Motherhood…if ever I’ve been tempted…to give up, to quit, to RUN AWAY!...it is now. No, for real. Even Matt has said he could understand the desire to get away from THIS, and he is the stable one.
Just when you think you’ve seen all the grief and heartache life has to offer…SMACK! Right in the gut with a baseball bat.
Guess what. I’ve never raised a rebel teen before. Isn’t life an adventure?!!
Now, let’s all be honest. We know I myself have BEEN a wayward teen (I mean…don’t we all still get a little wayward every now and then? I am fortunate that Matt keeps me on track.) But this kid has taken every little naughty thing I ever did and multiplied it by about a gazillion. And knowing that she had her mother’s genetics, I did everything I could from the day she was born to try and help her avoid this personal crisis meltdown. I have failed.
Indeed, I have seen it coming all along. I mean, she was born with her eyes WIDE open, for 2 straight hours. Seriously. How many newborns do you see coming out with wide-eyes for two full hours, especially after a 48 hour labor? Perhaps she had the opportunity to sleep through all of those contractions, but I sure did not.
Then, there was that time…was she even 2?...when she smacked my face and, before I could reprimand, she smiled a huge, ornery smile and said, “Sorry, Mommy! Tickle, Tickle, Tickle.” How does a parent reign in that level of manipulative ability at two?
She wasn’t much older than that when she reached out and pulled my hair one day. In all my 20-something wisdom, I decided to teach her how it felt to have her hair pulled. (Then, she would have empathy to avoid doing it to me again, right?). Nope. She squealed with evil delight and pulled mine back. This was now a fun game.
Oh, I know there are so many people on the other side of this screen judging me for the way I parented her. The lack of structure. The lack of rules. (I have come to Job in my OT reading. Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think? It’s like…oh well, whatever, nevermind.)
But I saw something in this child I desired NOT be broken. Perhaps I was wrong. I have prayed the whole way through this unbearable battle they call parenting. I have kept communications open. I have been genuine. I have been self-sacrificing. I have been loving, unconditionally. I have spoken to her strengths. I have addressed her offenses. I have given everything of myself until I feel drained of my lifeblood, and here I lie face down on the floor…collapsed in a miserable, broken, beaten, obliterated, deplorable heap. Listen. If ever you were truly my friend, please don’t abandon me now. I need all the support and encouragement I can get to keep on keeping on with all of these never-ending setbacks.
Do you think I just care more than the average person? Perhaps, if I just turned my head and looked the other way. Perhaps, if I just let her keep her secrets. (Is it a mother’s curse to ALWAYS eventually find out their lies and misdemeanors?!! I mean…I’m glad, but there are times when I just wish I didn’t have to know. Because, thank you. I have NO idea what to do about this destructive cyclone I have created.)
Oh, I hate to go on. Am I always whining these days? But I am being dragged through the fire, and I really feel that it is at no fault of my own, because even if I did do it wrong, my heart’s intent has ALWAYS been for her good. I have prayed. I have tried. And where I have failed, I truly believe I am innocent in heart’s intent. Search my heart, and know me, oh God!
After all, this is my first time. I will be a little more knowledgeable by the second. And by the fourth, it won’t really matter, because my anxieties will have lowered so much, it will just seem natural and easy. But which one of you told me to have 4 kids anyway? That was just crazy! Oh, I know…it was me. I just “felt” I wasn’t done, and no one was going to tell me anything until I fulfilled my sense of desire for more. (Oh, dear…herein lies the genetic defunct. I’m sorry, my love.)
Life is tough. Parenting is hard, and the challenges just change over the years. Anxieties over the toddler’s safety turns into anxiety over the teen’s. I will dig my way out of this mire, climb the mountain, spend a little time enjoying the peak, and then it will be on to my next. This, too, shall pass. I could just use some…something…to help me bide the time.