It kinda ticks me off when I hear people say that their kid is their greatest accomplishment. I mean come on, you seriously are basing all your self-worth on one person? Maybe a few more?
Don’t get me wrong, I love my son! At almost 3 years old he is an absolutely amazing, funny, loving, strong, caring kid. There is nothing about him I’m not proud of.
But he is NOT my accomplishment.
Before we go any further lets define the word accomplishment first.
At Dictionary.com they define accomplishment as the following:
- an act or instance of carrying into effect; fulfillment: (the accomplishment of our desires.)
- something done admirably or creditably: (Space exportation is a major accomplishment of science.)
- anything accomplished; deed; achievement: (a career measured in a series of small accomplishments.)
- Often, accomplishments.
- a grace, skill, or knowledge expected in polite society.
- any acquired ability or knowlege.
No where does it state that someone else being alive is an accomplishment of the parent.
This goes along with defining “success”. To be accomplished is the same if not similar to being successful.
His life is HIS accomplishment. His successes are his to share and celebrate, I get to join in with him because he lets me. Not because I can claim them as my success.
My accomplishments include things that I have done, like get out of a bad relationship. Finding a satisfying career, building a solid relationship with my husband.
Or if we are talking in relation to my son things like getting pregnant, or having the birth I hoped for can be considered accomplishments because they are actions.
Some of these actions and successes have lead to a point in my life where I got to have our son yes. But that is a wonderful blessing to me, not a milestone I had to achieve to be successful.
The main reason I won’t say this.
Extra pressure on kiddo – Often times the words that we use around our children help to shape who they are. If we call them our success, does that not put more pressure on them to be a preconcieved notion of what success should look like?
After all, now you’ve tied a parents love to kiddos sense of success. And kids are hardwired to make sure they have that parental love.
Sometimes this won’t be an issue, but for those who are sensitive or more of the people pleasing personality to begin with it can be devastating to feel a sense of failure in any way shape or form.
And now the added pressure to keep being successful in Mommy or Daddy’s eyes makes it that much worse when they fail. Because now they are not only failing but they are loosing your love.
I can’t do that to my kid.
Success or achievement is a result of an action or plan we execute. It’s not a meter for wether or not someone deserves love, yet by talking about someone as though they are your success that is what you are telling them.
I’ve lived with someone who daily beat themselves up over the fact that they haven’t achieved enough in life. The funny thing is that when you ask them about what they think they should have achieved the answers are only ever “more”.
They also talk alot about the failures that they made with their kids. And while I can understand the regret of not making different choices, I have a hard time accepting it when they make comments about failing their kids and how messed up their kids lives have been.
That’s taking a lot of responsibilty for someone else’s life/happieness on your own shoulders. And it actually takes away the power from the child.
I would be furious if someone kept doing that to me, my power is mine to decide what I do with it. But trying to claim that your decisions and directions to me are responsible for all my choices and where I’ve ended up in life tells me you don’t think I’m capable of making any decisions on my own.
I’d like to say, EXCUSE ME, but my life, my choices. Good or bad, I made the choices. And when I own that, it shows that I have power over my life. And I OWN THAT.
Now when you’ve lived your whole life defining your own sense of worth based on someone else’s opinion of you it’s hard to change.
I don’t wish to trap my kid(s) in that. Little G is not even 3 years old, I want to encourage him to become his own person. I hope I can set an example of the awesomeness that can be experienced through life. But mostly I want him to know that his accomplishments are his own. He worked hard to get where ever he does. And the fact that I gave birth to him only means that he has me as a cheerleader in his corner whenever he needs/wants it.