I know, quite the revelation isn’t it? Those of you who are parents are saying, “Tell me something I didn’t already know.”
Not sure I have something you don’t know. I’m hoping that is, it gets easier. I’ll let you know in 20 years or so.
I think my biggest challenge as a mother of three is parenting each of them in the best way. They are all so different. I’ve said it before, but it bares repeating; how can three kids from the same parents be so completely different? I find it challenging to remember that each of them will respond to different approaches and they will all respond differently. I can say to one, “You want to take the dog out?” and he will either say “not really” or “sure”, but either way he will do it. Another child will respond to that question with, “no” and the poor dog will have to cross her legs. He’s not doing it. Had I said, “You have to take the dog out before bed.” He would have done it. Maybe not happily, but he would have done it. Another child will debate the subject with me, questioning why it’s his job, making the argument it should be so-and-so’s turn, to the point where I wish I had just done it myself.
Each of them will do what needs to be done. But only if I approach them the right way. I know they are all individuals with unique personalities, interests, and pet-peeves. I get that they have different styles. I appreciate their uniqueness. Most of the time. But at 11:30 at night. I really don’t have the energy to evaluate which approach will result in the favorable response from the particular teen in question. I just need the dog to go outside.
This is part of what makes parenting so hard. You are never off duty. You always have to be on your game, thinking strategically, providing leadership and direction to your team. There is no training program to make you a better parent. It would be futile since every relationship is so different. I can fill my bag with tools, but knowing which one to use in which situation is pretty much trial and error. It’s easy to get a little overconfident when you think you have it down. You think you’ve figured out this teenager thing. Then whammo! You get a wake up call. You still have a lot to learn.
These are the things that keep me awake at night. Playing through in my head, why it is so much harder with one son than another. Why we don’t seem to connect in the same way. I lay awake thinking about what I could have done differently and where our relationship is heading. I think about how I can make it better.
Parenting is hard work.
That’s all I’ve got.
That and it’s going to be a really long day – always is when I don’t get much sleep.