When you know better, you do better.
At least that’s what Dr. Phil says.
But we idealize moms, don’t we? Moms are never wrong – they are patient and loving and sacrificing and “Mother always knows best,” right?
That’s a huge pedestal to get up on, and honestly, I am not a very good climber.
Everyone talks about how wonderful it is to be a mom. And it is. But it seems like no one tells us that it’s also going to be an experience full of frustration, fear and anxiety. It is the most daunting task any woman ever takes on and it is HARD. I am constantly worried about things that I never even thought about before – and it doesn’t get any better as they get older. It just changes into different kinds of worries.
I strive to be a good influence on my children; I know the stakes are high and I am the one who’s responsible for teaching them the difference between right and wrong. But I get frustrated and I get angry. And I fail myself (and them) – over and over again – right in front of them.
We don’t like to focus on the mistakes we make, right? Every bump in the road is a chance to grow, right? Stay in the present, right? Do the best you can with what you have, right?
Wrong… at least for me. Most people that I know can only focus on one mistake at a time. But not me! I am a multi-tasker! I can think about a thousand things I’ve done wrong, all at once. I can think about them until I’m drowning in a sea of what-ifs and if-onlys.
I could very easily take up residence on Second-Guess Street in The Land of Doubt.
Am I doing the right things for my kids? Is homeschooling right for them? Are we reading the right books? Are we going the right places? Am I praying the right prayers?
Do I spend enough time with them? Do I ask the right questions? Do I set a good example? Do we have enough family time? Do they have enough friends?
I guess that’s a job hazard when you’re a parent. You never know if you’re doing it right. There are no real progress reports, no tangible measurements of success until the end result. And the end result is that your kids are grown! And by then, it’s too late! TOO LATE, I TELL YOU.
Whew. There’s that anxiety I was talking about. Do you see my dilemma? Do you have the same one?
Of course, like any parent, I only want what is best for my children.
I don’t want to spend so much time worrying about the what-ifs that I forget to seize the moment… but it’s all a learning experience.
Hopefully I’m learning to know better – and do better, too.