I believe as humans its in our nature to hold on to as much as we can. We hoard things, emotions, and people into our little worlds to fulfill us. When we have to let there is a plethora of emotions and many are just selfish.
I talk about this because yesterday I watched my youngest child take an oath to serve our country as an Army soldier. Before this I had been preparing as much as I could to grasp that my little baby was leaving home, leaving the nest. In preparation, I made a mental list of all the great moments we shared and how I had helped to mold this sweet loving baby into a passionate young man. I made a mental note on how this is a wonderful step and I am NOT loosing my baby but gaining a proud young man.
Parenting is like a recipe for cake, you have to make sure you measure all the ingredients just right and have the proper pans, best oven settings to get the best cake possible. As a parent, nothing is ever perfect therefore the recipe will need tweaking to get the best outcomes! The ingredients in life are forever changing and the environment may not be what we wanted or planned…so how do we know if we were successful?
I gauge my success as a parent on this… My son graduated school, is respectful (even if he gives me a hard time a lot). He has chosen and started a career and moved forward on a positive path in life and never hesitated. To me, this is success. My life for him was not always perfect nor easy… But it was always the best I could give him in any one moment at that moment.
No matter what path our children take, whether it is the one you want or not – if it is a positive one and they are happy… you were successful. Success of a parent may not be seen right away, but it is there.