With the new year upon me I am diving right into my dreams and desires list and one of those desires is to write a bit more about some tough subjects. I'm jumping head first in on this our first Black and White Wednesday of 2011....
When we begin as parents we are overwhelmed with taking care of this small person that has been placed in our arms. We do everything we can to make sure our baby is safe, fed, healthy, and has all he or she needs to thrive. We spend hours stressing over this little being in hopes that we are doing it all right. All the while we are thinking babyhood is the hardest thing we've ever done in our lives. Ever. Fast forward thirteen years. Then you find yourself with a teenager. I find myself laughing at the thought that I used to think babyhood was the hard part! I used to dream of the days when I had a teenager and life would become easy again...Oh baby was I ever dreaming! Yes, you can laugh at me now. :) Babyhood may be tough yes, but teenagers are beyond your wildest dreams. Think back to your own teen years and now place your teen self in todays world. Yeah...not so pretty.
During Big J's childhood I used to think of myself as a cool mom. I was going to be the one that all the other kids would say, "ooooo your mom is SO cool!!". Then as life started moving forward from elementary to junior high my perception of my parenting started to change. I started seeing things happening in my son's life that reminded me of a certain person I once knew. Myself. I started looking at his future and remembering my past at the same time. Not for him. I began to reevaluate my parenting ideals and took a good look at what I really wanted for my children. Positive inner peace. A strong relationship with God.
Nothing in the life of a teenager today is easy. Nothing. If a teen is smart, he's considered a nerd. If a teen is academically challenged, he's considered dumb. If a teen is from a wealthy family, he's considered stuck up. If a teen is poor, he's considered worthless. If a teen is over weight or has a bad complexion, he's considered ugly. If a teen is beautiful, he's considered easy. I could go on. What's sad is that it's hard for a teen to come home and talk about it. It's confusing to them. They are embarrassed. Teens are bullied unmercifully. Bullied for the smallest detail in their life. We read about it everywhere these days. It's horrifying. All a teen wants to do is fit in with his or her peers but unfortunately with the pressures of our society today, he essentially can't fit in anywhere.
Fitting in comes with a huge price tag and can cause teens to travel a path they may not want to walk down or are ready to experience. I began to see this power struggle with Big J and immediately started talking. A lot. And a lot more. I haven't stopped talking. Sometimes I know he's not listening to me but I still don't shut up. On the flip side I listen. I listen to everything. I'm like a little fly on the wall with big ears. I check out everything and ask for names and details. He may not like it. In fact there are times when he calls me the meanest mom in the world but I'm not, I'm just not going to let you go to spend the night at a strangers house, sorry! Yup, I'm one of those moms. And you know what I don't care what people think. I'm not that dumb to know that yes maybe I am blind to some things but most things I see. I don't have a problem being my child's advocate. He wants to be a productive part of society! He wants to be a change in the world. He wants to stay clean and sober through his adolescence and beyond. He wants to live a healthy life with God as his focus. I WANT to help him attain those goals. I want to watch him succeed. I want to watch every moment!
But. Yes there is a but. It's hard. It's SO hard to be the mom I want to be. Harder than I ever could have imagined and yes there are days I just want to ignore it all. I struggle with it daily. I wake up somedays dreading the things I have to say or do. I do it, but it's difficult sometimes. I do not regret any of the choices I've made in my parenting, I only regret that I didn't get started earlier. But remember I used to want to be the cool mom. Now I just want to hear my son call me mom today, tomorrow and forever. This story is far from over. It's only just begun. This last year in our lives hasn't just been filled with rainbows and sunshine, it's also been filled with major struggles and hard parenting moments. My blood is forever filled with glitter and I'm always over the top happy but as I said in the beginning of this post, this year I want to write more about the other part of my life...the teen parts....the tough parts...and the best parts too.
Happy Wednesday!! Happy New Year!! It feels good to be here again! I've not been around in blogger land much lately with all the holiday goings on and I'm really taking advantage of our school break which is not yet done! It's been nice to take a break and enjoy this time with family. In fact we are off for our first adventure of the year...the kids and I are taking an impromptu road trip tomorrow and I can hardly stand it!! Hope you are all enjoying a new beginning and finding time to take a breath from the holiday craziness!