Journal / The Daily Prompt

The Parenting Conundrum

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Daily Prompt: Conundrum

I have often been asked: Did you plan on having six children?

The answer: No!

Here I sit only months away from my fiftieth birthday and look at the children that have both brightened my life and caused my heart to break over and over.

All of my children have strong personalities, strong opinions, and strong convictions.  They had to become strong in order to survive life with my second husband.  The stepfather to four, father to two.  During this time I lost the respect of my older children.  I see that now.  I didn’t stand up to my husband in fear.  They saw me as weak.

My children went from having this amazing life filled with camping trips, laughter and joy; to living in fear and an angry abusive household.  Over time I saw the changes, but didn’t know how to save us.  I had been cut off from friends, family, and church.  My biggest mistake was turning to my children for help and advice.  I put them in a role that was much bigger than a child should have to bare.

I think oftentimes they still see me as weak.  We have a rocky relationship where they often still feel the need to talk to me as if I am the child and they are the wise parents giving me advice.  I suppose in some ways I may deserve this disdain, but I am fairly certain that I do not.

The conundrum of parenting.  To much discipline, to little?  To much freedom, not enough?  I have done the what if’s and I can say in all honesty that it will get you nowhere, but it will cause you to doubt yourself and back slide the healing process.

Only months shy of my fiftieth birthday I am the strongest I have ever been.  Right now I have a couple of my children who are not speaking to me.  I have a voice.  I use my voice.  One of my biggest parenting mistakes was not standing up to my children after my divorce and letting them continue to talk down to me.  I used to call them and beg to see them if they were not talking to me.  Now?  I just wait it out.

So if I had a point to this post I seem to have lost it along the way.

Would I change anything?  No.  I love being a parent.  I love my children with every fiber of my being.  I am mostly proud of how they have turned out.  I have concerns about a couple, but I continue to pray daily.  The children who are parents make me immensely proud.  I see in them the joy that being a parent brings.  They each parent differently, but their children are happy and secure and for that I am thankful.

Well I could keep bouncing around in my brain and going through the meandering path of all that has happened in the thirty years that I have been called mom, but some of those areas are best left untouched these days.  I believe that dwelling in the mire and muck of the past can only keep us from moving forward.

So if you have or are planning to have children you will quickly find that no parenting book on the planet can truly tell you how to parent.  It will always be a work in progress and someday’s you will get it right and others you will miss your mark.  In the end though.  It is worth all the lost sleep, gray hairs and wrinkles.

 

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