Let me tell you right off the bat – I love my kids. More than words can express. I love my kids. I love their uniqueness. I love their quirks.
What I don’t love is the stuff they don’t prepare you for. I don’t love the struggles. The battles. The head to head competition.
My youngest signed up to play soccer. Meaning – we the parents, paid a LOT of money to sign her up for soccer. She had been hounding us for a while, so we gave in and got her signed up. Thinking it was a good thing. She would finally be doing something that didn’t involve a tablet or technology. My husband was thrilled that one of his daughters was finally going to get involved in the world of sports.
Four games into the season and last night she refused to go. We could have forced her to go. I guess? Is there a “right” answer here? Make her go. Force her to play. After all “we paid a lot of money”. Enforce the “it’s a commitment and you can’t let your team down”. Yes, we played that card too. Aside from tie her up and drag her there, what is a parent to do? Take away the phone? Make the one thing she wanted to do for FUN become a punishment of sorts?
Let me tell you, it’s super easy for others to judge and say “I would do this” but it’s just not that easy. I’m not sure parenting always has a one true, 100% correct answer, and that in itself is a bit overwhelming at times.
You feel helpless sometimes as a parent over the smallest of things. You feel so alone. And sometimes, in the smallest of situations, you wish someone would swoop in and save the day. Why can’t there be easy answers? Where is the guide for parents to follow? Why DON’T they come with instructions?
This morning her class was off for a school trip. A friend of hers picked her up for the early morning departure. I stood at the door, sad that I wasn’t needed. I wasn’t “wanted”.
That was my conversation. My thought process. “Oh my God. She doesn’t even want me to drop her off.”
You want to teach your kids everything. You want to be their cheerleader and motivator. You want them to be good human beings.
But then it feels like in a moment, they turn on YOU. The ONE person in their corner.
The most rewarding job in the world is not without struggle and judgement and fear and frustration. None of us are doing it right all the time. We have to love on our kids fiercely and keep on doing the best we can.
Nobody ever said it would be easy.