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Parenting Sucks (Sometimes)!

Being a parent is ……

Laying awake listening for the door to open

Knowing you can’t truly rest until the other part of your heart returns

Being a parent is ……

Setting a curfew for your teenager

Knowing at some point that your child will test the limit and forget how to tell time

Being a parent is ……

Allowing your child to mess up

In the safe cocoon of your home

Hoping they learn how to be a responsible adult

By enforcing consequences for their actions

Being a parent is ……

Having faith in a higher being to protect your heart

And releasing the breath you didn’t know you were holding

When you hear, “Mom, I’m home.”

 

2014 Michelle Rayford

 

Favorite Child – Do You Have One?

favorite things

Today my daughter’s,  Princess and Diva, had an argument over who was the favorite. 

Princess: “I’m the favorite. Mom knows she likes me the best. ”

Diva: “No she doesn’t.  I’m the favorite.”

Princess: “She’s known me longer.  I have to be the favorite.  It’s okay to admit it, Mom.”

Me: “I don’t have a favorite.  I love you both the same.”

They went back to eating cereal and all was well for the moment.  But I was left with a thought.  Do you have a favorite Child and is it okay to every admit it?

I think as a parent you love your children equally. You just like different things about them.

As for the favorite argument, I think I am the only winner. They only have one mom. I know that I am their favorite.

Prom Night – A Mother’s Thoughts

prom night

My daughter, Princess (not her real name), went to the prom list night. These are the thoughts t hat ran through my mind as I waited up.

  • My daughter is growing into a beautiful young lady
  • I hope she has a good time
  • I hope she is safe
  • Did I set her curfew too early or too late?
  • How in the world am I going to stay awake that long?
  • Who am I kidding?  Sleep won’t happen until I hear the garage open.
  • Say a prayer that she makes it back home safe.  Add a prayer for everyone else’s kid as well.
  • Realize that late night television programming is the worst
  • I should have rented a movie from Redbox
  • What am I going to cook for dinner tomorrow?
  • Did I cover everything in the “Don’t Drink or Do Drugs” speech?
  • What if there is an accident?
  • I don’t need to think about any accidents.

I finally had to call my sister on the West Coast to take my mind off all the things that could happen.  I am an admitted “worrier” but my imagination takes me places I don’t need to go.

In the end, Princess made it back on safely and on time.  No need to worry.  Until next year.

Sitting in the Passenger Seat – A Parenting Moment

 

Princess got her driver’s license.  Exciting times, right?  My girl is growing  up and completing another milestone on the way to adulthood.  I am a proud parent.  I am also terrified.

Maybe terrified is too strong a word.  I feel some discomfort.  Yes, that’s it.  I feel uneasy.  Yesterday, I let her drive to the store by herself.  My stomach was churning but I turned over the keys anyway.  She has to learn to be comfortable driving solo.  The only way to do that is to just do it.  She’s gone to driving school and I’ve ridden with her several times.  She is a good driver although an inexperienced one.  I trust her to be careful.  But I am a parent and I still worry.

Here is something I’ve realized.  It gets harder to keep your kids safe as they get older.  When they are babies straight through the elementary years, you know exactly where they are.  The majority of the time they are with you.  You decided where they go, what they do and who they do it with.

Teenagers don’t need, or frankly even want to, do everything with their parents.  It’s a constant tug of war.  They desire more freedom and good parents gradually let them fly solo and make their own decisions.  But with that comes a lost of parental control.  You have to trust that the values you’ve instilled will actually stick.  You have to trust that your child will make more good choices than bad.  You pray that a higher power protects them from harm.

Then you let go.  And sit in the passenger seat while your kid drives.

The Teenage Struggle – A Parenting Moment

“Teenagers are the most misunderstood people on earth.  Treated like children but expected to act like adults.”

I saw the above quote on Twitter and it made me think.  As a parent of two teenagers, I know that navigating the transition from child to adult can be tricky.  One minute they seem to have everything under control.  The next minute they see to revert back to being a toddler where the simplest task is a mystery for them to master.

I only focused on my job to help guide my girls through this time.  I didn’t concentrate on things from their perspective.  Princess told me that, “Being a teenage is a struggle.”  The seriousness on her face as she said this gave me pause.  She is right.

Teenagers today have a lot more challenges to overcome.  In my day, we had the usual things like school, dating, sex and drugs.  Today they have all of those things combined with the internet age.  Now a teenage mistake can follow you throughout life.  The internet is forever.

I reminisce on my own teenage years and I remember feeling confused and misunderstood all the time.  I especially felt that my parents were clueless.  I vowed that I would do things differently with my own kids.

They say that you become your parents but I disagree.  Okay, you may have the tendency to follow certain actions and beliefs of your parents.  But I think most people strive to be better than their parents.

I may not always get it right with Princess and Diva but everything is done out of love.  My goal is to raise two responsible adults that will treat people with respect.  I want them to be smart enough to surround themselves with positive people and contribute something good to society.  I want them to be comfortable in their own skin and accept people who are different from them.  I want them to choose a career that is satisfying and enables them to pay their own bills.  I want them to choose a life partner wisely.  I want them to be happy.

Bottom line:  Yes, being a teenager is a struggle.  Being a parent isn’t easy either.  But together, we can make it through.

What do you think?  Any teenage stories to share?  Advice?

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