Hello SOTGC community,
Recently there was a video that was making its way around social media channels. This video was highlighting a girl’s life from infancy through college. Showing quick segments of each stage of her life resonated with me. It reminded me of my own daughter and everything she has and is experiencing in her nine and a half years of life. I was so moved by this video that I shared it on my news feed with a call to action for mothers to watch it. A short time later I that saw my hair stylist, a loving mother of two, also shared the video; not surprising, the video was that good! However, the words she used stopped me in my tracks, “Oh, I hope I am doing this thing right!”
Two weeks later and those words still haunt me and consume my inner dialogue. I hear the words, “I hope I am doing this thing right,” repeated in my head every time I interact with my daughter and my 13 year old twin boys. From the moment I see their sleepy eyes in the morning, as we go our separate ways for the day, each text message exchanged (the older boys’ texts generally focus on what they need, whereas my daughter’s texts are filled with ‘I love you’ or ‘I miss you’ followed by several rows of hearts and kissing emoji’s), sitting on the sidelines watching them during dance practice or basketball games, to tucking them in at night (yes, I still do this EVERY night). My head is filled with the words that have me questioning my motherhood.
I am not a perfect mother, I do make mistakes! I question decisions that may, or may not, positively impact my child’s character and who they will become in the future. I ask myself questions such as, “Do I give in too easily?”, “Am I explaining my decisions so they understand?”, and “Am I helping shape them to be productive members of society?” The list goes on and I can’t seem to get past it. What I do know is that every decision I make is for the betterment of my children throughout their life.
Parenting is hard! Parenting is confusing, and though there are millions of How-To books to help pave the way to perfect parenting, every child is different. Just like there is no magic pill to cure world illnesses, there is no magic pill to raising children. A perfect example: I have twin boys and people are amazed at how different they are. Yes, they grew inside me at the same time, they were born 1 minute apart, but by some miraculous twist of fate, they became two different people; two amazingly different personalities. I love their uniqueness and individuality, and that of my daughter; it makes them who they are even more precious to me. That in and of itself is immeasurable!
Watching your child struggle through friendships, disappointments, even different life stages never gets easier. Anytime your child hurts, it is only natural to hurt with them. Over the years I have struggled to hold back my own tears listening or observing the heartache of my child because he or she is trying to work through the hurt. Every time I reach out to them and encourage them to talk through it. That seems to continue to work for my daughter, but teenage boys, they see themselves as tough and would rather try to work it out themselves. In some instances, they just want to be left alone, ugh, that is the hardest time for me! My mind races, the words and thoughts darken my world as I question what I should do. In the end it always seems to work it out, but there is still that pinging in my mind, challenging my actions to make sure I get it right.
As my children continue to grow, and my time nurturing them under my roof dwindles, I will remain focused on doing what my heart and mind believes to be the best choice. To be present when they need me, even when they think they don’t need me, or to hear them say, “don’t be that Mom” (still trying to define what “that Mom” means). To remind them to be humble, compassionate, and accepting of others. To continue teaching them the Golden Rule. Most importantly, to remember my children are not perfect, but I will always love them unconditionally, even when that means pointing out when they have made the wrong choices or have hurt another.
“I hope I am doing this thing right!” I will continue to be haunted by these words for a long time. Haunted in a way that will challenge me to be the best mother possible for my children. Perhaps when it is all said and done, that is truly the “right thing” for any mother to do for her children!
A big thank you to my hair stylist, and friend, Anne Murphy, for inspiring this post! If this post resonated with you, I ask that you share it with others. Continue challenging yourself, “I hope I am doing this thing right!” Share your challenges, successes, and ask another mother for insight. We are all in this together! Please Tweet, Pin or share on LinkedIn or Facebook.