Some good advice, and take-it-how-you-will recommendations
*Disclaimer – this is not a real parenting advice blog
I love weekends in which I can give my full attention to my children. I don’t always get the opportunity to truly enjoy my boys. There always seems to be something else pulling on my sleeves while my beautiful children are tugging on my pant legs.
Torn into pieces by being pulled from every different direction I bark “hurry up!” “Let’s go!” “I can’t deal with this right now.”
This is not the parent I wanted to be.
This is not the mom I try to be.
This is not the woman I present to the world.
I always hear people say – and I’ve used this quote myself – “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” Well who the hell has time to fill that damn cup when you’re busy running around filling everyone else’s cup? – phew, just needed to vent for a second.
Well, Anne Lamott – my spirit animal reincarnated as a writer – said, in her 12 Truths I Learned from Writing and Life, “Don’t get your help and goodness all over everybody.”
“[…]we can’t arrange peace or lasting improvement for the people we love most in the world.They have to find their own ways, their own answers. You can’t run alongside your grown children with sunscreen and ChapStick on their hero’s journey. You have to release them.It’s disrespectful not to. And if it’s someone else’s problem, you probably don’t have the answer, anyway.
Our help is usually not very helpful. Our help is often toxic. And help is the sunny side of control. Stop helping so much. Don’t get your help and goodness all over everybody.
This brings us to number four: everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy and scared, even the people who seem to have it most together. They are much more like you than you would believe, so try not to compare your insides to other people’s outsides. It will only make you worse than you already are.”
I go back to this quote every time I’m feeling like I”m a terrible mother or that maybe I’m not doing enough, even though I’m exhausted and have both hands full of dirty diapers, half cooked meals, a vacuum and, of course, a pencil stuck in my hair for whenever inspiration hits.
Not to sounds like a Moira Rose mother, but “Mummy’s going to be just fine…”& “I haven’t hit rock bottom quite yet.”
We all have to pick our battles, right?
I can’t do EVERYTHING for my children and isn’t fair to them to do that either. How else are they going to learn?
I think that’s where a lot of parents get it wrong today too – not that I’m anywhere near an expert. We keep “helping” our children to make sure they get the best grades, don’t get picked on for wearing a shirt backwards, remember to bring back their library books, tie their shoes for them….STOP. I bet they are even thinking this word Stop! – I need to do this for myself.
You won’t always be there to do these things for them.
Not to mention the resentment you may start to feel towards them for never having time for you. Am I the only one who feels this sometimes or am I a bad mother? #MoiraRoseParentingProblems
Make little substitutions. Today, instead of dishes and dinner, I intend to bring my children for a nature walk and we will just ENJOY each other. I know this won’t always work out the way I plan. Someone will inevitable step in dog crap, or throw sand in the other’s face and make them cry, but we will be together, and that’s what matters…..right?
And who knows – you might end up having a splendid time and nothing bad will happen. Just don’t prejudge & revel in their individuality. Let them lead the way.
They may surprise you and, in turn, you may surprise yourself.
- you are a responsible adult
- they’re your kids
- it’s your fault they’re here
- enjoy the consequences of your own actions
- take a breath and look at the positives
- ….and smile, they’re is always alcohol….