I wish there was a way to work out all of your kinks before having kids. To learn all of your lessons. To have conquered your demons. To develop and hone your coping skills. If wishes were dollars I’d be a rich woman.
I remember my mother telling me that she did her best. As a teenager, i thought she was defending her parenting. I see now that she was simply speaking the truth. No matter how well adjusted. How smart. How pretty our children are, we still saddle them with our DNA. If you have spent a lifetime working to understand yourself. If you have a bit of a handle on what makes you tick, maybe you can teach your kids the lessons that you learned earlier than you learned them. Maybe you can arm them with a few more tools in their tool belt. Maybe you can see yourself in your child and learn to forgive yourself for the things that you can not change.
This job is so stinking hard. Doing your best does not guarantee perfection. Doing your best is coming to the work of parenting everyday with open eyes, open ears, and a loving heart.
I worry for the bug who doesn’t say much. Is he stuffing his feelings? Is he painting a pretty picture.
Does he need me more than he lets me know. For the goose, I worry about her worrying nature. Her deep rooted desire to do well is also what keeps her from falling asleep at night. I would love to shoulder that weight for her.
Instead I do my best for them. I try to teach him that there is no wrong answer when it comes to an emotional response. Let it out. I try to reset her worry button by making her laugh, by minimizing the size of her worries. By putting her in the driver seat of her worry. To make her understand the futility of the hamster on the wheel ( she thought the hamster should be chubby in this mental image). That the outcome is not altered or improved by the amount of worry. To fake it until you make it.
The one thing that I was sure of before we had kids is that life is hard. As a mom, I wanted to make it less hard for them. I have found that the reality is that you can’t. The best you can do is teach them how to dust themselves off and get back in the ring.
I am doing my best. That has to be enough.