Being There for our Children!

6 Jul

Each of us desires to be the very best parent we can be! We want to be effective whenever our kids need us most! And because each life brings it’s own challenges, we are certain to be called upon to step up to support our children. Some of these challenges are more painful than others. Some can bring us to our knees! Other challenges teach us more than we ever anticipated!

My journey as the mother of a transgender adult child was one such experience for me. I knew no other transgender folks. I knew no other parents of transgender kids. I felt alone. I feared for my child’s health and future. Initially I groused,  “I did not sign up for this,” but it soon became clear that this would become one of the most important learning experiences in my life. I learned that ‘unconditional love’ is not as automatic as I had assumed. It turned out that I was much more judgmental (yikes!) and critical (sigh!) than I imagined or hoped myself to be. These realizations would later come to inform future interactions and encounters while requiring much needed self-reflection.  My son’s gender identity turned out to be a tremendous gift to me!

Below is a link to a great article with sound and practical suggestions. Please take the time to click on the link to learn more!

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/when-your-adult-child-breaks-your-heart/201703/strategies-supporting-transgender-child

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4 Responses to “Being There for our Children!”

  1. Priscilla Sprieser July 7, 2017 at 5:34 pm #

    Wonderful article-thank you! We are grandparents to a 25 year old trans granddaughter who is currently living with us as she establishes her career. It has not been easy. Her Dad and stepmom are very supportive but her mom and maternal grandparents are not.

    • transmom July 7, 2017 at 10:14 pm #

      Thanks, Priscilla! What a lucky granddaughter you have! Your love and support are an amazing gift to her! You are “showing up” everyday for her and demonstrating just how much you believe in her. THAT IS HUGE!! Thanks for writing in- other parents can pass along your thoughts- that while this has not been easy for you, you have chosen to persevere!!! Proud to “know” you! Keep hanging in there- you are AWESOME!!!!

  2. Joan August 6, 2017 at 11:15 am #

    Thanks so much for this article and your honest words. Loving my 26 year old FTM child was never in question for me. The grief I feel at the losses you mentioned is a surprise and really does challenge me to look at my own expectations and the judgements I make without thinking. When my son told me of his transformation I told him that I’ve always taught him to listen to his heart and follow its urging and he could never go wrong. It was easy to say that when it didn’t challenge me too deeply. Now I stand by those words and encourage him and love him. And yet I grieve and feel myself on the verge of tears often. I find it harder a year later than I did initially. I’m grateful for your blog and your honesty. I don’t feel so alone.

    • transmom August 8, 2017 at 12:17 am #

      Thank you, Joan!
      Honestly, I was shocked when I really examined my own grief and the origins of my own disappointment! It was often difficult for me to reconcile because I thought it was so easy to love my kids unconditionally (NOT!) and that I was this super accepting supportive mother (whoops- news alert: not always!). But after wrestling and working and seeking out other moms like me, I realized that I am not alone. I finally did get out of my own way to focus on my kid’s feelings. I know I learned so much from him! He credits me with support and showing up in ways that many parents do not, but honestly, it was not without panic, worry, grief, and anguish on my end!
      You are NOT alone, friend! Hang in there! Eye on the prize: having your child alive living an identity that they can relate to!

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