Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Here is to us

Why is it that my younger ones follow the actions of my preteen and ignore my incessant guidance pertaining to their behavior.  I can understand the lackluster look in the eyes of my oldest as I give him the rundown for the day.  It's just too soon for the younger ones to take that route.  They haven't paid their dues yet.  They haven't gone through the good years of listening and doing what their told.  They haven't had a chance to let their sweetness take over.  Nope, they have gone straight to the attitude of one many years their major.

My snotty attitude is now thrown back at me and so is that look.  You know the look, the one that the parent gives the child just before they lose their mind.  Well, it's not so amusing when the kid gives it back to you.  It is way too easy to focus on all the things that, as a parent, you feel you need to change or improve upon. 

Today, I am choosing to look past the attitude at the way that manners show up unexpectedly in public, since they seem to have gone missing at home.  There is the way that help is offered before it is asked for with no begging or pleading or repeating of any kind.  It is nice to know that to the public, I have nice, well-behaved children (unless they are with me).  Doors are held open, politeness wins the battle over annoyance, and I am the best parent ever.  Home, however, is a whole other animal.  It makes me wonder just how much of what I say makes it through the thick skulls and seemingly deaf ears.  I can only hope that my words will linger during times of doubt or peer pressure, and that in my words will be found a moment of clarity.  They have shown me that they know right from wrong.  

At this point, I soak in the praise of others.  I let my kids go to their friends house more often, because I always get that wonderful call, the one that showers me with praise, the one that tells me what a fabulous job I am doing raising my children, the praise I only get when my kids are not with me. Yes, I get second hand info about my perfect little children.  First hand, I get little tornadoes that rip through the house ignoring my pleas for tranquility and neatness. 

I don't mother my children in order to get praise.  However, it is really wonderful to hear that out of all the things that you do wrong, someone else can see something that you're doing right.  Children try one's patience more than anything I have ever come across.  Your best side doesn't always show.  Your wits end is often exposed and it is just too easy to focus on the mother you wish you were instead of the merits of the mother you actually are.  

So, here is to all the real mothers with real limits to their patience, to the mothers who sacrifice daily without the kids realizing it at all.  Here is to all the mothers who would stop being so hard on themselves if only they would get a Thank You.  You are all doing a wonderful job!

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