I’m a strong believer in raising independent children. I’m also a believer of raising my kids in a home full of love and support and free thinking. Seeing as how my little dog Jeannie is one of the best behaved dogs I know (we won’t talk about the big dog, he is the result of his Dad’s training), I had full faith in myself and my ability be a good but firm mother.
Last night I questioned myself on this point.
Growing up is a hard thing to do. In my personal life I feel like my life starting with high school has been one of the most terrifying roller coasters there is. So many downs, a few really high ups, lots of disappointment and heartbreak as well as moments of sheer joy, and I’m just now getting to the leveled off safe area. My sister is still riding her own roller coaster. For those of you who don’t know, she lives with Husband and I. Although I’ve loved her sporadic company, especially when Husband’s schedule gets crazy, it has often times felt like I’ve been taking care of two children. Between the cooking and the cleaning and the late night therapy sessions over the latest friend or boy drama or ego stroking after a brutal day at school, I’ve tried to create a home in our little house that is comfortable and safe. Obviously H is my sister and not my child, but when I see first hand the red burn of tears in her eyes it breaks my heart. I find myself trying to find the right words to say, leaving encouraging notes in her lunchbox (seriously), brainstorming things I can do to cheer her up (like fixing her favorite pasta dish or ordering Pei Wei). I immediately want to gut punch whoever it is that has caused her this pain, and have not been afraid to say something to said person if necessary.
In addition to tending to her emotional wounds I’ve also realized that I apparently have no resistance to shelling out money if she ever needs it. Leaking hose on your car, I’ll cover it. Low on cash, I’ll get lunch. She always pays me back eventually and NEVER asks for it, and maybe that’s why I don’t feel the act is so bad. But it goes against my preaching that you have to let children grow up and take care of themselves at some point.
For these reasons, I’m not so sure that I will be the great mother I had intended. My words reflect a firm maternal figure full of love but with a strong hand, but my actions thus far in my life show the opposite. It concerns me a little. I can only hope that sometime between now and when a little bump begins to grow on my frontside I will find the balance between “helicopter mom“, friend, and tough love. Taking all suggestions now!