My Children Raised by Different Women, Different Phases of Me
Have you ever thought to yourself, ‘If I knew then what I know now’? And then is your next thought, ‘coulda, woulda, shoulda did’? If you give me the chance I can coulda, woulda, shoulda all day long. I do this often when I look at my three and think about their purpose in life and how my parenting will hopefully contribute to them getting there. I think of my parenting in phases, two to be exact. My parenting phases have a lot to do with where I was in my life when my children ‘met me’. In my first phase I was a single mama who bobbled around notions of being a Rastafarian and even dipped my toe in the world of 5 percenters – for a half a second. When I had my first child I foolishly believed that love was all that I needed to keep her alive (laughing out loud at me now would be perfectly understandable). I had a high school diploma and worked until six, sometimes seven o’clock at night. There were many times she had to be picked up by my parents if I was working late or had to go to school in the evening. Also, when I had my oldest I had no idea an academic achievement gap existed. My oldest has seen me transition to the second phase of my life as I became someone’s wife and switched career gears. My two youngest met me in phase two of my life. They only know a two-parent home. They only know me as someone’s wife and mama . By the time I had my third child I was working part time and back in graduate school. With my two youngest I have gotten off most days by 3:00 pm. And when they entered school I was pretty much already in the academic achievement gap fight. There are parts of me that wish that before I had my children I was a married mother, with a stable career, and a designated seat on the third pew every Sunday. But I wasn’t. I’ve been many different women over the years, with hairstyles to prove it. Maybe being raised by different phases of me isn’t all bad. Maybe my oldest will push herself to work hard because she did see me work and go back to college? Then again perhaps she will resent me for the times she spent in aftercare until six o’clock. Perhaps my two youngest will resent the fact that I had to divide my time with them to build my career? Who knows? In the end I believe that everything does happen for a reason. And that despite being parented by the different phases of me my three will get where they need to be. Still, for their sake, it sure would be nice to have knowledge of then and now… at the same time.
Have your children seen different phases of you?