Some of my dearest friends seem to be fighting off the winter blues, myself included. It seems a little early for that so I have to ask myself...is it really that? Or is it that myself, and my dearest friends, are in a season of perpetual giving and not a whole lot of receiving? Maybe receiving isn't the right word because my group of friends are a lot alike. It's not that we NEED, per say, we just need time to recharge our batteries. Which I guess is a need, just not necessarily something that someone else has to give us. It's something that we need to claim for ourselves and that, my friends, is the conundrum. Why do mother's seem to have such a hard time staking that claim? Is it guilt? Are we martyrs? Are we control freaks? Or just good mothers? Hmmm....maybe a little bit of all of the above, if we're honest.
Guilt, that's easy. We have to be the best mothers that we can be which involves nothing new under the sun. Every mother who has half a conscious tries to be everything, and I mean everything, to her children. We have to communicate openly, expose them to our view of right and wrong, correct the mistakes that our parents made and raise well-rounded, productive human beings who will never, ever, be sad or hurt or inflict pain on other people. Or else we will have failed. What a tremendous pressure.
Lately, I've been thinking I micro-manage my children too much. "Text me when you get there, immediately." "Who are you going with?" "Why didn't you answer your phone?" When we were kids, we left at morning, came home at dinner. No cell phones. We had plenty of opportunity to spread our wings and fly, even if we fell quickly to the earth. We had a whole world outside of our parents and we grew, made mistakes, and gradually cut the apron strings. I wonder if I'm giving my children the same opportunities. They are individuals. They have their own thoughts, ideas, some of them completely different from mine. I have to be okay with that and let them spread their wings. But that's not always so easy. We, as parents, have to find a balance. Where's my damn manual?
So, where do I fit in? In all of this guilt, martyrdom and controlling? That's just it. Lately, I'm having a hard time finding my space. It comes and goes. The last week has been hectic, one daughter had a tonsillectomy, another had a two-day soccer tournament and a 16th birthday, and my son came home for the weekend from rehab. Oh, yeah...and it's almost Thanksgiving. And my grandson is discovering his individuality and screams when he wants something, which is often. He wants everything.
So do I.
But right now, I'll settle for a little space, a little time to be only Melinda. No one else will claim that for me.
Just say no, Mo, just say no. You are no one's everything. But if you lose yourself, you are nothing to everyone.
Thanks, me. Good talk.