100 Moms: Staying true to yourself

Having Tina’s input completes this wonderful trio. Tina is currently raising her young daughter, while happily following her to dance class.

Tina dedicates a great deal to parenting, and works to ensure her little girl knows all about the possibilities in the future while appreciating everything she is today. Behind all this dedication Tina works to remember, and to remind others, to stay true to yourself.

Tina, “Stay yourself. You are not just a Mom, a Dad, or a Parent. You were someone before the kids came along and you will need to be someone after they move out. It’s not all about them; make time for what you love. Be happy with yourself. You are no good to anyone unless you are happy.” Tip #19

Tina’s final tip, “stay yourself” and “be happy” have been common messages throughout my journey. In my case, I had to first find myself, and then fix myself.

With many mentors and consultants, a solid seven years in counselling, and an estimated 10,000 hours of personal development it has been a trek. Fixing me has been an epic journey, and worth every minute!

I had a sharp awareness, my time as Michael’s “CEO” would be short. I worked fast and started repairing myself, while simultaneously learning effective parenting tools and techniques.

I thought, if I was told I was an idiot throughout my childhood, and I felt like an idiot beyond my childhood, the opposite could work. It did. I worked 100%!

I told Michael he was smart, a great decision maker, a clear thinking, and a strong leader. I told him he was a ‘good boy,’ he was trustworthy, and he made great friends. All those things are true today.

At the age of 2 and 3, he was learning words like “duck” and “integrity.” I introduced ideal traits before he had time to display any traits at all! What I started to do, I now know, was give him a ‘framework.’

I knew some day, I would present him to the world. I also knew, as Tina stated, it couldn’t be all about him, I needed to find me. I was eager to prepare Michael, but not so eager to “find me.”

My strategy was to find myself, while parenting Michael in such a way he would not be lost. I upheld a steady commitment to personal development and years of therapy. The negative messages softened, the pain lessened, and I began to mature. I did find myself.

One thing I know for sure, what you tell your kid they will believe. As it is said, your messages becomes their inner voice.

In our case, it was as if Michael and I were being parented at the same time, by the same person. Because I remained true to myself, I am confident Michael will not have to spend his next 20 years learning who he is.

The journey to myself has been bumpy, and adventure-filled. I’m hoping for less bumps and more adventures when it comes to my “little-not-so-little boy.”