Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother, or Friend?

I think this is a question every one of us must face at some point. Are we more a friend or are we more a mother to our children? Should this even be questioned?

Having been a single mother, I think my experience is not exclusive, in that, at one point or another my children became more like friends than like children.

Not all of us struggle with this issue, certainly some find no issue in being their children's friends. For me it has been different.

When I was a single parent I tended to share more with my children, personal things; finances, worries and the responsibilities of our household. I know there will be some of you out there, shaking your head, saying this was mighty unfair to them. To us, at the time, it was the way it was, the way it had to be in order for us to get through the day-to-day.

Things have changed. I now have a wonderful, supportive partner, and the kids are happy, more carefree. Not saying that they weren't happy before, we all were very happy, we just had a much different life, a different dynamic.

I wonder however, how those days shaped who they are today. I have seen my older child struggle to find her place as a child, rather than an equal, or a friend. I do consider myself to be somewhat a friend to my children, but first and foremost for me, I must be a parent.

I don't want my children to depend on me as a friend. I feel strongly that they must find that in their peers, outside of their own families. However, I will always want them to be able to come to me as someone they love and trust.

Having been in the position where your children become surrogate partners (for lack of a better description), it is hard to say whether or not this relationship has been a detriment to them. I worry, I will always worry, that each choice I make in regards to my children will somehow cause them unforeseen damage. I guess this is the burden of all parents.

My only hope is, that I have given them enough strength and confidence to find their own way in this world.

1 comment:

edies' world said...

I like this post, I agree with you..parent first ,friend later. There has to be a fine line between being a parent and a friend.. I hope I have achieved this with my children. Great post!