Building Better Families #9 – What is My Purpose?

“People mourn their loss of independence in marriage with the birth of their first child…”

This quote jumped out at me today. Not because I am mourning the loss of my independence, but because I am mourning the loss of my sense of purpose.32

All I have ever wanted to be in my life is a mother. Even when I was a child and someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, that was my response. (at least that is what my mother tells me.)

So I grew up, got married and eventually had 2 wonderful children. I felt fulfilled – like my life had purpose. Then my children got older.

I am no longer spending my time

  • Reading to them
  • Cooking for them
  • Taking them places
  • Playing with them
  • Going to sports games
  • Doing art/ science projects
  • Exploring new places
  • Going to the park

I no longer feel like I have a purpose – though that isn’t really true.  My purpose changed when I wasn’t looking and I am feeling unprepared.

It isn’t about

  1. Teaching them how to cross the street safely – now I have to teach them how to watch for pedestrians when driving.
  2. Teaching them how to read – now I have to monitor what they are reading, or if they are reading
  3. Teaching them about sharing – now I have to teach them how to deal with peer pressure
  4. Teaching them about stranger danger – now I have to teach them about dating
  5. Teaching them about the world – yep, still have to do that one


I am not sure how to teach my children what they need to know to be ready for life as an adult – I am not sure I am ready for life as an adult and yet here I am living it.

Today I realized that part of becoming a better me involves teaching them how to become better people too.

I want my children to grow up to be healthy and happy – to be people of character.  That means letting them make their own choices and teaching them to not let fear rule them.

Everyone has fears, but moving forward despite those fears is a skill that enables people to achieve their dreams. Not doing something because you are afraid you will fail is not a good reason. Sometimes we have to make the choices that scare us the most – because it will help us become better people.


If you missed the other articles in this series you can check them out with these links:

Start Here This article is about why I started this project in the first place.

Introduction I don’t always read the introductions to a book, but I am glad I read this one.

Chapter 1 When was the last time you were inspired by something?

Chapter 2 Enjoy your family right now.

Chapter 3 – Part 1 Parenting is not about 1 great success

Chapter 3 – Part 2 – What word do you measure your parenting success by?

Chapter 3 – Part 3 – Screaming is a good thing?

Chapter 3 – Part 4 – What stories are your children listening to?

Chapter3 – Part5 – What choices have you made?