Thursday, May 07, 2009

Karmic Comeuppance

This is what Bristol Palin should have said:

In order to be a good parent you can NEVER lose your focus, attention to detail, or purpose. That purpose is your child. You can't slack off. You can't look the other way. It is non-stop work. FOR AT LEAST 20 YEARS.

I'm feeling so very tired of parenting, but experience tells me that is when I have to rally the troops (troops = me) and be extra vigilant.

Stella is a great kid; I want to be sure everyone realizes this. In the larger scope of things, we're pretty lucky. She is smart, creative, beautiful, and witty. Schoolwork comes very easily to her; she doesn't have to try all that hard. This is a blessing and a curse, especially when I'm trying to instill a sense of drive and ambition in her. She's an average teenager in that she is testing boundaries and seeing how much she can get away with. Like most parents, I want her to push herself to accomplish far more than I have. I want her to know the value of hard work and the satisfaction of achieving difficult goals. On the other hand, I don't want her to be consumed with neuroses and stress.

I just feel so very alone, confused, and unsure. I am lucky to have a supportive partner, but he is not Stella's father and is very careful not to ever step into that ring. That is a wise decision, for the dynamics of our household...but so very hard for me. I feel like a single mother more than ever. I'm bad cop, and bad cop only these days.

7 comments:

Wondering Woman said...

Just remember, if Bristol Palin could have said what you think she should have she'd be 40 years old, not 18. Time is a great teacher and sounds like you know enough by now to help keep Stella grounded.

Mumbelina said...

Oh I want to give you a big hug. I'm certain you are raising an amazing woman and you don't have to be responsible for all her future values. All you have to do is love her and keep her safe and be the fantastic beautiful inspiring person you are, and you're already doing all that. And the whole, do better than I've done thing? Either she sees who you are as pretty great anyway so what you say won't make much difference, or she sees the areas in which you are frustrated and will take that on board when she makes her own plans. Either way I'm not sure what you say means much compared to what you do. God, please don't think that was meant to be advice! Mine is only turning thirteen this year so you're way ahead of me and I'll be on to you for help pretty soon! Only I have BOYS so there's a lot I don't have to deal with. But also a lot that makes it tricky for a single mother/blended family.
Anyway, you rule! xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Stephanie said...

You are an amazing woman, and an amazing mother whom I admire greatly.
These are the teen years, rumored to be the toughest of them all, and you are handling it all with so much grace.

Angel said...

Thank God mine are mostly on their own! Know you can do only what you can do and the future of your child is NOT all on your shoulders. Parenting in some form seems never to be over as my 30 somethings still lean in from time to time. How I appreciate still being able to lean in on my own mother! You are an amazing woman and your child will be what she will be--as much of her own volition than anything you do or don't do. Loving them, no matter what, is our biggest job!

I Know Right? said...

You are AWES! You should know it and I am 100% sure you are raising Stella to grow up to be a fine woman! They will ALWAYS test boundaries. Mine have my mothers stubborn streak and my attitude and tehy are 7 and 4. So god help me, if I can be half teh Father that you are a Mother? i will be 100% satisfied Alannah! CHEERS TO YOU!

km said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
km said...

Clearly, I do not have any experience raising children, so I can only go off of what I learned growing up and what I see that my friends learned. I believe children learn so much more from the examples parents set for them, than the ideals we push on them. In other words, those who have calm, supportive, intellectually focused parents often grow up the same way, whereas those who have overprotective parents who force their kids to play 1000 sports and to get into the top schools, etc. usually rebel and resent. Love and trust go a long way. You're amazing. Don't doubt yourself!