With the impending debut of my new deck—Tarot for Kids—my mind has been swirling with memories about babies, kids, teens, and the journey of parenting.
My two kids are all grown up now. My son and daughter are both smart, sensible, kind, and have good heads on their shoulders.
My daughter got married this year and, rumor has it, she’ll be trying for a baby soon. I’ve already chosen my grandma name, just in case. I want to be called Grandmama Flash—and I might get four more cats so I can be Grandmama Flash and the Furriest Five!
As my kiddos step into a new season of life—marriage, kids, buying homes, the whole nine yards—it’s a big milestone for them, and it’s a big shift for me too.
Today, I’m reflecting on what I’ve learned from the last 30-ish years that I’ve been a mom. A few things I know for sure.
In no particular order, here is the wisdom I’ve gained from my journey as a parent…
Life can be very surprising.
I was never the type of woman who yearned to have doe-eyed babies cooing in a crib. I never fantasized about tiny shoes or baby showers or becoming a mom. For me, parenthood was something I had to be talked into, and, to my surprise, it brought me immense joy.
I was surprised by how much I loved being a mom. You might encounter some big surprises, too.
Parenting might be a lot harder (or easier) than you expect. Or, you might be pleasantly surprised by how you’re a much better mom or dad than you thought you would be. Or, you might wake up one day at age 50 (like Diane Keaton!) and suddenly realize, “I want to adopt.” You never know.
Be open to surprises. There will be many.
Have fun with your kids.
People often talk about how parenting is hard work (and it is) but it can also be so much fun.
I remember going with my daughter to a blogging convention, years ago, and we both wore sparkly bunny-ear crowns, learned writing skills, and met some great people. A mother-daughter trip in the middle of summer—and we had a blast.
Don’t forget to unclench your butthole and have some fun once in a while. Your kids might be some of the coolest people you know.
Show your kid the power of choices.
As The Tarot Lady, my business slogan is “the cards tell a story, but you write the ending.” This is a guiding principle at work and at home, too.
I’ve tried to teach my kids about the power of personal responsibility and choice. If you don’t like how something is going in your life, you can change it.
You’re tired of continually attracting commitment-phobic guys? You feel stuck in your career? You’re in debt? You’re frustrated by something unfair in your community? Whatever the situation may be, it’s never hopeless, and it’s always possible to change and improve.
This is a powerful lesson to impart to kids. The younger the better. This is what it means to be “empowered”—it means feeling like you’re in charge of your own life, and the power to succeed is within your hands.
Teach your kid to be kind. The rest will work itself out.
Your primary job as a parent is to show your kid how to be a kind and decent person.
This means saying “please” and “thank you,” being polite to restaurant workers and customer service representatives, tipping generously, doing acts of kindness for friends and strangers too, and abstaining from douchebag behavior such as posting cruel 1-star reviews on the Internet.
Teach your kids to be a kind person.
All the rest—their grades, their career path, who they date or marry, all that stuff—will ultimately work itself out and it will be just fine.
. . .
Whether you decide to have kids, or not, you can have a rich and fulfilling life.
If you’re child-free by choice, there are some assholes out there who will insist that you’re living a sad half-life if you don’t have kids. Bullshit. Tell them to take a seat—and keep doing whatever makes you happy.
There are infinite ways to design a life, and it doesn’t always look like mom, dad, and two rugrats in a baby carriage.
Go create the family or community you’ve always wanted, whatever that looks like for you.
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2021
image from stock photography