How am I doing?
Last week I had the privilege of hearing actor John C. McGinley speak at a luncheon benefiting The Center, an organization near and dear to my heart. John is a father of 3 remarkable children, and if you ever get the opportunity to hear him speak, I highly recommend you do so.
John spoke eloquently and entertainingly about many things regarding raising a family. We all laughed and I suspect cried a little. One thing in particular he said has stuck with me. John suggested that we parents take a moment from time to time to sit down with our kids individually, and ask them this question: “How am I doing as a parent?” Wow! We all get evaluation from our bosses at work - that what’s working what’s not working conversation, but how many of us take the time to do that with our kids? I never have, but the moment I heard him say it, I knew I would.
I know I am a great mom, honestly I do. Just a fact. Many people have sought me out for parenting advice over my 22 years of motherhood. My own boys are a living testimony of my maternal abilities. I did not do it alone, and yes it does take a village. I am not a perfect parent. Truth be told I think the notion of being a perfect parent automatically negates good parenting, but I digress. Perhaps nothing lets me know how I am doing as a mom more than when my youngest son, 17, suggests his friends come to me when they are struggling, something that has happened more than once or twice. But truth be told, I have never flat out asked the question, ‘how am I doing as a mom’, until now.
I have already asked the oldest of the boys, and his answer was quick, maybe too quick. “You’re a great mom.” To which I replied, “Yes but even a great mom has room for improvement. Something I can do more or less of maybe?” “Hmmmmmmmm I’ll think on it.” Was his reply. And here is the thing, there was magic just in the asking. Another opportunity for me to say in a new way, “Hey you are important to me, and our relationship is important to me.” He may be almost 22, but I am still the mom and he is still my baby boy, burly beard and all.
Love in motherhood,
How am I doing?