Sunday, March 21, 2010

parenting defining us TOO much?

Recently when I was going through
an overwhelming moment,
many people around me;
single and married parents..
spoke to the same frustrations.
Kids getting older,
and the emotions and sometimes confusion
that can come with that!

It made me reflect of how 'open' we are
as parents..
or actually how not 'open' we tend to be.
As if we are afraid that by admitting
that we sometimes 'just don't know'..
we will seem like bad parents!

Recently I was speaking to a woman
I have not seen in a while.
Through the course of conversation
she shared a struggle she was having with her child!
a reasonably serious one.
I asked if she had talked to her 'support' moms..
and she said she was afraid too!
They all seem to have it so together!!
What would they think of her?

There is one thing I have learned these last 3 years...
NOTHING is at it seems!
EVERYONE struggles!
No mother or father..
wife or husband..
is perfect!
and if your child has done it,
someone elses child has done it too!!!

I wish we would share more.
be more real!
Our children are a reflection of us, sure!
But, they are also a reflection of their enviroment,
their temperament,
their gifts,
their weakness's...

We can help a child get good grades
with encouragement and support..
but a straight A student does that ALONE!
Just as we can provide the same support
for a struggling student with different results!
Only credit we can claim
is the encouragement of our children
to soar with THEIR wings,
to the areas of life
they were meant to fly!!

children are great at sports
or not..
They are gifted in art,
or not..
they can sing and dance,
or not ...
they are brainiacs,
or not ...
they are kind and giving,
or not...
Those are their gift! NOT OURS!
And children have free choice
to rebel or to defy!
We provide the boundaries,
the training,
the love,
the support,
the listening ear
and the consequences!
But, their choices do not define us!

And yet,
we let them!
we want to pretend all is well..
and struggle in silence
rather then look like a bad mother!
We speak up
when someone else opens the door..
but its always open!
We are all in this together!
life is hard!
BUT the hope is the hand that grabs yours
and says.."I am there too"!!


  1. Great post Debbie. I see it time and time again. I personally don't ask for a lot of advice because I've learned from having older kids that things pass and nothing is worth sweating over...grades? I have my high school diploma, boyfriends? I had them, I didn't die etc. I started practicing "non interference" in that I provide guidance and suggestions and set and example and I keep them safe...but the rest is all on them...and the more I let go..the less they seem to it works out...I guess it's like squeezing'll get away from you. What I do try to do is to encourage other moms who seem to be sweating it a lot...I've had people say "you have it all together, your kids are great" and I laugh and say "you have no idea" but fact is I just don't sweat things...I think parents(mothers) spend a lot of time "slippery-sloping" as in omg he hit his sister, he's a sociopath OR omg he had a tantrum in church, he's antisocial and they are all staring at me...and I've found that since I stopped jumping to the conclusion that a failed test means the welfare roll for my kids I'm happier and they are happier.

    and I really don't care what people think of my mothering anymore :) That is the first step to both getting advice and being content in your role so that you need less.

    Sorry about the book..but GREAT post!

  2. This was one of my favorite posts you have written. Everything was so well written, and true. I think that you're right sometimes its best to admit our struggles, and ask for help. Thats the only way we can become better parents!

  3. This is a great post. I too let how my daughter behaves define me. Great reminder that she is an individual and that I can only support and direct as much as she will allow!

  4. There's an idea in psychology that you don't have to be a perfect parent, just a "good enough" parent. It's really true - you love and support your kids and you make mistakes and ultimately they have to make it on their own with whaetver resources they possess.

  5. After my husband died, I had a long period of time feeling like a bad mother. A lot of this was more a reflection of my grief, but I seriously struggled with a blighted self-esteem due to my seeming inadequacies. I remember talking to a friend of mine who had a daughter and twin boys only 15 months younger. My woes of being a pooor Mother were laughed at. He did not laugh at me, but more at the fact that so many of us have the exact same struggles. That helped me more than many other sympathetic ears did at the time, as it helped me to recognize that I was not alone and was not perfect, but did not have to be. While the road is still long, I think I breathed a little easier that day. Nice post Deb

  6. Great post about how no matter how much we want to have the next great (insert title here) in the end all we can do is nurture the talents they do have and accept it. In the end, it is our support that will help them, not us trying to make them something they are not.

  7. What amazing comments!! I learn more from the men and woman who comment then from anything I say....!!! Thank you all for sharing your hearts in return!

  8. Well said, Debbie. This is especially helpful to mothers who deal with traumatized children or those who have special needs. I will have to provide a link back. Keep up the good work.