I wrote my first post for CT Working Moms in September 2011. I never thought we’d have such a following, nor did I know how many amazing women/moms I’d meet in this journey that would become soul sisters.
Now, it’s time to bring this chapter to a close, as Michelle so gracefully announced.
It’s been a crazy and very humbling ride, these past 8 years. The stories I’ve shared have a special place in my journey. And the lessons I blogged about had some lasting impact and some occasional faltering moments over the years. And some things I thought I knew 15, 10, 8, or 5 years ago, I am changing course on. This is life. This is parenting.
It is timely to move on at this juncture. It’s been increasingly hard to put the heart and soul into the content that this blog deserves. So, for my last official post on this amazing blog, I’d like to share…
This is my “What I’ve learned thus far about the parent I want to be and what I will continue to work on” parting post.
- Appreciate the ordinary. Some kids may have incredible experiences in their lives, i.e. singing at Carnegie Hall, winning a national or state championship, being on national TV, etc. But the large majority of kids just have a normal, ordinary existence. And the term “ordinary” is a total farce. Each child has their own experiences that can be extraordinary, even if it’s not obvious. My kids are not going to be billionaires. They aren’t going to be professional athletes in any sport. They are not going to win any national championships or be in a Broadway hit any time soon. But it’s the acknowledgement that each moment they have that’s more important than the amazing moments.
- Let the drama go. Once we become a parent, I think we lose a little bit of rationality. It’s just natural to go into “momma bear” mode if we think something in the universe is going to hurt our baby. I’ve seen people fly off the handle to post their latest issues with schools on Facebook rather than trying to resolve the problem in person. I’ve seen parents just lose their sh*t without allowing the rational part of their brain to process first. I promise to work on solutions rather than raising cane and drama, especially when it comes to my kids. We are setting the example for them and I would like to hope the next generation can resolve things rather than create public theater.
- Let them fly. I am working on this one. It started with baseball, letting them go and play hard without me hovering. Now, it’s riding bikes a little further and further from home. It’s letting them try things that may make my heart skip, but I need to let them try. They may crash and hit the ground sometimes, but I will always be there to pick them back up. I’d rather it be that way than not letting them fly at all.
- It’s not about spending. I wish I could do the water park cruises, Disney vacations and European tours with my kids. I wish we could spend weekends doing ridiculous adventures. But we can’t and we don’t. We still try to do our “mystery rides” but they are new places, not necessarily extraordinary ones. Most recently, I realized recently that putting a $50 ping pong table and $50 basketball arcade game (both FB marketplace finds) in my basement created a space for the family to turn off the video games and phones and be competitive and ridiculous together. Those moments are ordinary, and amazing.
- Count your blessings. I have moments from time-to-time where I close my eyes and try not to lose my mind at my kids. I wonder if my 12 yr old boy will always be an obnoxious pain in my butt, or it’s just a phase. I feel the overwhelm of dealing with a highly emotional 10 yr old and want to scream and run far, far away. But, alas, we endure and take a breather from time to time. My kids aren’t perfect. And they test my limits. But, for crying out loud, they are healthy and we have a roof over our heads, food on our table and people who care so much for us. Sometimes, it’s hard to count blessings, but try, try, try to do it when you can. Don’t wait for a tragedy or wake up call, do it now.
- Still be selfish. I do realize I only have a certain amount of time with my boys being kids. And I do wish I could spend more time with them instead of work or other obligations. But I also am not going to let guilt hold me back when I do need to do something for me. The moms still need a life. We need to still be a little selfish to be sane.
- Don’t take yourself (or anyone else) too seriously. This barely needs an explanation. Forgive yourself and let the mistakes be lessons and stories on your journey, not tragedies to relive over and over. Let go. Life is ridiculous. There will never be perfection, so don’t lose sight of good enough in pursuit of it.
Thank you, CT Working Moms and Michelle, Sara and Elise and all the moms that have been a crucial part of this experience.
Thank you, readers for engaging and being part of this community.
Love, 2 Thankful Moms