I was having a conversation with my sister in law the other day and we were talking about parents who are facilitators versus participators.
A facilitator creates moments, makes thing happen, helps opportunities happen. A participator gets down on the floor and plays, gets involved and helps.
As a mom I have many, many doubts about myself. I have high hopes and dreams for my children, but often wonder if I am the kind of parent I want to be. I feel like a facilitator. I make things happen and I look good on paper, but I’m not often living the moment with my children. I have a lot of guilt over this.
My daughter is very demanding. She is the type that always wants more, always wants attention. I feel like I walk a line between truly being in the moment with her and letting her play on her own while I do things. She is (almost) five and does play in her room, look at books, play with friends, etc. The whole day will go by and I will lay in bed and think, “Did I sit down with her and talk, really talk with her? Did I play in her room or read her a book? Did I do enough? Does she know how much she means to me, how her being her makes me happy?
It’s funny how life starts moving after your babies get a little older and preschool starts and friends become more and more important. You find yourself driving to and from school, the Y, different events. The day becomes minutes between drop offs and pick ups and rushed showers and meals. I wonder, am I really connecting with my children? Will they look back and think that I was a good mother? That I took the time to connect with them on a daily basis?
I want them to know that they are the most important job I will ever have. I work hard to be a good mother. I read tons of parenting books, try to expose them to a wide variety of experiences and still, still I go to bed almost every night and wonder if I did enough.
My goal is to connect with my children more. Even if it is for a small amount of time each day I want them to know that I value what they have to say, who they are and what they are doing. I want to be a participator.