Here’s the thing

Without being overly dramatic, I feel like I live in a near constant state of fear. Fear that I’m going to forget something with or for one of our kids. That I will forget what day it is… that it’s a Tuesday so I need to meet Simon at Calvin to get Jack or that it’s a Wednesday and I need to first get Liam from school before going to get Jack from daycare. Or that they have a dentist appointment at 2:00 on Thursday so I need to get both kids earlier than normal. Or it is dress up day at daycare (I’ve already forgotten superhero day when Liam was in preschool – thank goodness for teachers with extra costumes, not to mention my own ability to think on the fly and convince Liam in the parking lot that he was dressed as Peter Parker – Spiderman’s alter ego). [That we end up anywhere at the right time with the right things is quite possibly a miracle of very small proportions.]

I also fear that my boys will look back on their childhoods and feel somehow jilted. Like they missed out because they didn’t participate in soccer or swim lessons (yes, I know children in general are over-committed, but still, when everyone else is “doing” it, they can’t help but feel like they are missing out). Like not having both parents home each night and seated around the dinner table will mean that we have let them down. Like we didn’t spend enough time together doing Quality Things because both parents also want alone time, a.k.a. “me” time and that time often comes out of family time because it’s the only time we have to spare. [Time, time, time…]

That my kids will remember all of the times I yelled and raged rather than all the hugs and kisses and times spent laughing on the couch or cuddling together in bed because the yelling is louder and the words more harsh. That they will think of their parents as angry and short-tempered (though clearly not scary enough to actually listen to us and do as we say) rather than knowing we were just tired and spent.

I’m afraid my kids are turning out spoiled simply because they are raised by two “single” parents who team up on the weekends. We give in more easily because we are both tired and too weary to have the battle – we don’t have a back-up to hold us up, in the mornings it is Simon and in the afternoons/evenings it is me and the temptation to give in wins out more often than if we were all together, all of the time. Together we might give in 2-4 times a day, separately if we both do that, our kids get their way (rather than a battle) 4-8 times per day. It’s no wonder they always try and push their lucky – statistics are on their side.

So I have fear, fear like every parent, that I’m not getting it right. That I’m doing the wrong thing, at the wrong time. Yet, each day, I keep trying. Trying to get it right. Even though I know the fear will always be there – no matter how “right” I get it. And that right is all relative because there are multiple paths to the same destination. Not to mention, it’s not really in my control to begin with, and yet, I fear and I worry. I’m not alone, right? Tell me I’m not alone. And my goodness – if you figure out how to do it right, please let me know. In the meantime, I’ll be over here, praying, because I suspect it might be the best thing I can do.

Source: via Michelle on Pinterest

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19 responses to “Here’s the thing

  1. We all have fears. You are NOT alone. That you so bOldly name yours tells me you are not afraid of honesty, and that is a tremendous gift to pass on to children. Your boys are blessed by you daily! Two have two loving parents that lOve each other and to be raised by God-fearing parents- that is a gift most children (soccer or not) don’t have. Your boys will live you no matter what. Sorry you are feeling like this. You are not alone.

    • Thanks, Melody… I think – like the phases my kids go through – we go through phases as a parent and this is just a downward dip (hopefully on the way back up). Parenting (and life in general) is not for the faint of heart.

  2. You’re not alone! Every word that comes out of my mouth, I always wonder, “Is this going to be the subject of a counseling appointment?!?!?” We’re all afraid of messing up our kids…and we all fall short. Your boys are so sweet, so you two must be doing something right!!! And, in the darker moments “Thank goodness for forgiveness!”

  3. Far from alone. Did you read my status yesterday? I forgot to pick Harrison up from school! Lylah thinks that screaming is just the way we communicate in our house and yep, spoilt!

  4. Ohhh your words soothe my soul today. I was having a moment last night where I was feeling like a complete failure. Like life was nothing more than living in my van trying to get kids where they need to go and feeling like dinner at the table or that family time at all is a thing of the past. I don’t want to sacrifice those things. David is only in one sport (and he needs it to burn the incessant amount of energy he has), Wilson screams as his main mode of communication — not an angry scream just a million decibels above normal conversation tone, the kids fight non-stop and I spend a lot of time as ref, and the other day (thanks to superhero cartoons) wilson karate kicked my window screen out of the frame. I have no idea how to make it right but I hope you find comfort in knowing you are definitely not alone.

    • Jack has taken to random punching to express his frustration – but it’s like a secret little aside thing where he jabs his arm straight into you – it would be cute if it weren’t so mean. Parenting, boys, frustrating and oh so worth it.

  5. Ha ha…how about when you see your child do something you HATE in yourself….like speak in a sever tone to their friends that sounds just like the tone you are trying so hard not to hear yourself using. AYE:) I am starting a college account AND a counseling account;)

    You’re not alone and Satan BOMBARDS us with accusations and fear….I pray alot and surround myself with scripture. Amazing how that simple formula keep prospective in check so easily and yet I stray easily from it. I’m so glad God is perfect and involved;)

  6. No you are weird I never think any of those things. But then again I generally have it all together.

  7. Just kidding! YOU ARE NOT ALONE! 🙂 And if you are-let’s get together. And more than anything-your kids know they have two parents that love each other and love Jesus-and that in and of itself is a pretty darn solid foundation. And they will be involved in Rugby soon enough :)-no soccer-O-K. 🙂 Love youuuuuu!!!!

  8. Absolutely. 100% agreement on all of this. And sometimes I think my fear of the big things really ends up presenting itself in my responses to the little things… like throwing a fit the other day because I forgot to send Tyler’s library book on library day (again!) and how in the world am I supposed to remember all these things??? Since clearly this is a disaster of epic proportions. 🙂 But easier to let myself stress about that than screwing up my kids forever, I guess…

    • The library book things gets me every time – and now I think it will also be spelling tests… clearly if he doesn’t learn to spell a word, I have failed as a parent and he will end up stupid and jobless.

  9. Sometimes i worry about the same raising voice dilemma. I recently read an article about this topic on Parents [May 2012 Issue, from the library], in this article the writer gives tips about how to avoid the parent/child struggle – No-Scream Discipline, nice article indeed.

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