I Don’t Want to be a Parent Anymore!

It has been a few weeks full of emotion, expansion, challenge, and reflection.

We had an amazing Parenting for Social Change webinar with a group of parents committed to being with children from a place of mutual trust and respect.

I spoke at a local breakfast forum and met a community committed to learning and pushing their boundaries. I met a woman who inspired me to think of the work I am doing beyond its current form.

I finished training four beautiful, amazing college students who found their way into my heart in unexpected ways. Their willingness to challenge themselves to grow and learn is inspiring. They absolutely shine!

It has been emotional.

And transformative.

And, I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t want to be a PARENT anymore.

Parenting…being a parent…being in the role of parent…is defined in particular ways in our culture.

With the exception of the way we portray that moment of bliss when we see the new child in our life for the first time, parenting is depicted as being full of conflict, sacrifice, and loss of self, sprinkled with some moments of happiness and joy.

I am ready to give up being a PARENT in the ways our culture expects us to be parents.

I am ready to reject the expectations that require us to treat children as if they do not matter because they are smaller than us and don’t express themselves the way adults do.

I am ready to dump the idea that children must be tamed through control.

I am ready to be authentic, human, and humane with the children in my life, including, but not limited to those children I am responsible to.

I am ready to let down the fear and barriers that keep me from opening my heart to others who will change me, especially those younger than me.

I am ready to open myself up to me, to trust myself, and be with myself with gentleness and self-love.

I am ready to be a partner to the children in my life. To have them take my hand just I take theirs and be with them as human beings on this amazing journey of life together.

I am not leading them by pulling them along behind me. We walk side-by-side, sharing our hearts, sharing our fears, sharing our love, sharing our anger and frustration.

We’ve journeyed to places that I would have never expected. Places that I would never have thought I could go in my life.

I have opened myself up to them.

I have become vulnerable and willing to be changed by them in ways that make me a better person.

I am giving up being a PARENT so that I am able to become human and they are able to remain human. Not children, not belongings, but real human beings whose hearts, minds, and souls have the ability to transform my heart, mind, and soul.

I am glad to give up being a PARENT.

I am relieved to tear down the boundaries that I erected while trying to meet the expectations of a culture that believes parenting requires control, domination, manipulation, and diminishing the children in our lives.

I am ready to have them take my hand as I take theirs and be with them as human beings on this amazing journey of life together.

I am letting go of being a PARENT so that I can be with the children in my life right now.