I had an epiphany yesterday, during yoga, where most of my enlightenment occurs. Standard.
Our instructor asked us to think about the one person who loves you unconditionally, no matter what, and to dedicate our practice that day to them. I, of course, immediately thought of my children. They love so freely, so much, so fiercely and without reserve. Then she asked us to think about whether or not we were showing that same love back, did they know that we loved them like they loved us? And I had to stop and think… well, do they?
I think about this often; the legacy I'm leaving for my children, the impression of me that they will carry with them, the kind of role model I am for them. At the end of the day, what will my children remember about me and how I made them feel? Am I practicing what I preach? Am I living in a way that I'd want them to live? Am I teaching them to be the kind of person I want to be myself? Am I treating them as I would like to be treated?
As their mother and sole CEO of my household, I can so easily get caught up in the tasks, chores, errands and the day to day life kinds of things and forget to just be. I lose sight of the moment we are in, the beauty and the joy in this sweet time with my kids. The time is fleeting, and they will soon be gone and living their own lives. The time I have to positively influence them is rapidly decreasing, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.
Yes, I am the person responsible for their discipline. Yes, I am the one who holds them accountable for their actions and yes, I am the one who dishes out the consequences, positive and negative, all day, every day with no one to back me up. And this can be overwhelmingly frustrating. But it can also be a gift. I get to make an impression on my children that will forever shape their lives. What an amazing and remarkable gift that is.
And so I came to this conclusion, suddenly, powerfully, and joyfully during my practice: I will love my children every day like it's the last day I'll spend with them. Because it is. The child they are today is not the child they will be tomorrow. I will never again have this child, at this moment in time in front of me again, ever. When they wake tomorrow they have already changed.
So, I make it my great honor then, to leave the very best impression on my kids in every moment I am able. This is how I will succeed as a single mother. I will live each day as if it's the day I will be remembered by.
May the force be with me.