I love writing. I think about writing everyday. I might suck completely writing and I'm definitely not grammatically correct ever but I believe if I get my point across and without editors, I'm doing OK. Even when my words like "suck" shouldn't be written. The facts are.....we're in a internet world of weird accepted lingo anyways so our English as we know it is evolving like anything else. Like parenting. I have four adult children now. In an average family I would be home free! Success! We made it through all our challenges and hurdles through teenage hood! Some parents having only one child behaving irrational would set those parents to an institution. lol I've learned something parenting four teenagers already. I've learned to not be so "intense" Not to follow in my vehicle, not to secretly spy, not to try to completely control my teenagers. Why?! What I learned was that my intense actions as a parent pushed them further away. My attempts for control were completely hindered. I've learned that you can only say so much, your opinion, your insight, your experience with life, and as a parent it means only that much. Young adults need to create their own experiences, their own insights - us parents are only a guide and either they will accept that or not. For a long time in my life having children, I always thought, "They are mine" "Mine, mine, mine, mine" but the reality is they're not mine, they're individuals that are their own. They grow up and become who they are. I'm here to protect while I can, build some key fundamental skills for their future and hopefully my hard work as a parent pays off for their own successes. I can't control. That I've learned with my first four adult children. I was so intense as their mother that I internalized everything onto me, everything that didn't go as "planned" I felt like I failed. I questioned myself, "What could I do better so I could gain their respect as their mother?" Parenting sucks. There is no handbook worthy enough to help us. We don't know what's going to happen from one day to the next. We can't control it either. You might think everything is wonderful and a bed of roses but I can guarantee you that you don't have that kind of control. Teenagers have their own agenda. So what I'm learning is taking one day at a time. Not to expect that I have a flower garden. I can't expect that of myself that I can control people because they're only mine (as children) for a little while. Once children are old enough to search for their own independence, that's a healthy stage that parents need to be aware to relax on. Teens need to experience and learn from their own mistakes. If they don't, they will eventually anyways sometime in their life. I am so grateful for my first set of four adults teaching me how to parent teenagers. I learned from my own mistakes. I am learning to give my opinion when it's asked. I'm learning to calm my mind, to breath, to feel peace before reacting. Most importantly I am learning that it's not about me. I need to remain a healthy parent emotionally to make rational decisions instead of flying off wasting my energy. The truth is....it doesn't matter if your teenager isn't home on time, smoked pot that night. In our home, we have rules, curfews, expectations to follow but outside our home we can't control what happens. Our teenagers know how we feel, what we believe, and where they came from. How their home is. If they choose to do something we don't agree on out in this world, it's their experience to speak of later, in hopes it's their lesson's learned. I'm not going to chase, and blame myself that I failed. Control pushes away. These thoughts are mine, and of course this is only my opinion that I'm writing from my own experiences that I share in hopes it helps others. Take it or leave it, right? Like raising young adults, like having friends and family with different opinions and/or experiences, you take what works and you leave the rest. Are you a sensitive person? I am. Everything hurts me. I will be honest. Disrespectful children that I love hurt me but I'm learning something powerful lately and continually reminding myself that it's not about me. The only thing that we can control is ourselves. What's even more awesome is when you learn how to control yourself emotionally, what you choose to allow in and on how you handle it. It makes a complete difference when dealing with unforeseen incidences. You won't be that overly sensitive fly away parent anymore. Life irons out. I remember when I was breastfeeding for 27 months. I was told I needed to stop breastfeeding. I listened and stopped. Today, if I was told to stop, I wouldn't. Right now I have a two year old to potty train. I've already been questioned why isn't he using the toilet. In his time he will. He will not be pooping himself when he's 17. (Well I hope not) You know why? Because those moments don't last forever, breast feeding, soiling, whatever it is..... Neither does the challenges raising children. We need to remember, life moves forward. Just live within the moment knowing that's all it is. It's amazing onto what I believed not too long ago and what I believe today. It's amazing on how I never thought I could forgive, and today forgiveness is my saviour. I'm thrilled that my husband and I raised and accomplished four adults already and we're onto our next four sets of teenagers this year. We will have 4, 14 year olds and 1, 16 year old this year. Then we will have another third set of teenagers after that. I'm no longer worried, stressed.....I feel experienced and relieved to be able to just control myself as their mother. Will I be successful? I believe everything happens for a reason, I believe to take one day at a time and I try not to expect anything more out of myself or my children. I will live in the moment, plan for the future, be spontaneous with adventures and I'm going to continue to practice less control, a bit of a 747 picking and choosing my battles while working on peace most importantly within myself. Honestly, good bad or indifferent - if we're doing the best we know how, even if we're not but we're learning like writing, at least we're moving ahead grammatically. Those are my thoughts (if they make sense) this weekend. We had a busy weekend involving swimming, skating, running, movies, haircuts, groceries, you name it, we accomplished it. The best part of MY weekend was writing this post. I love sharing what I've learned through my own mistakes; I hope to forever make a difference and to help others that need support because we're not in this world alone.
"Let everything happen to you. Beauty and terror, just keep going. No feeling is final" -Rainer Rilke
Remember - live within the moment - Me - and take care of you - life works itself out eventually!