In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Every Day was a Manic Monday

This past week was a tough week, for some reason and here it is Saturday and I’m still trying to figure out why. It started out with Monday being nothing other than manic Monday and I swear to God that every day since, was just another manic Monday. My little people are in testing mode lately and I am trying to pass these tests with all of my might. There are day’s that it feels like I fail miserably and begin to wonder, how it is that I am allowed to wear this mother hat. My shortcomings and human weaknesses have never been so exposed as they have been with this task of parenting, then any other area of my life. Nothing in my life has caused me greater joy nor greater pain then being a mother. But, then there are other day’s, in which I can proudly say that I arise to the challenges quite well.

Since becoming a mother many moons ago, my goal was to raise these children to someday be good people and while I can say, in the end, my children turned out to be good people, it’s all the day’s from there to here, that I question the kind of mother I was back then and the mother I am trying to be once again. While I know that my children did not get to where they are today, on their own, I cannot take all the credit for the kind of people, that my children are now. Somehow my children grew up to be these amazing people in spite of me…in spite of my lack of being prepared for a task such as this, at such a young age…in spite of the fact, that I didn’t really have a clue to what I was doing. Somehow, along the way, I learned my way through this task and got through the challenges one step at a time. I have always said that I grew up with my children…that my children were my biggest teachers. I read a lot of parenting books and even went to parenting classes, but I think the best education I have ever gotten, has been from the hands on training of life. Parenting is so much more then feeding, clothing and providing for my children, it's trying to teach my children the tools for life and by being the person that led by example, not just by my words.

Raising children is hard work. Raising children to be good people, when all is said and done, is even harder work. Now that I am older and I know what I know, from having done this before, I do have a confidence that I lacked the first time. As I step back in time, to those places I once walked, I know what lies ahead. It’s this knowledge of knowing how much work this is going to be…how much love, pain and joy I will experience, to get to the end result, that I fear....fear, that I am not qualified for the challange. Even though I am using the same parenting philosophy that I used with my children, which was basically reality and common sense discipline, I am still trying to improve upon my parenting skills this second time around. I am still learning every day...and teaching every day, by the way I live and modeling the behavior that I want to see in them.

I am thankful for what I do know, but I am also well aware, of all that I do not know either. I come to this grand-mommy gig with experience and wisdom that you cannot learn in a book. Parenting books can be great guides but they don’t have all the answer’s just as I don’t. I recently, read a couple of books that closely resemble how we parent and I plan on doing a study of these books with my step daughter. I think it’s important that if she is ever going to take these little ones back, that it’s in the best interest of the little one’s, that we all are on the same page, so to speak. These books are very simple and based upon “common sense” and “reality” discipline These books have everything I have tried to tell her and teach her, over the last 3 years, but she wouldn’t listen. (Honestly, after reading these books, I wish I would have written them, because people have tried to encourage me to write a book like this for years.) It is our hope, that now that she say’s, she is ready to listen, that she will listen even more so, since it’s not coming just from me. I fear, that she still won't get it, and then what?

The thing is, can you really teach someone to be a good parent? Isn't parenting more than just knowing which tools to use and how to use them? Can anyone learn how to be a good parent? And, what defines a good parent?

I am feeling tired and weary, after this week with my little ones. I fear, that maybe I am too old for this. I love them with all my heart and even though I know I am suppose to be doing this right now, I am scared of letting them down. At the same time, I am missing my children and grandchildren, that live far away. Knowing that they can’t come home for the holiday’s is hard. Not knowing when I will see them again, is harder. Yet, I count myself grateful for having them in my life, that they are out living their lives like I taught them to do and that they are always in my heart. What more could a mother ask for?


Life with Kaishon said...

This post was such a great reminder today. We have had some terrible drama in our lives this week. Please say a prayer! Thanks! I will pray for you next week with your little sunshines : ).

Busy Bee Suz said...

this is SO wonderful. You are writing what most of us think to ourselves. I love it.
I do think that people can be taught to be good parents. When you know better, you DO better.
I also read tons of books in regards to my kids and it helped me.
Sorry you have had a bad week. Just know that what you are doing is for the better of the kids. They are getting what they need from you...that is wonderful.
take care,

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Parenting is hard work and some days all we can do is to keep them fed, clean, and clothed. And that's ok once in awhile. Who of any of us has not had our doubts about our parenting skills. All we can do is the best we can. You're doing such a great thing with these kids. You are a remarkable role model.

Midlife Slices said...

I have similar thoughts and feelings. I feel bad that I have to wear both hats (mom and grammy) at the same time and it's very confusing to them and to me too. I'm afraid I'm short changing ST but with my daughter the way she is, I feel I'd be short changing the grand-midgets if I didn't keep them so much. It's a constant balancing act and I don't think any parent has ever looked back and thought they did everything right nor has any parent or grand-mommy every looked forward and not been weary, or scared, or just flat worn out from all the pressure and responsibility. You are loved and there are lots of prayers lifted on your behalf. Someday you will be able to look back on this time and say "I did the best I could do and it was a damn good job." (((HUGS)))

Jason, as himself said...

Big sigh. You sure said a mouthful. It's so scary and so fun and so wonderful and so gutwrenching.

Claire Marie said...

I had the EXACT same week you did, but I am certain I did not handle it as well... and I have only one.

The thought keeps going through my mind that I am too old for this. As I was schlepping through the airport, on my weekly overnight commute to Los Angeles with the baby, I was nearly in tears. Physically this is so demanding I can hardly believe it some days. I think about you in pain when I am feeling sorry for my own self... and say a prayer for both of us.

At the end of this long journey we are on, there is a bottomless bottle of wine and glasses for all of us who have done this. We will sit down then, and relax together. As a crowd of very worn out grandmas!

Hang in there my friend! My love you you.

The Incredible Woody said...

You can only teach someone that willing to learn.

thistle said...

I think you can teach some skills to a parent who hasn't any, but ultimately they must be ready to learn and possess some degree of common sense. And i think that if you own children bear witness to your abilities...good parenting produces good people...and for however long that you have them, your current little ones will always have that small seed planted in them by you which should always be there ready to sprout...come what may in their life.

Dorothy said...

Just a lovely post...I really enjoyed it and will be back..

Dorothy from grammology

SSG said...

Tough post but good. SOmetimes, you can just think parenting is common sense, but so many people don't know how to parent, there is less community or group parenting, and I think this has contributed to how the next generation of people are today... some without any respect or any basic knoweldge to be what we'd see as a decent human being. I think parenting is a real hard job, and it's in working together that we do the job alright. So you're doing the right thing. Too many people are all alone in raising kids, not just single mothers / fathers but without friends or family or collective support, and so hats off to you for trying. We need better parents!