Nikki Lamberg considers the importance of letting our children see our vulnerabilities along with our strengths.
I feel so blessed to be a mother of four, two girls and two boys. They are the lights of my life and fill my heart more than I could ever have imagined.
Although they are all still young yet, one of the greatest joys has been to watch them come into their personalities, and who God is intending them to be.
My oldest daughter is five now and is really starting to come in to her own. I have always thought turning five was a magical number. No more the toddler, but rather a young child full of their own interests, likes and dislikes. It has been a joy to watch her become a small version of me—a balance of everything I am and everything I had hoped my daughter would be someday. One of my favorite things about her is that she wants to be just like me. Dress like me, take care of her baby dolls like I take care of her baby sister, and do all the other things like me.
Although it feels like a dream to have a mini-me that wants to be just like me, there is a reality and understanding that it’s not just all the good things that I want her to see, but there are things that I don’t feel are perfect enough for her to see.
I think sometimes we live in a culture in which it isn’t OK for parents to show their kids emotion, but that’s not fair to them. When we hold our emotions inside, our children are not seeing reality and learning life lessons. Being a parent of a 10-year-old, I am growing right along with my firstborn. As I get to know him for the person that he is, he is now starting to see me for the person that I am. Yes, I am still mom and all the things, but he is starting to understand there is more to me than that, which is different than the superhuman figure he is used to seeing me as.
When we don’t show our children who we really are, we are not protecting them by doing so. In fact, if we don’t show them that we are human too, we could be setting unrealistic expectations for them when they are adults. If we don’t show them that it’s OK to cry when we are sad, how will they know that it’s OK to cry when they are sad? If we show and share our excitement for things that we have accomplished, they will be more apt to do the same as well.
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When we don’t show our children who we really are, we are not protecting them by doing so. #CatholicMom
So how can we flip that cultural script for our children? How can we help our children understand that we are all only human, and that even us adults we can make mistakes? How can we help them to identify their feelings, acknowledge the how and why, so we can teach them how to move forward and grow? And how can we help them to understand that they don’t have to be perfect to show up day in and day out?
I am so grateful my children view me as someone they can look up to and trust, to be that guiding light for them. I pray that I can be that authentic person who loves fiercely and fails falling forward. I pray that even in my darkest days, I can be the light for them. And I pray that above all, they keep the groundwork of the faith they are building in their younger years, so that they can be the example in their older years.
Copyright 2023 Nikki Lamberg
About the Author
Nikki Lamberg is a born and raised Catholic, full-time working, wife and mom of three young children. It brings her great joy to read, write and help others as she can, especially when it comes to infertility and raising young children.