As a parent to three children, each within their own age range I am aware of just how quickly the time passes. This year will see my first-born leave primary school behind and head up to high school. Another step on her path to growing up and starting to make her own decisions. With Tigger looking forward to the prospect of attending a school without any siblings there. Although this will be short-lived with Piglet hopefully joining the school nursery after his first term of ‘ruling the school’.
With each new stage of parenting, I tremble with the anticipation of what lays ahead. What challenges will we face, what achievements will we be celebrating? And how much looser the apron strings feel.
I was asked recently what was the one thing I wanted my children to know about myself. If you asked Mr. Boo this he would most certainly answer that I cannot make a decision. Which for the most is true, however, it is the small, silly decisions that I cannot make. Such as what we should have for tea tonight, should we go to X today or Y? Decisions that when I see them written done or replayed to me when they are all teasing me are silly. Decisions that hold no weight, no real consequence, yet are the hardest ones for me to make.
The bigger decisions I seem to handle without too much concern, they can be researched. They can be thought through with the pros and cons weighed up and evaluated. Until the right decision is obvious and made. For this reason, the one thing I want my children to know is that no matter how old they are, what stage they are at in their lives, I will always be forever a parent. Someone to call upon in happy times, in sad times, times when they need advice or most likely in times when their bank balance isn’t so great and they need a helping hand.
Recent research from Legal & General shows that almost half (46%) of UK parents are turned to by their adult children for financial advice. Whilst I want to raise my children to stand on their own two feet, head out into the world and make their own path. There is a big part of me that hopes that my children are never too proud to pick up the phone or pop round for Sunday lunch to say ‘Mum I need some advice’.
At the moment their concerns lay solely on whether they have enough savings from pocket-money and Christmas monies to purchase a new game, or a cute top that they have seen in the sales. As we fast forward through the years they will need to talk about GCSE options, which college course will help them get into university. To which university offers the best course, the cheapest student halls and what’s the student union like? These are all decisions I want to guide them through.
But should it stop once they have left home? How will they know where to turn to for a good savings account or a mortgage? When they come to start a family, who will remind them that they are now a parent and need to think about things like life insurance and getting a will drawn up? Me, that’s who. Because whilst I will no longer (hopefully) be completing their washing, driving them here, there and everywhere… I am first and foremost their Mum, forever a parent. Parenting isn’t a job that finishes when the turn 18 or they leave home, it is a lifelong vocation.
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