the nest

the nest

Monday, February 4, 2013

trying too hard

I've been struggling lately with whether I've done what I wanted to do to prepare my children for the world.  Now they haven't actually launched yet, at least all the way, but I've been all wrapped up in whether I've been the kind of mom I wanted to be.  Whether I'm BEING the kind of mom I want to be now.
I love Janet Lansbury's Blog "Elevating Childcare".  So many times I'll read a post, and although they often have to do with infants and young children, they frequently have relevance for my almost grown children.
One post she shared spoke of the idea that "We need to be the person we want our child to be."  Seems so simple.  In many ways our children are the best of my husband and me.  At those moments, I'm so satisfied and proud.  I'm confident that they will go on to have great lives!
There are also times though when I see those parts of me that I'm not so pleased with reflected back at me in the face of an angry teenager.  Impatient, selfish, stubborn...  It's all there.
Because these similarities are pretty clear though, I can deal with all of them.  I may not like it and there is a certain amount of karmic justice that I'm sure gives my parents a chuckle here and there, but I can take it in, address it, modify my own behavior and hope they follow suit.
What is harder to address are some of the more subtle things.  If I'm never satisfied with what I'm contributing to the world, how will they absorb that?  Will they always be dissatisfied?  With they think I'm dissatisfied with them?   I love my work and I know my children see that, but I also long to do more, to make a more significant, measurable difference in the world.  While I want them to strive to always do good in the world, I want them to relish the life they create and find joy and satisfaction in the work they choose.  I want them to feel complete.

I think my first step is to step BACK.  Allow them to find their way with a little less "support" from me.  All the little things I do to make their day move along are things that, if they were responsible for them, would be steps towards feeling competent and satisfied with themselves.
It's their life, not mine.  I have to remind myself that at this point, I need to trust they've learned what I want them to learn and know enough to make their choices.  Their choices may or MAY NOT reflect on me.  If I've done my job, they will feel confident enough to take chances, make choices, mess up and start again.  They'll know that I'll love them no matter what and will always be there to help them up and push them out of the nest again after they've had a rest.
I don't know if they know this.  I hope they will someday.  It's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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