It's hard out here for a mother | portrait photographer
Being a mom can be one of the most difficult jobs. In fact, it's multiple jobs rolled up into one. As a mom you can be a wife (which has its own challenges) but not always, a caretaker, maid, cook, chauffeur, teacher, laundromat, nurse, accountant, tutor, disciplinarian, cheerleader, counselor, confidant, scheduler, party planner, the purchaser of all things necessary, solver of problems and rememberer of all important dates. And since we have a dog, I just gained the additional title of vet. I'm sure I left something off. If you have any you would like to add, please leave them in the comments. Basically, we do a whole lot and it often gets overlooked...well that is until it isn't being done. Then all of a sudden people have questions.
Lately, I've been a bit frustrated with my son. He's a really good kid but he'll be 13 this month and he's definitely got this "teen vibe" going. I've been warned that once children start middle school the sweet child we knew will no longer be there. I can't say that's entirely true because the sweet boy I knew does show up from time to time, just not often enough. He's still in that phase of wanting to be independent and dependent at the same time. It's exhausting. Even though I am pushing him to be more independent it's difficult to fully let go. I really think it's subconscious and a whole lot of muscle memory. For example, I find myself cutting up his waffles or his meat. Why? I don't know.
Lately, my frustration has really come from him not doing what he's supposed to do. It's not like he is unable to because I know that's not the case. He's in the gifted/magnet program at school and has shown me he can do it but sometimes it feels like he just doesn't want to. Like he has no drive. That drives me bonkers! It would be one thing if I knew he didn't have it in him but he does! So, being a mom I had to make a tough decision. Every year the 7th grade goes on a trip. This year their trip is to Universal Studios Orlando. They will be attending STEM classes in the morning and then fun at the park for the rest of the day over a span of three days. Initially, I was going to let him go but after I saw his lack of performance I made the decision to not let him go. My thing is if you don't put in the work you don't get to play.
Before I could break the news to him he found out at school. He was very hurt. I felt just a tad badly for him but that didn't last long. I, just like you, want the very best for my child but if you don't put in the work why should you reap any rewards? I explained this to him and told him if he wants to go on the 8th-grade trip then he knows what he needs to do. I am hoping that this little episode has quelled his laziness and non-compliance but we'll see.
That was a hard lesson for him but I know he'll have even harder lessons as he gets older. I don't like having to dole out lessons or disciplinary actions but it's necessary. He needs to learn that for every decision there is either a benefit or a consequence. I just want him to choose the best option. I also want him to understand that not all choices are good choices but there are always choices. If I have to let him fail to learn a lesson then that's what I'll have to do. I can only do so much. After all of my options have been used to help him and he doesn't accept them or implement them, then there's nothing else for me to do. Believe me, I do not want him to fail but failure can also lead to success, that is if you keep trying.
To me, the hardest thing about being a mom is watching my child struggle, especially when the control of his destiny is in his hands. Don't worry, he's not failing in school but he's still not where he should be. I'm glad that I'm here for him but I sometimes wonder if it's really helping him or hindering him? I was a latchkey kid and that helped me be independent at an early age. I've been working for myself for most of his life. All he's ever known is mommy being at home or volunteering at his schools or picking him up from the bus stop. I'm always there. Maybe I need to not be there all the time. Maybe I need to give him some space so he can use his brain to figure things out before he comes to me. I don't know. The only thing I do know is that I will keep doing the best that I know how.
Funny thing is when I started this post I believe my thoughts were headed in a different direction. I had to stop typing in order to cook dinner and while I cooked dinner other thoughts flooded my brain. All I know is the struggle is real! Regardless of the lessons, my child needs to learn he will always know that I love him and whatever I do is for his benefit. Even if "Mean Mommy" as he sometimes calls me, comes out it's only because she needed to. I only have a few more years with him so I really want to make them count. My husband and I are planning on taking him out of the country before he goes off to college. We've been out of the country but not him. At least he has been out of state and one of those times was without us. He thoroughly enjoyed that.
Well, this is where I try to wrap all of this up. There are so many mothers out there who are dealing with way more than I am. I am truly blessed and I know that. My son doesn't hang with a bad crowd, nor does he use drugs, he isn't a fighter and isn't into girls yet. All he and his friends want to do is play Fortnite online with each other. What I worry about most, apart from him doing ALL of his work in school is whether or not he puts on his deodorant every day. To all the moms out there, I know that raising children is not easy. Raising children can take so much out of you but it can also bring out parts of you that you didn't even know you had. Raising children allows you to build and shape your children into productive members of society who can help to improve it. There are so many possibilities out there for them to create and discover but it starts with us. We are the beginning. None of us are perfect so we should do the absolute best that we can for them. Remember, you are ENOUGH! No matter what, make sure your children know you love them. Even if they get punished, let them know why and that you love them. Happy Mother's Day to all the birth mothers, adopted mothers, stepmothers, and spiritual mothers! Since it will be a while before your children actually thank you for all you do/did, I will thank you. Thank you for being awesome mothers! MUAH!
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