Since becoming a mother, I've come to realize that the most jarring yet essential exercise in parenting is taking a good hard look at myself every single day. What I see—well, let's just say it ain't always pretty. It's not just the pallid complexion and tired eyes that throw me off. I see in me insecurity, pettiness, frustration, selfishness, and worry—toxins I do not wish to pass on to my son.
And there lies the daunting task ahead of me and all parents. I actually have to be a better person. I have to grow up. I must be the grown up. The mature one. The voice of reason. I can no longer afford the bad habits I have stubbornly clung to in my previous life. I cannot afford them now that I have this boy.
Parenting, as it turns out, means striving to be better so that I can raise him to be better.
It's an amazing discovery: parenting isn't just about the child. In fact, it may be even more about the parent.
I was convinced that I would be the one to guide my kid to adulthood, but as it turns out, he's bringing me there, too.