A 50/50 Toss Up

by Ginger on September 30, 2013

in Mom Thoughts

When he was a baby, everything FELT huge and scary and oh-my-god-what-if-i-screw-this-up-and-do-something-wrong. In the throes of hormones and babyhood, the task of keeping an infant alive had moments of white knuckle terror. In hindsight, babyhood is, if not a breeze, a different kind of mental game than parenthood feels like as he gets older. Now the task is no longer just “keep him alive.” Oh no, now the task is, actually, “Parent Him.”

Sometimes it astounds me that those moments of white knuckle terror are gone, because when I look at the myriad of ways we could (and probably do) screw this up, it seems infinitely scarier to be a parent as he gets older. We are responsible for RAISING this little boy into a man, and shit y’all, if that’s not terrifying, I don’t know what is.

I do feel fear at times. Fear that I’m not smart enough to be a parent as he gets older, fear that I’m not going to rise to the challenges he brings, fear that I will be too soft, or too hard, or too set in my ways. There are the moments, almost as if I’m watching outside myself, when he does something—maybe fling words at me with a goal of hurting me, or be sneaky and manipulative to try and get his way, or stubborn and unwilling/able to give up what he wants—and I think, “whoa, I’m not prepared for this.” I don’t know how you prepare for some parts of parenthood.

There’s the flip side, too, where I see his potential and his strengths, and I wonder if I’m going to know how to nurture those elements to his biggest benefit. I watch him do some things ahead of his peers, and I wonder if I’m going to be able to bring out the best in him. I want all the things in the world for him, but I how do I teach him how to get those things?

The other day he was over-tired, and he was screaming at me over some absolute nonsense. It was exhausting, and hurt my feelings, and challenged me to put being a parent first when I really just wanted to huff and puff about how it’s not FAIR that he’s being mean to me. I walked away from that situation KNOWING I had handled it, and him, exactly the right way, that I had put on my parenting hat and done it well. And yet, that exact same situation will happen again, and I can guarantee you, it’s only about a 50/50 toss up whether I’ll handle it right then. I closed his door behind me knowing that too. For every parenting success, on the horizon is a failure, and all I can do at this point is hope that at the end of it all, I’m able to say there were more of one than the other.

Heather October 1, 2013 at 7:02 am

“For every parenting success, on the horizon is a failure, and all I can do at this point is hope that at the end of it all, I’m able to say there were more of one than the other.”

I feel this every.single.day. I don’t always have the ability to gracefully parent my children, and I am thankful that I get a do over the next day and the next day, and I hope the good experiences > bad ones.

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