Legacy: Now there’s a word we don’t often use in everyday conversation. It’s the sort of word that carries both a mysterious and prestigious sense to it. We tend to think of a legacy as something passed on by a powerful person—someone who has left a mark on the world, for better or worse. The truth is, we all will be leaving a legacy behind.
Let me ask you a couple questions. Have you ever given thought to what sort of legacy you may leave your children one day? Has that changed since you became a single mom? Just because your circumstances have changed doesn’t mean you cannot leave a strong legacy to your children. In fact, you may have an even greater opportunity now. Adversity, if approached right, can reap great rewards. Here are 3 quick tips on how you can leave a multi-generational legacy.
Cherish each moment.
One day while having lunch with a happily married mom, I shared about my limited time with my daughter and how I wished I could tuck her in each night. She admitted she may be taking her time with her children for granted. Use the time you have to your greatest advantage. Think of quality, not quantity. Love on your kids, laugh with them, invest in them, and discipline them. When we grasp how valuable our time with our children really is, we tend to put greater emphasis on what matters most.
Let them see you aren’t perfect.
I believe owning our mistakes, admitting we are wrong, and confessing our mishaps are some of the strongest things we can do. Perhaps it’s ownership of why you and Dad split or that as a fulltime parent, you need the help and support of others to get through life. Whatever the case, any time we can exchange pride for humility, we are giving our children confidence that we don’t always get it right—and that that’s OK.
Little things add up.
I have never been able to keep up with my daughter’s dad and his family when it comes to fancy trips and gifts. Ever heard the saying, “The best things in life aren’t things?” It’s fair to say that single parents are usually short on two things: time and money. When we can figure out how to steward them for our children’s benefit, then we are leaving a legacy that matters. Playing games on the floor, reading a bedtime story, a simple hug or kiss goodnight, and, most of all, the words “I love you” will all add up when we are gone and our kids are reflecting on our time with them.
A hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child. –Forest E. Witcraft
How are you leaving a legacy to your children?