This has been a......a tough......year.
Lots of things going on and lots of decisions and thought and plans for the future.
Here's what i have to say. Parenting is hard.
There are so many different stages of hard.
There's the new mom stage of hard. The sleepless nights, the nursing, the transition from a girl, to a Mom. Theres new rashes, spit up, diapers, more prune juice--than less prune juice, first foods, rolling, crawling, walking, falling.
Then there's the new school age parent hard. We're flooded with questions. Will they be alright without me? Will kids be nice to them on the bus? What if someone is mean? They learn letters, sounds and words. Memorize sight words. They do lunches, recess. Friends, birthday parties, new experiences, joys, book walks, carnivals. It becomes a new adventure that generally turns out okay. School. Kids seem to enjoy it.
Until they don't.
Next is the stage of school--without the perks of everything being shiny and new. School is just school. Another year for them, another day for them. The light is (or can be) gone from their little twinkling eyes.
That's when you enter the school's nothing new stage of parenting. And you start to watch your child. Wonder if they are happy. Hope they have some deep rooted friendships. Work with them to get good grades. Math, math, and more math happens as half of us adults are confused at their elementary aged homework(!). There's people who rub you (or your child) the wrong way. There is this new dance of letting them live and guiding them to be strong, curious, and free individuals upon the foundation that you (hopefully) built for them to stand on. And its not easy.
Because what if you feel like maybe you didn't do it all right as a parent?
What if you watch other parents interact with their kids and you think, That's not how we do it? And then you wonder, ever-so-silently, if maybe that's why their kid behaves better. Acts better. Does better.
Especially when you aren't 100% sure.
I see the parents that toot their own horns. The ones with great kids. Self assured kids. Independent kids. Strong kids. Smart kids. Athletic kids. Respectful kids. Quiet spirited kids. Funny kids. Witty kids. Compassionate kids. Established kids. Confident kids.
It frustrates me to see people who think, though well intentioned, that their kids are this way because they made them that way. They think they created this little robot and what they say goes.
"If you just do this (?) then your kids will (with no variables at all) do exactly that." Simple.
And sometimes it works.
But i am so aware of the difference in our kids bents. God made them with certain talents and strengths. And all i want so desperately to do is find that happy place for my child.
And try as we may to make them be like us, we simply can't.
I can't make my quiet introvert just "lighten up and join in". Believe me, i've tried.
And i can 't make my social butterfly, who's always in the middle of a group, sit by herself and not care.
And if i'm being honest, that makes for some really hard days.
Parenting, darnit anyhow, it such a hard thing.
To watch as you see your child feel hurt, wow--does that cut like a knife.
Every parent has experienced it on some level.
That's life. I understand that.
But doesn't it almost seem predictable that on those bad days you're having at your house, the days of self doubt and insecurity, that you sign onto facebook only to see your friend posted like the perfect picture of the perfect kid, doing the perfect thing at the perfect place on the perfect day. Those are the days that i just looked at the computer and mutter, Shut up already!
Or when money's tight at your house, doesn't it seem the whole wide world has up and flown to DISNEY WORLD! Ugh. Gag me already. (that's the jealously talking. I'm glad you all had a fun trip though. Good for you for working hard, being responsible, planning and being perfect!)
Last night as i lay in bed, i just allowed myself to to talk to God really honestly.
I said everything i was afraid to say.
I didn't start with words of thanksgiving. I started off listing all of my regrets, all of my fears, all of my "How come you haven't...." I was just having it out. I was being real. For a moment, in my prayers, it was just complaining to a friend. Everything. My deepest darkest desires and all of my frustrations and concerns.
And then i fell asleep.
Nothing wonderful happened. I didn't wake up renewed. I didn't wake up feeling fulfilled.
I just woke up.
To the same struggles of today that i suffered yesterday.
It can surely be a B word sometimes.
I'm constantly trying to think forward while i am remembering backwards.
I try to evaluate my future, predict it. And i feel like i may know it. I feel like i know the path that i will take. I know the struggles that i will have.
I think when i look to the future, i am such a realist......that i find i actually may border on pessimistic.
Like, because of this--i will deal with that. As if i know.
Sometimes i feel like my life is the movie Groundhogs day.
I can predict what will be the problem. What i will be doing at dinner time. How i will feel around 4 o'clock. And where i'll be sitting come 10 pm.
And lately--that's just not satisfying.
I just cry out to God to help me be better. To change.
But its almost like i can't.
Its just so hard.
Sometimes i feel like its too late. Damage is done.
I often think to myself, maybe i shouldn't have been so silly with them and had so much fun, because now they only like to have fun. How do i complain about their room when i have clothes on my floor as well? How do you tell them to stop getting so mad.....when i'm mad?
Parenting is the pits when you hardly feel grown up enough to take care of yourself.
Its like two seconds ago i was playing basketball and egging houses and now here i am making the dinner, doing the laundry and raising up children.
How did this happen so fast!?
I'm bringing my child through their own school years already. Wasn't I just in school?
I'll tell ya what. School these days is a battle ground. And it ain't for the faint of heart.
Happiness. Its can be an elusive creature some days.
But we trudge on.
Because we're the mothers now.
And dinners not just gonna make itself, sister.