Relationships are the cornerstone of life. They shape and define you. The people in my life are my reason for living. They keep me going through the bad times and help me celebrate the good times. Every relationship is unique and makes up a part of who you are. Relationships provide support, love, comfort….that feeling that you belong and are cared for, while allowing you to give back to someone else. Nothing else, in the end, is as important as the people you love and who love you in return.
Important relationships in my life include:
MY CHILDREN – 2 wonderful boys, I should say men now, Mark (21) and Nick (18)
Long before there was a best friend, husband or children, there was my mother. This is a relationship that as really changed over the years, as all parent/child relationships do. Although we have had some issues through the years, and there were times I wished she would just leave me alone, she never did, and for that I am forever grateful. She's my mom and has been there for me and loved me, unconditionally, no matter what. Having that sort of person in your life is so important. To know that no matter what you do, even when others have turned their back on you, that that one person will be there and love you is comforting in a way that is hard to describe. I can tell her anything and she will listen, accept, forgive. She taught me unconditional love, which I don't really think I truly understood until I had children of my own.
My husband. Now that's a relationship that takes patience and work, much more than I thought despite all the advice I received prior to getting married. I have learned how to compromise and to build a partnership. I would say I have probably learned the most about the complexity of relationships from ours. We went through so much early in our marriage and learned a lot about each other as we focused on us. Then we had kids and our relationship took a back seat to their needs. This is the hardest part of a relationship, when it goes from being the main priority to none at all. Luckily we were able to make it through and somehow develop a stronger connection and a true partnership along the way. We are a partnership in that we make no major decisions without consulting the other. We respect each other's feelings and support each other's ideas. And we work hard at compromise if we don't agree. It doesn't always work perfectly, but I consider him my partner and we are in this together.
My children and my relationship with them is the most important thing to me. The love I feel for them overwhelms me and as they have gotten older, maintaining a close relationship with them as they venture out on their own and start their own relationships and families is very important to me. Our relationship has changed and grown over time. From being their caregiver, to teaching them right from wrong, to disciplinarian, to friend…it is an ever evolving relationship that I cherish with all my heart. I have learned to love unconditionally, to trust, to face my fears and let them go. Being a parent, and the relationship with my children, has had the biggest impact on my life and changed me in so many ways.
My experiences in my relationships with those close to me, especially those with my children, will help to make me a more effective early childhood professional. I have learned so much, but most importantly, the need for families to be involved in their child’s educational process. My children attended preschool to prepare for kindergarten and the school system, and at the time, I was unaware of how important it was and the impact it would later have on their schooling. Luckily I chose to be very involved in their schooling and built relationships with all of their teachers, as well as members of the administration. I learned a lot about the educational system, both good and bad, and both of my children did well in school and were very involved themselves in extracurricular activities at the school.