I love my kids! Let me just start by saying that,so once you read on, you don’t think otherwise.
So with that out of the way, let me just ask: is it wrong for me to tell me children to “Please get out of my room”?, is it mean for me to say, “Hey, I would love to hear your (very long) story but I’m just so tired right now?”, or am I a bad mom for occasionally wishing that I could change my name from “mom” to something that they can’t pronounce so easily? Well, let me answer that for you. No, it’s not wrong, No, I’m not mean and No, I’m definitely not a bad mom. I know these things now, but if a mom would have asked me those same questions a few years ago I would have given her the side-eye all the while dailing the number for Child Services. So what has changed my mind? Reality and an inability to lie (most of the time) to my children about how I am really feeling.
When I was a child, I never knew how my mom did it. How’d she raise us as a single parent, work full-time, put herself through nursing school and never ever grow tired? She came from a school of thought where you “never let them see you sweat” and she didn’t let us see it, AT ALL! My brother and I never knew how our mom was feeling unless she was in pain and couldn’t hide it. It was like living with Robo-Mom. Now don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining. There are definite benefits to having a Super-Mom. My mom was and still is the strongest role model that I have.
But imagine how I felt being a mom of two at the time, raising my children in a two parent household, going to school, working full-time, but actually being tired some days. There were days where I would come home and want nothing more than to climb in bed and cover my head. I rarely did it, but I did feel like it often.
What the heck was wrong with me? Had I not inherited the “Invincible” gene?
After having our third child, I realized that while it would be nice to have the “Super” title, what’s even nicer is to be honest with myself and my children. And the honest truth is I’m human. I get tired, I have headaches, and I even cry. I don’t mind letting my children see me sweat cause guess what, people sweat! As a matter of fact, people sweat when they are working hard. I want my children to know that parenting is hard work. Working a full time job is hard work, and being an adult is hard work. They are all things that I love about my life but they ain’t easy. I want my children to see that things don’t just come so easy.
So do I just sit there whining to my children about the struggles in life? No, of course not. At this stage in their lives they don’t need to know all the hardships that come with being a grown-up. Some things they will have to discover on their own once their time comes. But when they hit a bump in life, I need for them to be able to acknowledge the bump, patch it up and keep moving. When they are feeling tired I want them to be able to say “hey, I’m tired. I need rest” and then they actually rest. I need for them to recognize when they need their own personal space to recharge their batteries. I want them to cry if they need to, but then wipe their tears and push through to victory. And the only way they are going to be able to know that all of these feelings are okay is if they see it at home. Genuine feelings, genuine emotions, genuine perseverance.
Our strength is not defined by our ability to carry the weight of the world. It is defined by our ability to live life to is fullest despite the weight of the world.
Talk to you soon,
Share with me: Do you think parents should share their feelings and emotions with their children? Why or why not?