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?