“There is no such thing as a perfect parent. So just be a real one.” -Sue Atkins
Last night as I was sharing with my fellow friends about the ups and downs of parenting through sobriety. I got a few reminders of the key points to sum up what really matters. First was this, “God has no grandchildren”, and second, “No matter what I haven’t given up.” As you know, I have been on this journey with my kids, trying to help them along and heal from the past. There are “skeletons” in the closet that have haunted my kids and now we are pulling those out, all the while life is still in session.
I think my worst fears are that I screwed my kids up and that my kids will struggle the way I did. At times this drives me to want to control my kids behaviors out fear that if they don’t change “This”, they are going to suffer, and that confirms my belief that I am a bad mother. But it doesn’t work, in fact it makes things worse for my kids. It’s been a hard concept for me to learn that I am not their God. My job is to do my part in setting an example in taking care of myself, showing them healthy ways to respond to life and how to show up and do the next right thing. My kids are growing up so fast, and each one of them has their own life and will continue to become more independent. They are going to have to struggle through situations and as much as I want to control that, It’s not my job.
Right now is a “tough time” I am unemployed and looking for work, it’s an emotional process. I’m doing family counseling, my oldest son hit a wall with his attitude at school, it’s non stop trying to get past this point. I’m in this place of “waiting” in life. Waiting for that door to open, waiting for my kids to get through this process… When will it PASS? When will the door OPEN!!??? So naturally it’s easy for my head to say.. FAILURE!! And yet, at this point in my emotional sobriety I find myself fighting to show up, to take care of what needs to be done, to continue looking for the next job and to be present for my kids.. And it feels really good, in the midst of uncertanty I find that I have a sense of Serenity. There was a time not to long ago when this situation would have shut me down, I would use it as an excuse to be angry and everything in life would be unmanageable, I could blame others for making my life harder and definitely have a great reason to drink and use… And guess which Four People are watching my reactions and could have the same nasty attitude at their mother?!
As a mom, I can see my willingness to keep going, to continue to improve myself and change my behaviors, and acknowledging that I have never quit on my family no matter how hard it’s gotten. I have quit a lot of things in my life, but wanting to be a healthy mom and a positive role model to my kids have never wavered.. It’s been a journey, skills I have to continue to learn, ages and stages to adjust to, celebrating the small wins and pushing through when it gets uncomfortable. Learning to let my kids be God’s kids, allowing them to be who they are meant to be in this world and stepping back and Thanking God for the Blessing to have the responsibility to raise them.
As parents I think it’s important for us to take a moment and realize, we are all doing our very best, and that’s all we ever do at any given moment (our kids too).. And as we all grow and change, one thing will remain the same, we never gave up.