Parenthood changes an individual in a myriad of ways. For some and for the most part, the changes are positive. We become better persons. We grow up. For others, the responsibilities of parenthood and family skews their world in ways that they find hard to cope with or accept. It is not the same for everyone.
I’d like to think that parenthood, and motherhood per se, have changed me in very positive ways. I have literally put another human being’s life and welfare before my own. Through all the effort it takes to love and nurture a child, if I were younger and I had the means, I’d have wanted to have more. But I have been blessed a hundred-fold with the only one I have. I could not ask for more.
Just when a personal crisis came into my life some months back and anger and pain was gripping my heart, I received one of the best words of advice from a former boss who, even when I was working under her, had always been like a mom to me. I was in a state of confusion and I was plotting and desperate to react and retaliate. My options ranged from insanely hilarious pranks to devious and evil plots. I was ready to go on a crazy rampage — and I just wanted to get even. I laughed and cried through it as I poured my heart out. She calmly looked at me and told me to consider my options carefully, but that in the end, I should measure the wisdom of my actions by the simple test of whether or not I would be able to look my son in the eye if it comes to the point that he asks, “Mama, why did you do it?”
That put most of my evil scheming to rest — mostly. And to this day, when I look at the things I want do or ought to do, I ask myself if I can stand my son’s judgment after all is said and done. I try to see the world through his perspective and hope that even if the world should belittle me or declare me an outcast, that I would be able to stand proud in front of my son. How would I stand in his eyes?
It’s a simple standard to live by but not always easiest. We all come to a point in our lives where we say we don’t care what other people say, or what anyone thinks. Yet at the end of the day, there are certain people’s opinion who matter to us even when we declare war on the whole world. And when anger or even when common sense tells us to throw all care and caution out the window, it helps to have an anchor to tether my senses to and I’m forced to see the thing I want to do from his perspective.
I try. And I will keep trying because I want to be able to look him in the eye to the day I die. For now it keeps me in check.. And I hope it will continue to help me steer clear of things I might end up regretting later on.