own making ?
But as things do, everything passes and the last few years I’ve seen my adult children start to grow closer. To understand yet again the idea that family is first.
I’ve seen them bond over tiny things, stand up for each other and be there for one another.
I’ve seen them spend more time together and for the first time in a long time my mom heart is truly happy.
My grandmother always said our children may deviate from our teachings but if their roots are strong they will eventually remember the truth.
She was not wrong. We spend many hours teaching our children from little , the character traits we want them to possess. Through our example they develop their moral compass, their empathy and their sense of family loyalty.
So, long before our children become teens or young adults their roots have been formed…but, with puberty also comes the need to spread their wings.
As parents we need to give our children those wings to fly. We also need to be there to catch them should those wings fail.
These two things can be the hardest parts of parenting.
There are many mom’s out there, ashamed to admit they feel they have failed. They may have a child who is acting out or exhibiting rebellious behaviour. They may be dealing with children who no longer respect them …to you , the parent who is struggling to see the beautiful child you raised…..Don’t give up.
Continue to love them through this phase.
It will pass….your roots are strong.
This blog was first published on http://www.funmammasa.wordpress.com in 2017