Hopeful Thoughts

I hope that one day my children will realize how much I love them. I hope they know that I’ve only wanted the very best for them. My parents were imperfect people but there has never been a day in my life when I ever doubted their love. I hope my kids can find it in their hearts to let go of all the damage I might have done while trying to be the best mom I could. 

I guess I didn’t think that after parenting for 30 years that I could feel like I did it all wrong. They aren’t bad people. In fact, I think they are pretty awesome. But there are times when I think one or two of them might feel they survived despite my parenting- not as a result of it. 

If I try to help, I’m interfering. If I give them space, I’m abandoning them. If I ask too many questions, I’m being nosy and if I wait for them to come to me, I’m ignoring them. And I can’t show emotions….nope, don’t get me started on that one. 

I hope this is all just me beating myself up over something that has nothing to do with me. 

It’s not easier when they grow up. Especially while experiencing major life events during a pandemic. (And being their parent during this time isn’t a walk in the park either!)

The bottom line is-

I love my kids more than anything in the world. 

I will do anything and everything I can do to help them.

I think they are amazing human beings- kind, generous and funny. 

I wish them nothing but happiness and love. 

I hope they know that.

This post is in response to Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday- July 10, 2021- Hope. To find out more about this challenge click on the link or the badge at the top of this post.

Here’s hoping for better days!

-Kat

From One Mama Bear to Another-

“You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other, and God damn it, you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. You curse. Then you go about the business of living. That’s how I’ve done it. There’s no other way.” -Elizabeth Taylor

Previously I wrote about “fierce mama bear” mode kicking into overdrive.

I’ve been running on fumes for awhile now. My thoughts are all jumbled and scattered. My sleep is not restful. When I finally quiet my mind and my heart, something sneaks in and starts it all up again.

Being the parent of adult kids is not easy! I’ve always said, “Little kids, little problems, big kids, big problems” and I didn’t fully appreciate how big those problems could get when a child grew up and had adult problems.

And while I fight my own inner battle of wanting to counsel him, give him my opinion, (do something!!!!!), I am going to share some favorite quotes. I believe that there is a lesson in this experience for me and the message that keeps scrolling across the bottom of my mind is PATIENCE and LETTING GO.

  • “Anything you can’t control is teaching you to let go.” -Jackson Kiddard
  • “Patience is power.  Patience is not an absence of action; rather, it is “timing”; it waits on the right time to act, for the right principles and in the right way.”    -Fulton J. Sheen
  • “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” -Leo Tolstoy
  • “Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.” -Dalai Lama
  • “Raising your child well is hard. But learning to let them go out into the world and prove that you did your job right is even tougher.”  – J. Craine

It feels like there are so many parents struggling along side their children right now. Regardless of how many parenting books, websites, videos are available, it all comes down to each of us doing the best that we can for our children. Every family, child, parent, situation and problem is unique and there is no easy button to push that will give us the proper solution. Sometimes we know instinctively what to do. Other times we are at a loss.

This post was prompted by an emotional conversation I had yesterday. Listening and hearing everything I was being told- those words that were spoken and even louder, the ones that weren’t, watching him pace back and forth with short agitated steps, the sound of his voice- so familiar to me and yet foreign with a tightness and emotion that gripped my heart, waves of stress just rolling off of him with his every movement- forced me to stop what I was planning on saying and sit down to quietly hear him out.

I realized that he did not need someone ready to jump into battle beside him or in his behalf.  And although my mind had been swirling with a million different thoughts just seconds earlier, I was surprised (and maybe just a little not surprised) at how quickly I was able to set those turbulent emotions and thoughts aside trying to figure out how to help him and how clear it was what he needed from me. He needed me to be there- calm and solid and there. And I believe that I was…. and I am.

fierce mama bear thereIf I’ve learned anything from being a mom (and I’ve learned more than just a little from this experience), it’s that there is no right and wrong- only trial and error. If, as you watch your children continue to blossom and grow, you feel a tiny bit of that change inside yourself, too, then maybe- JUST MAYBE you are on the right track…..at least for this time!

If you are one of the struggling mama bears, give your kids a hug and yourself a break!

-Kat

 

Not All Mothers

I’m not a perfect mom. I get tired. I complain. Sometimes I don’t want to talk about anything at all and I only want to sit alone in a room in complete silence.

K and mom

On Christmas Eve, I threw a tantrum that could only be rivaled by 1 year old Beej’s glorious fits. I let nerves, stress, exhaustion and a whole bundle of emotions I would rather not get into get the best of me. I was convinced that the gifts I had to give were not good enough. The house was a mess. The food didn’t turn out right. With the little guys in the house, I wanted them to experience the joy and wonder of Santa while their parents had different ideas. I know this is not on me, but I embraced it as my own shortcoming just the same. I felt that in trying to live up to my own unrealistic expectations that I had let everyone, including myself, down.

I really beat myself up this Christmas season and the recurring theme appeared to be all things MOTHERHOOD. I thought about what it meant to be a mother, how differently everyone mothers, what makes a good mother or one that is below standards and by whose rubric are they graded. While I was panicking that the stockings would be empty, I examined the mothers close to me as well as the ones whose paths I crossed while out and about.

motherhood

And although I’ve known this all along, I was reminded of the following things-

Not all mothers are born mothers. Some take time to learn. Some never do.

Not all mothers put their children’s well-being before their own. I’ve been a mother for 25 years and I still can’t imagine sitting down at the table to eat a meal if one of my kids hasn’t eaten yet. And if we are eating out and their food isn’t quite what they expected, I will still offer them my plate.

Not all mothers live by the “mind over matter” mantra. I have cared for my children while having a myriad of illnesses, only slowing down when reinforcements had arrived (aka Dad) or everyone was sleeping soundly.

Not all mothers hear their kids in their sleep. I’m the lightest sleeper in town and now I not only hear my own kids’ many trips up and down the stairs or to the bathroom but baby Beej’s cries when he loses his pacifier.

Not all mothers see and hear what their kids are telling them…. even when their kids are screaming it in their face telling them. I see children begging for their mom’s attention in a variety of ways- some as point blank obvious as “Play with me”.

And not all mothers WANT to see or hear what their kids are telling them. 

Not all mothers realize how incredibly powerful their words are. One sentence uttered in anger can linger in a child’s mind for the rest of her life.

Not all mothers love unconditionally. I’ve often thought about this. What are acceptable conditions when it comes to loving your child? I can’t think of any. I tried to raise my kids to be caring, responsible, compassionate people and although some might need a little work, I don’t feel that warrants me not loving them. Yet, I see mothers who only want to be with their kids when they are happy and cute and funny (if they are small). Mothers of adult children…..I’m not sure where to begin with that one. I don’t feel that it’s my place to tell my adult children who they should be. Each one is unique and special in his own way and I wouldn’t change a single thing about any of them.

Not all mothers want to be mothers. 

And not all mothers ARE mothers. 

Every child deserves to be loved unconditionally, supported, accepted and nurtured by their mother.

And as for the end of that Christmas holiday that was kicked off by my horrible behavior? Christmas evening was spent with us gathered as a family watching Elf. My husband and children were willing to forgive (and hopefully forget) my moments of insanity and I love them all the more for their acceptance, love and support of me.

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