Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Letters To Our Children :: February

Dearest Children,

February hasn't been kind to us.  We've spent the past 10 days battling the stomach bug and the weather and perhaps had a little too much 'togetherness.'  So, I wasn't my best when school was canceled yesterday.  I was tired and frustrated and what I really needed was a break...from everything.  But we made the best of it, you and I.  There was tent making and movie watching and popcorn eating and cookie baking.

As a stay at home mom I often feel conflicted, like I should lead the charge for these things and orchestrate the ultimate stay at home day.  But yesterday I didn't.  I tried to get you to work together and make your own tent, decide amongst yourselves on a movie and pick a recipe for baking and start pulling out ingredients.  Part of me felt like like a 'bad mom' for pushing you away--but part of me really didn't.   

You see, by the time I was the age of you older kids, my parents had already divorced.  My mother was not just working, but taking every shift of overtime, and sometimes a second job to keep our family afloat.  While I remember snow days of tent building and movie watching, it wasn't some sort of parent led activity.  It was just my brothers and I playing, learning, fighting, getting bored, operating the oven, watching inappropriate TV and working through it.  

Most of my childhood I wouldn't want to replicate for you kids, I had more responsibility at a young age than perhaps I should have.  Less parental supervision.  I had to fuddle my way through homework, watched too much Oprah in grade school.  But there was good in that, too.  I learned to keep going, to work hard, to depend on myself.  I gained confidence.  And I want all those things for you guys, too.  But sometimes I don't know how to go about it, I don't have a 'nomal' family history to reference.  

So please don't ever think I don't want to be involved.  Sometimes I just need a break, and I know you can benefit from a break from me.  And sometimes I love to see what you come up with on your own.  I love to see you work together, build off each others ideas, and come up with solutions I never would have dreamed of.  I love to see you work through mistakes, because I know how handy that will be. Chances are good you'll keep making them.  And I hope that you always have the confidence to get back up and try again.  And know that I will always be here cheering you on.


I'm joining in the Letters To Our Children blog circle at Everyday Eye Candy
Please head over to A Well Heeled Woman to see the next letter in the series!


LaShawn Wiltz said...

there is nothing wrong with taking a break for yourself!!! And the kids will understand. When they look back on it, they won't remember that one day. Rather, they will remember many many others when you made that fort and popped the popcorn! Give yourself grace!

Jessica G. said...

Such beauty and honesty in your letter. Just remember, even if you didn't directly participate in that day's activities, you did indirectly. You help provide the home, the safe place for them to use their imaginations and play with each other. You stock the pantry with popcorn and snacks for days just like that. You are a great mom, even if you don't always feel like it.

Joyce Brewer said...

Thank you for being so open about the twinges of guilt you felt, even though you know that your children's upbringing is wildly different from what you experienced.
I watched a lot of Oprah after school, myself.
I was responsible for making sure the VCR recorded it for my Mom every day!

Lou Martin said...

Moms needs breaks too, nothing wrong with that. Your children may not understand now, but they will later.