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 “Encourage and support your kids because children are apt to live up to what you believe of them.” — Lady Bird Johnson, former First Lady of the United States

The greatest love of all is a mother’s love. Mom always said, ” the greatest gift you can give your children is to love their father.”

Is there an ideal amount of time to wait before having a baby? I’m sure there is, I don’t know what it is. Our son was born after three years. It seemed perfect. He was an easy baby. One little baby you can take anywhere. If you need a sitter it’s easy for only one baby.

When our daughter came along she was just as good of a baby, but two children are a lot more than one. I never wanted an only child. I love having brothers and sisters, so I at least wanted one sibling for them to go through life with. I’ve always thought an ideal family would be two boys and two girls. Everyone has a sister and a brother.

Life is both hard and easy when they are babies. Communication is pretty easy if they cry they are hungry, wet, uncomfortable or tired. It gets more complicated from there. Some lives get so complicated that communication breaks down completely. I don’t know what one has to do to keep the lines of communication open. It is a two way street, but if we always keep our end open – there’s unconditional love again.

If unconditional love does exist I think it would be between parent and child. In Jordan Peterson’s book 12 Rules For Life he tells us don’t let your children do anything that makes you dislike them. I think this is really good advice. It is the best feeling in the world when you get a compliment on your children’s behavior.

People love to be around well behaved, smiling, happy children. The magic is gone when they cry, roll on the floor, and thrash about. I was in a grocery store a while ago a young boy was telling his sister what to do and steering her away from things. In a big brother, kind of bossy but not too much kind of way. I had to smile they reminded me of my two kids.

Some people lament about the young people of today but mostly I think they are a great lot. Some of them are finding it hard to find their slot. They are the square pegs in round holes. Many in each generation go through this. Finding our way has never been easy.

When we look at people’s lives we don’t know the angst, frustration, and missteps along the way. We see what looks like overnight success which for many is fifteen years of tough slogging.

When the kids were young most of us were so busy we didn’t have time for hobbies, even reading might be a dream other than nightly bedtime stories and we couldn’t always manage that.

There are so many ways to feel a failure as a parent. When they were babies “the good mothers,” breastfed then made their own baby food. It is easy to feel you don’t measure up. We are good at that, tearing ourselves down, sometimes to the point that we know we could do better but why bother, it won’t be good enough. Good enough for whom? The child, to whom we are the centre of their whole world?

We compare ourselves to others at our peril. We always come up short. If we do the best we can it will be good enough. When I hear children talk proudly about their parents, it is when they knew their parents had struggles, but the child knows they did the best they could for the children and the family.

It is great when we are proud of our children, it might be greater still when our children are proud of us. We set the example for the next generation. How do we expect them to know things we didn’t teach them? No one teaches you about parenthood except by example. Maya Angelou said, “she became the parent her mother was.” If we drop the ball, who picks it up?

Parenthood is a blessing, and a responsibility because we are building the future with our decisions and actions today. No one’s perfect and thankfully perfection is not required. I think we don’t see the result of our parenting until we become grandparents. I look forward to that happy occasion – no pressure kids!

“You’re going to live with this person for the next 18 years. Make sure you raise someone you like.” (grandmother’s saying)