Do you ever feel like parenting is a lot like stabbing in the dark? Or throwing darts blindfolded? I often feel like I have no idea what I am doing. My oldest child gives us a run for our money. Always. He challenges me on a daily basis to be a better version of myself. And it is so hard!
Raising good people is a day by day endeavor. But lately, I feel like it is a minute by minute endeavor. Carefully selecting words while in a heated and emotional moment is not something I am good at. I find it incredibly challenging to not be passive aggressive and say something that may hurt my children's spirits during a moment of intense frustration.
But the thing is, they need me to carefully select my words. They need me to remain calm and compassionate when they are losing their bananas over something that seems so unimportant to me. And this is where I have to dig deep to find some empathy, and friends, sometimes it is so hard to find. They need me to listen to them and really hear them, and not offer up solutions and suggestions to try to help. Which, by the way, is so hard to do. I want to help! I want to tell them what to say or do in a social situation. But I don't think that is what they want me to do.
I know we all worry about our children. We worry about their safety and their happiness. But does that worry ever go away? Will I ever know in my heart that they will be okay? I worry that my 11 year old son will leave this house in 7 years and have no clue about how to function on his own. I realize that this statement seems kind of drastic. But I would figure that by now an 11 year old should be able to keep track of his school assignments and remember to actually do them without much help from me. I do realize that gifted children tend to not put much energy into those things that they don't get much value from. But, sometimes in life, we all have to do things that we don't necessarily want to do.
And why is it that my 5 year old daughter puts 100% effort into everything she does, but my boys put just enough effort in to just make it through. This brings me back to the whole stabbing in the dark/throwing darts blindfolded thing. Have our darts been missing the mark with the boys? Has only one child been observing our work ethic and example we share daily? Or is this just a difference between boys and girls?
I realize this post is a break from what I usually share here. But this has been on my heart lately and I felt compelled to share. Honestly, it is late, and I just started typing. It is a jumbled mess and probably doesn't make much sense. When my first son was born my mom said to me, “This is the hardest thing you will ever do.” Good golly, she was right. I just want to raise happy, healthy, good, kind, and loving people. And it is so darn frustrating when I watch them not care about being the best people they are capable of being.
Raising tiny humans is hard work. If you are one of those people who is down in the trenches of parenting, keep up the good work. Because it is good work. It is just hard sometimes. And if it is hard right now, know that you aren't alone. Most of the time I feel like I have no idea what I am doing with this whole parenting thing and the best I can do is just go with my gut. I just hope it is right.