Parent-Child Relationship

It is no secret that the relationships we have with our children teach us more than any other relationships we have. When it comes to evolving as a person, nothing provides a steeper learning curve than parenting does. Much of this is due to the attachment we feel for our children. The love that a parent holds for their child is its own, unique kind of love and it is true that you cannot know or learn from that kind of love unless you become a parent. But just because we love our children more than anything on earth does not necessarily mean that we love parenting. And disliking parenting does not mean that we do not love our children.
Universally, the parent child relationship was designed to be a relationship of contrast. It is a relationship that is meant to show us what we do not want and thus inspire us towards what we do want. As an infant we still have to deal with the experience of being dependent on someone else. We have to experience being physically out of control of our own well-being. That is not an enjoyable thing to experience for any being. It is contrast, contrast that inspires us to desire autonomy. Staying focused on and lining up with that autonomy is what causes our physical structure to age and begin performing autonomous actions like walking and using utensils to feed ourselves.

The relationship with our children is also meant to trigger unresolved wounds and suppressed memories and feelings from our own childhood, so that we may integrate those fractured aspects of our being and become more whole. To parent our children well, we must begin to parent our internal child well first; otherwise we will end up repeating the exact same pattern and style of parenting that our parents demonstrated towards us. Parenting provides us with the opportunity to externally parent our inner child. When we parent our children, we have a choice to either parent them the same way we were parented, or to make changes. The changes we make are changes that suit our own child within; a child that did not feel loved unconditionally.
There is a reason that parents have often felt like once they have children their life is over. It is because when we opt into the role of parenthood, we are opting into all of the lessons that go along with that. We are choosing the fast track. Every time we experience those unenjoyable parts of parent hood, it causes us to give rise to the idea of what we would prefer both for ourselves and for our children. For example, when we feel resentment because we have to take care of our children instead of do what we really want to do (like go dancing), we desire our child to be autonomous. Which is a desire that they, themselves share. And our desire for them to achieve autonomy is creating their autonomy. In essence, we co-create the experience of our children physically aging so they can become autonomous.
Childhood wasn’t designed as a purely enjoyable experience; neither was parenting. If it were purely enjoyable, there would be no expansion born from the experience. And there could be no integration of our own past childhood traumas. There would be no forward movement. You wouldn’t be inspired towards anything. You wouldn’t desire anything new and as a result, you wouldn’t create or become anything new. As parents, we have been cultured to believe that the role of parenting is sacrosanct. We are cultured to believe that if we admit that we do not like parenting, that we are somehow betraying and abandoning our children. This is not the case. In fact many people, who are parents, don’t actually like parenting. This resistance to parenting happens because many people, who have children, have not yet integrated the suppressed emotions from their own childhoods and so their own children trigger a kind of post-traumatic stress reaction within them. What these parents love is the connection they have with their children. What they love is those magic moments when their child falls asleep on their chest or takes their first step or enjoys some part of life.