We all have different aspects to our personality. We are different as mothers, daughters, wives, friends or employees. We adapt to the people in our lives and this is true most in the relationship with our children.
What, then is our true self? As parents, we play a role, but in playing that role, are we someone else? This is a difficult question to answer. It's because the definition of your true self is not a constant. It changes and morphs with the demands of time and environment. I am not the person I was in college-I think we can all say that we've changed (some more than others) with the passage of time and the onset of age.
Speaking for myself, I would say that the 'me' as a mother, and 'me' as a person are not the same. Maybe the two are similar, but not really the same. And now it's time for some honest confessions. As a mother I expect diligence and excellence from my children. I don't push them too much, but I do want them to work hard and achieve results. However, I myself am not always as productive with my time as I expect my kids to be. I will add here that the reasons for this may not necessarily be connected with me as a person, because maybe as a mother I have too many ends to tie and time management becomes difficult. But still, it makes me think about how the two selves are sometimes at the opposite ends.
Thinking about this made me wonder if the clash of the two occurs because we want our children to succeed where we failed. Do we, in effect, want them to learn from our mistakes? Our parents did (or tried) to do the same. Which of us didn't hear the words "I am saying this for your good because I know from experience"? But did we heed it? Not really. Today, even if we are educated, modern and aware parents, at some level we will still try and do the same to our children, because now we are on the other side and have the benefit of hindsight.
However, as far as possible, I try to not let my own experiences get in the way of my daughters' growth, so they can learn from their own mistakes. But I don't always succeed. If you see your child run towards a wall, metaphorically speaking, your reflex action will be to try and stop him. I think this is why there is a divide between you as a parent as you as a person. You cannot help being the guide and the mentor, but the real you may not have those qualities and virtues that you aspire to see in your child. This could lead your instincts to try and conceal that self from your child, for fear of giving him reason to question you.
It may be an oft repeated statement, but being a parent is one of the toughest jobs in the world. You have the responsibility of shaping another human being's life and decisions to a large extent. In my opinion it's better to be honest about your own capabilities with your children and yet guide them to those you feel they should have. Your child needs to know you for what you are and not what you pretend to be. If I am not great with my time, I should use that as an example and tell the children to learn from it, rather than follow it. Easier said, I know, but like I said, parenting is not easy.