(Which is only funny if you don't think about the alternative. I've met some of the families who suffered from the alternative, it's pretty horrible.) So if your kids do reach adulthood, be grateful. Don't take it for granted. That's the single best thing that could happen to you as a parent.
What did my kids gain from having me as a mother?
They live in the real world. They've grown up knowing you can't have everything, and that making do with what you can or do have is usually quite OK. They don't suffer from the popular delusion that you can have/be/do anything if you "want it badly enough". They understand the word "impossible", but they also understand the word "creativity", and sometimes you can find creative ways to achieve what you want or pretty close to it.
They know that not having everything doesn't mean they're badly done by. They understand that people who really are badly done by are people like child slaves on cocoa and coffee plantations, or refugees who are put in detention camps because they had the nerve to try to escape a life-threatening situation and hope for something better in Australia. An Australian kid who has wait to get the game console they really, really want, second-hand a year or two after it's first released is very well-off by comparison.
My kids have a very good idea of budgetting, and they know that sometimes you have to wait and save for something. We spent years saving for our one and only overseas holiday - a cruise (which was particularly good for me, packing and unpacking only once.) While we were saving, we almost wore the brochure out looking at it and planning all the things we could do.
My kids know that you don't throw something out just because it's damaged. We used to have regular "teddy clinics", where they brought out any toys which needed mending and I spent an afternoon patching things up. Even now, when they have their own incomes, they ask if clothing can be mended before considering throwing it out.
My kids know you can't tell what a person is going through just by looking at them, and not to judge someone by their looks. They know that a human being's value doesn't come from their looks or what they do or how much money they have.
They've learned that the best way to react to most situations is to stay calm, and think about what their options are. (And they do know how to call an ambulance.)
They've learned that sometimes you just have to put up with something you don't like.
What's most important, they know they're loved and that I would do anything for them I possibly could. And now that they've grown up, I know that they would do the same for me.
Have I been a "good" parent? Only my kids could answer that. I know they've grown into amazing people.
This post written as part of Wego Health's Health Activist Writer's Month.