You guys who have been reading my writing long enough to know how I feel about my kids. For those of you new to my life: I am a helicoptering, crazy person when it comes to my 2 girls. I have impossible expectations for them and make ridiculous demands on their potential. I am THIS CLOSE to becoming a Lifetime Docu-drama parent. Real talk. I stay on top of them for the smallest things. Their only salvation from my kind of crazy is their dad. No lie. When I do too much he protects them and challenges me. Real winner, that guy.
Because I an super crazy, it always is an act of faith when I release them untethered into other people’s atmospheres. I am a low-key nervous wreck–low-key only because my Aquarius will not allow me to let folks see me sweat. This past weekend, a family friend volunteered to watch them for us while we took care of some business. Do you know how many woosahs it took to not call every fifteen minutes? Lots!
Yet the report was spectacular. Of course, they acted like the awesome children that they are. Of course, they got compliments on their manners. Of course they were complimented on their conversation and little Southern girl dresses. Of course. Of course. Of course. These are wonderfully educated, well taken care of, slightly sheltered little girls whom we have groomed and prayed over and corrected with great care and fearful trembling and undying love. So why do I trip so hard every time they leave me?
Because I am a MOM.
Mannnnnn, some folks will never know how scary it is to have your entire being narrowed down to how your kids act in public. It is ALWAYS the mom’s fault when things go horribly awry.
If they become rapists and drug dealers and killers, we did not discipline them enough.
If they become strippers, prostitutes, and unwed mothers, we did not hug them enough.
If they fail at school, we did not read to them enough.
If they fail to launch, we coddled them too much.
If we vaccinate, it is our fault when they have autism or some other issue.
If we don’t, it is our fault they are sickly.
If we breastfeed too long, we are sick.
If we don’t breastfeed at all, we are selfish.
If we let them play outside unhindered, we are neglecting them.
If we keep them in the house, we are helicoptering them.
Moms literally cannot win for losing.
So please understand, this isn’t even about my kids–I NEVER really worry about their behavior. They understand life and people’s perceptions without me having to fuss about that. Nope, I am writing this because of my own baggage.
I worry about looking like a bad mom. I worry about the balance between my control and their independence and all the judgment in between. I would be a lying liar to say otherwise. I worry, my dudes. I don’t want to look back over my life and my kids are failures. If I don’t do anything else right in life, these 2 little girls are my real legacy on the earth.
But thank God for wonderful children who always make me look like I know what I am doing when I have ZERO clues. They give me space to breathe, to give myself a small pat on the mommy back. And some peace of mind that I am doing something right–maybe not everything, but something.