Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Where's the Balance?!

Like most parents I want the best for my children and  one of the ways I make that happen is to raise them "better" than the way that my parent raised me or is it?! At least you think that's what you should do because you owe it to them, right!? What does better look like? I mean what kind of person did you turn out to be? If you believe you are a good person then why should you alter the way your parents raised you? If you’re not a good person and blame your upbringing then how do you know what will be the “better way”?

I’ve talked to my sisters about this topic many times as we’ve shared what we thought were better paths for our kids. We all work really hard at making sure that our motherhood is beyond reproach. Sacrificing, giving loving, caring working, sharing, crying, if you can name it we put an “ing” on the end of it because we were doing it ALL!  We all have kids, or that one “special” kid, that has caused mental duress and emotional anxiety no matter what you’ve given or haven’t given. So my question to all you great parents is where’s the balance, the balance between giving too much and not giving enough? How do you know you aren’t spoiling your kid or being too hard on them? When does it become sheltering them or gets into over exposure?  Ok so if you were able to answer all of those here’s something else if you are into not being selfish and had more than one kid. Ok I’m slightly joking about calling you selfish for having one kid because I’m a bit jealous. J  For multiple children parents aka the real parents, if you’ve figured it all out how did you know what and when to alter certain variables for your other kids? I mean you do know that all kids need individualized custom made parenting? Ok here’s an example my first kid needed to be taught certain things that my second kid didn’t need me to teach her.  I had to teach my first kid how to be determined and go after what she wanted I didn’t have to teach my second kid that because she was born with it! On the other hand I did have to teach the second kid how to be kind and polite but the first kid was born with the sweetness of brown sugar in a pastry.

Ann Launders has a quote that says “It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.” I wish like hell she had called me back in 1993 prior to September 17th and told me that, granted Ann doesn’t know me but I’m still holding it against her. In my opinion this is indeed some of the most valuable information a mother (parent) needs to learn just as one learns how to feed their baby. I can admit I’m a mother that does everything for her kids and I now see as they are getting older that it’s not the best option. I always think about myself last so I can ensure all of their needs and wants are met, not that I’m regretting my choices.  As I’ve been evaluating my parenting style through assessing my kids attitudes about life,  having candid discussions with my adult child and just reviewing all aspects of parenting I find myself wondering where’s the balance?

My adult child shared with me that it would have helped her to have a smoother transition into adulthood had I allowed her to do more things herself as oppose to me doing everything. Such as taking her to pay bills with me instead of just telling her to prioritize and pay her bills first or giving her the opportunity to make her own appointments instead of just telling her how to and when to make appointments.  The funny part, not ha-ha but irony, I remember the panic I felt when her time to leave drew near and I knew she was unprepared so I decided to write a manual to life for her. It was one of her graduation gifts.  It was really quite lovely if I do say so myself, I created a cover and had it bound so it looked official. J  In it I wrote 10 chapters about the aspects of life I thought were most essential for her because I didn’t think she had a full grasps due to being so young. Of course this manual didn’t become a “jewel” to her until after she makes all of her “mistakes” per my oldest.  {picture insert of Pooh’s manual cover below}


Last year I felt like I should prepare my second daughter for her transition into adulthood, you know to get the head start I didn’t with my first kid however she’s been a bit resistant. She graduated almost a week ago and is scheduled to go live in the dorms for the full college experience. She’s still a bit resistant about it all though, I’m guessing she’s intimidated by it all but trying to get a teenager to share their inner feelings with a parent is like pulling wisdom teeth from a hungry lion without sedation, you just have to know some shit you just aren’t going to be successful in doing.  I know I’m not the only parent trying to reconfigure calculations while readjusting to all the pitfalls society continues to present. How can a parent know where the balance is?

I don’t have an answer, I’m sorry because I’m at the end of my blog time so I hate to leave you without one but if you have one please share with me and the others that read. Trust me they read I mostly get emails than responses which is fine. Sorry but duty as mom calls and I have to attend an award banquet for daughter #3.  

What I can share is this quote by another mom of 5, Joyce Maynard who states “It's not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can't tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.”  I don’t know where the balance is but I do know that what helped me the most when I grew up is seeing what I wanted and what I didn’t want. My mom taught me things she didn’t intend to and I learned them through watching her mistakes like I watched her do good things. I kind of realized that even in all the things I do for them I have to not only teach them how to do it for themselves but DO the things I try to teach them to do. If I want them to be college graduates I should be one to encourage them, so I became one. If I want them to manage their money well then I should manage my money well so they can see the benefits of financial stability. How will I know if what I’ve done as a parent is enough, if it’s too much or if isn’t? I want all my kids to be their own kind of successful but most of all I want them to be good people with compassion for others, loving and being there for each other when needed. I want to make sure I achieve that more than anything else…..

Graduation for #2 My Furious Five

Sorry for my defense I was rushing!

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