We all assume that parenting starts with having a baby or child and this is what qualifies us to have the title or role of ‘parent.’ What if parenting starts before baby arrives and even, before we get pregnant.
Now that’s a bit of a leap for anyone to consider, however, what if this is the case?
Could we say that parenting begins as soon we start making choices for ourselves? Does this go as far back as when we were a teenager, or do we go even further back – to our own childhood and what we witnessed and, or, experienced for ourselves as children? Do we live out the standards and behaviours we grew up with, or is there a point we stop and say - hang on a minute, am I copying the way I was parented? Or, can I change how Iparent myself? Can I consider that no matter what I have experienced in my own life there is nothing I can’t come back from.
No matter what my own childhood was like, I can start lovingly parenting myself right now.
What might this look like? Could it be that the understanding, love, care and tenderness we bring to ourselves is parenting, and that the delicate and sensitive way we are with ourselves is crucial to how we parent, for these form the qualities and standards we then allow for our baby to grow with.
We can parent ourselves way before we consider having children; this form of self-parenting will impact everything. You may say at this point, whoa there, what you are saying! Could it be that the responsibility for looking after ourselves in this way has a ripple effect on our future? Yes, this is the case, it also effects the future of any potential relationship or child we may have.
Considering that parenting doesn’t start with having a/the child is of huge value. It allows us to prepare a foundation to support our true parenting path and to recognise what is possible when we self-parent. This is a very inspiring and powerful place to start.