Tuesday, August 23, 2016

In the past

I used to think I was a pretty good mom. Not perfect, but I felt like I was doing okay.

I don't think that anymore.

What I think now is that I have no idea how to parent "adults".

I put that in quotes because, to me, it is ridiculous to consider these two people adults. I mean, technically and legally or whatever, they are. They could get married, join the Army, buy property, whatever. They are old enough.

They aren't old enough.

So I'm having these two hours conversations with them about how hard pre-calculus is, and I can't help. I can't do pre-calculus. I have nightmares about pre-calculus. I cannot help advise what type of job you can get with a history degree and how beneficial that would actually be. I can't seem to find the right words, I don't know the right actions to take. I just feel like I'm failing at this, hard.

The Mom Judging has not ended either. I was hopeful that eventually that would go away, but it hasn't. I'm still getting The Look when I name the community college that my children are attending. "Oh, that's nice," they say, while looking at me as though they've just swallowed bad cheese.

They aren't ready to be out on their own. I don't want them to be, either. I'm afraid that's why they aren't ready. They know people their age who have their own apartments or who are married or have a baby. I cannot even imagine them at that point and it almost makes me feel sick to think about it.

Realistically, I think they are doing fine. They are going to school and they work and they are pretty quiet and nice and never get in trouble or anything. Emotionally I think, "Why aren't they dating?" "What if I've sheltered them too much?" "Will they ever be ready to move away?" It's horrible and conflicting because I'm actually really okay with them not dating and I don't want them to move away for selfish reasons, but I want them to feel okay about doing those types of things. Megan told me at the beginning of the Summer that she'd like to go to Europe this year and I laughed and said, "You can't even drive on the highway!" I mean, legally she can. She has a drivers license. But the thought of her even attempting such a feat fills me with an icy fear for both her well-being and the safety of all the other drivers on the road. I can't imagine her boarding a plane and going somewhere she's never been, with no friends, no mom, no one to guide her.

Parenting is hard and it's always been hard, I guess. I just don't remember it being this hard. I've always felt like I had at least some of the answers and, maybe more importantly, I always felt like they listened to the answers I had. Not so much now. I'm equally thrilled that they've expanded their minds and hearts and horrified that they don't think I'm right about everything anymore.

I think this is all normal, but I've never really had "normal" with these two, so it's scary. People say, "They aren't your responsibility anymore!". Like that's true. Like that could ever be true.

It's all just really scary.


Jana Holdeman Frerichs said...

UGH! SOME MUCH OF THIS IS IS MY LIFE RIGHT NOW! And I'm struggling. I'm failing hard at this too. Or at least I think I am. I never know what to say and most of the time, I don't think he thinks I know what I'm talking about anyways. Like usual, I really appreciate your honesty and posts. I'm sorry that you are going through this as well, but it helps to know I'm not alone. You aren't alone either! And as much as it is "normal", it still doesn't feel good.

Jill said...

Thank you for paving the way with honesty. Sincerely, encouraged mom of 4 who can't even imagine 8, let alone 18.