What Parenthood Taught Me About Myself

A few months ago, I was granted custody of my niece (Gwen Thaler).  I have no children of my own, so this is my first experience with being a parent.  It has been an exciting time in my life.  The main things I learned about myself are I tend to act like a helicopter parent and how making sacrifices changes my view of things.

The first thing I discovered is I am a helicopter parent.  Gwen was talking about going to college and I made a remark about taking classes with her.  I do love taking college classes and learning new things.  Gwen said, “That would be embarrassing.”  I have to admit, she has a good point.  I would not have been happy if my mom was following me to college as a young adult.

A few days later Gwen made a comment about getting a job after high school.  I immediately pipped in and said I will get some applications, help her complete the forms, and even help with the interview.  Gwen just looked at me and said she could do it herself.

I need to be willing to let her do things without interference.  I can give advice when needed, but I should not do it for her.  Gwen is a very capable person.

The second thing that I discovered was the amount of sacrifices I need to make in order to care for Gwen.  I sacrifice my time and money, just to name a few things.  I knew there would be sacrifices, but I didn’t know how it would affect me.

I am willing to make these sacrifices, because I love Gwen.  She is the most important person in the world to me.  Each sacrifice I make only makes me love her more.

In the two months of being Gwen’s legal guardian, I learned a lot about myself and I love Gwen more than ever before.


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