Have you ever walked, run, biked or hiked up a big hill? I feel like I’m at the bottom of the hill & it’s called “the teen years of your firstborn.” I’m at the bottom of the hill, looking up, wondering how I’m going to get up it. Don’t get me wrong, I love my son. He’s great. It’s me I’m worried about. Lately I have a huge heaping spoonful of mommy guilt & not being “good enough.” It kind of feels like a lump in my throat.
This is a tough one to talk about. I wasn’t previously aware of different parenting skills. Would mine be good enough? I grew up with loving parents so I assumed that most people love their kids & they turn out ok. (I’m admittedly naive that way) Having been married 7 years before having our first son, I had lots of time to prepare. But then again, how could I prepare? How do you prepare for the firsts with your first child? How do you prepare for bullies & heartbreaks, science fairs & math tests and to go through the teen years again? I remember graduating high school and being SO glad to be done with it. Glad I never have to do that again!! But I was wrong. Kind of like how people don’t tell you all the bad & scary parts of pregnancy, labor or your 40’s…people neglect to remind you that you DO have to go through the teen years again. This time, as a parent.
There have been a lot of articles out there about your kids & missing out on things and how to let them experience life. Articles that leave me in tears. The 13 year old in front of me is still my first baby. I realize that these past 13 years, I’ve been preparing us both for this time in our lives (whether I knew it or not.) But I still wonder if I did enough. Did I lay a good enough foundation to get us both through the next 5 years and beyond? I failed at teaching him to chew with his mouth shut, what else did I fail at? Did I gain his trust so he will tell me about his life? It really is a balance between letting them experience things and guiding & directing them.
For me, as a parent, I really want him to be a good person. While he may struggle with math, I want him to do the best that he can. I don’t expect him to get straight A’s, but I do want him to try. I want him to be responsible. I want him to know God and be comfortable praying to him. I want him to help others when he sees someone who needs help. I want him to do things that make him happy. I want him to believe he can fish for a living someday. I want him to feel loved and secure. And I want him to always give his mom a hug.
I hope that the way I’ve lived my life, loved my family & the way I beat cancer are good examples for him. I’ve prayed a lot about this lately and I’ve just asked for guidance. Please help me to be a good enough mommy to get through the teen years. Peace be with you on your journey of “enough.”
(Ok, I frequently end my blogs with “peace be with you” & that may seem odd so let me explain. After I was “done” with cancer, I had a Reiki reading. The wonderful gal who did it said, “There is just something about you that is different. Not just the cancer but like your whole attitude shifted.” I mentioned that I feel peace like I’ve never felt before. “Yes!”, she said… “That’s it… Peace.” So, when I say peace be with you, I really do hope that you can find peace. Because even with all of my teen struggles and marathon fears, I still have peace. Peace that comes from knowing God has plans bigger than mine, and it’s in His hands)