Monday, August 20, 2012

What Have You Done to Make You Feel Proud?






Hello Folks, 

So my title is my own question to myself. I have been feeling melancholy since both my kids have started school. They started last week on Tuesday and I found myself unsure of what to do with myself. It is the first time I have been alone in 3 years. Yes, that's right! 3 years ago is when I quit my career in banking and became a full time stay at home dad to my two kids. My partner, Sean, graciously agreed to allow me the opportunity to be a stay at home dad. This is something that I dreamed of since he and I had our first conversation about having kids. I feel so blessed and lucky to be able to be a consistent prescence in our kids' lives. What an honor and a privilege. 

This has brought me to a new topic or feeling that has been perplexing me. It all came to a head this Saturday while watching a movie together as a family. It touched on parental raising and your children going after their dreams. So for me, I took from the movie the idea of, 'Who is going to tell you they are proud of you?' or 'What makes you proud of your kids?.'

For me, the only person that is going to tell you they are proud of you is yourself. It starts with you, internally and accepting your flaws and your strengths. You can not wait for your parents, friends or even your partner to do so. It starts with you! I had to realize that now and I have done so in the past but now that I have been a parent for 3 years now I know that it also carries over into your parenting. 
Now don't misunderstand me, my partner praises my parenting our children often. However, he knows how to reel me into reality and put me in check when I need it. Last night was an example of that. 

I didn't ever get that from my parents that they were proud of me. My mother was a heavy alcoholic and drug addict. So I wasn't raised by her and I didn't ever expect much from her. The only thing I did get was medical issues growing up and slow maturation. My father took me from that situation and I was fortunate to be raised by him, my aunt(his sister) and my grandmother(his mother). The two people who did right by me were my aunt and grandmother. My father treated me like pooh. There was physical and psychological/verbal abuse from him. He didn't like anything I did and it didn't matter that I tried to do things he liked to please him. I felt it never was good enough. He would torment me before I went to a colorguard show or football game. He would make me cry for wearing my Songleader(cheer group that danced only) uniform when I would leave the house. 

I felt like I was worthless and that I didn't make him proud. I graduated high school and was headed off to college. Did my father come to my high school graduation? NO! I was crushed but I didn't let him see that. I didn't want to give him the satisfaction. Now I was kicked out of living with my father when I told him I was gay. He disowned me and I don't exist to him. It is still that way to this day, sort of. I don't look to my parents for any approval. I don't even seek it from the few family members in my life now. 

I am proud of how I have raised my two kids to be independent self loving kids. My son has no problem walking down to the 2nd grade play yard on his own while I take my daughter to the kindergarten playground. My daughter has no separation anxiety when I leave her to check on my son. Yes, they are at the same elementary school and that has made for an easier schedule for me now. I still have a lot of involvement in their lives. So that is what my kids do to make me proud of them and I am sure they aren't aware of that but I tell them that constantly. I love them and I love my partner and I love my life. I tell myself that I am proud of me! I am and I feel it and I glow more now because I have put that out there. 

So if any one feels in any way like I have or did, just tell yourself ....You are proud of you! It comes from within and starts with you! 

Kindly, 
Joël 

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