Yesterday was not such a good day. If I had to give myself a mothering score on a scale of 1-10 it would be a 3. I'm not on drugs, I did prepare two meals, and I even did a couple loads of dishes; so I do not believe I deserve lower than a three. But it wasn't pretty and by the time I went to bed (in tears) I was ready to turn in my mom badge.
That's how it goes sometimes. I feel better today and I'm grateful for Abe talking me down off the cliff. (Not the literal cliff, don't worry). Sometimes as a mom I look at my children and I think, "Hey, we're doing okay. I think this family thing is working pretty well. Look, all our hard work is paying off."
And then other times I think, "What? How did I not see that coming? We are not doing so well. Where did I go wrong?"
I talked with a good friend who is a little further down the mothering path than I am. She was a kind listening ear as I concluded that it is hard for me to realize that for all my efforts and good intentions, my children are their own people and they have things to learn and they will make their own choices.
They will make mistakes and they'll learn and it's okay.
And I have to make peace with that.
For those of you with older children who are reading this, you're thinking, DUH??? But I am in the next stage in the journey of vanishing parental know-it-all theories. This journey begins when young couples with no children know all the answers to child rearing and are happy to share their wisdom. And it ends with truly wise grandparents who are well aware of their failings and consequently are very cautious in dispersing any sort of advice to the younger generation. I'd say I'm somewhere in the middle, but definitely headed towards the latter.
Yesterday at Family Home Evening (Abe called it-- I was in no state) I gave the children the five rules of summer that MUST be obeyed. They seem simple enough, but I think they will spare a lot of heartache.
1. Close all the doors to the outside. Never leave a door open.
2. All beverages must be consumed in the kitchen. Do not take any drinks outside the kitchen
3. Do not use clean dishrags to wrap your Otterpop in while you eat it. It's not that cold. If you want to eat Otterpops, you must deal with the discomfort of the cold.
4. You must have express permission to use the Sharpie markers. And if you use the Sharpie markers you MUST put them away.
5. Do not put a clean article of clothing into the dirty clothes. This seems obvious. That is the height of laziness.
We are well into summer now and like all mothers-- homeschool or public school it is not really a smooth transition. The free time and "creativity" was charming for the first couple of weeks. Now it is making me a little crazy. I find it sad that my biggest summer challenge is forcing myself to relax and have fun. As my sister-in-law Lori has said, "It never pays to have fun."
In my defense I am pretty sure I used to be more fun and I think I may be fun again someday. It's just right now the price of fun is pretty high. But I shall try! I will be fun again! Just let me check the schedule first and make sure we don't have anything else going on.