YES, I DO…
I started this blog actually as a post on my FaceBook page and found that I really had more to say than room to say it over there so I decided to continue it here so let me backtrack and start from the beginning again.
I said “Woke up this morning after a long night of tossing and turning with a new-found understanding for being a Wife, Mother and 50! I have paid my dues, I have excelled at most of my lessons. I have compromised myself and I have held my tongue along the way. NO MORE. At my age, YES, I DO know more than you, get over it. New Mantra…NO DRAMA, NO DRAMA…or I will show you the door.”
So what prompted this outburst? Living with and trying to deal on a daily basis with children. No wait that’s not right, they are not “children” in the technical term as they are all over 21 at this point but the behavior remains “child like”.
I always thought I had been a good mother. I mean I had the best of teachers in my own parents, but now I am not so sure that I did such a great job. Yes, it is true that all my kids grew up being decent people and I don’t discount that at all, but somewhere along the line something was missed. They got the “socially acceptable” things but its the “character” things they are missing that I didn’t understand.
As I said I spent a long night tossing and turning and trying to figure out what I had missed in the formative years when all of a sudden like a bolt of lighting I got it and I was astonished to find that the only one to blame was me. So I have little choice but to accept my own failings and deal with it here and now.
Character Flaw: I taught them to be selfish.
That was my first mistake. Somewhere in my brain I thought that these people I had given up everything for would actually understand that I sacrificed FOR THEM, not because I had to but because I wanted to and they would willingly show their thanks. Wrong…as is human nature, the more I gave the more they took until we both got to a place where it was just expected on both sides.
Character Flaw: I taught them to be sneaky.
That was my second mistake. Somewhere in my brain I didn’t make the connection that they were learning this trait as I was busy trying to keep a happy home by hiding things that I knew would cause problems from the one person I should have been going to all along.
Character Flaw: I taught them to be greedy.
That was my third mistake. Somewhere in my brain I didn’t comprehend that by always trying to make it possible to fill their “wants” not “needs” I was teaching them that there are no limits to what you get.
Character Flaw: I taught them to lie.
That was my fourth mistake. Somewhere in my brain I pushed down the idea that by telling a “little white lie” now and then it was ok as long as you did it for the right reasons. Problem is…there is NEVER a right reason to lie. The truth maybe painful at times but it will always be the better choice.
Character Flaw: I taught them to be disrespectful.
That was my fifth mistake. Somewhere in my brain I just assumed that they would respect me because I was the parent. It never dawned on me that unless I was willing to be someone worth respecting they would only see me as someone they could use and they would every chance they got.
Character Flaw: I taught them to be lazy.
That was my sixth mistake. Somewhere in my brain I just never guessed that by not demanding that things be kept in priority at all times that they would learn it was ok to just put it off till later, if it meant having some fun right now.
And the last Character Flaw: I taught them to be complacent.
That was my seventh mistake. Somewhere in my brain I didn’t want to accept the idea that demanding more of them would make me the bad guy. I wanted them to like me more than I wanted them to understand that I expected better of them. I was willing to just hold my tongue even when they KNEW it was something that really bothered me, just so they would like me.
Wow…talk about painful truths! I can’t blame any of them for these flaws because I am the teacher. What a bit of self-reflection that is…BUT…
Now that I have come to terms with this discovery I am a new person myself. Its to bad that it took me this long but I think that is the way it has to be. It’s not until we each reach that age where we are comfortable really looking at ourselves in the mirror with an honest eye that we can find the strength to deal with who we really are. I am not a perfect person, and as a mother I made some big mistakes, but that doesn’t mean I have to continue to make them. As I started out here telling you I have “paid my dues” and “held my tongue” but no more. Its time to deal with them all as adults and demand they act the same. I am no longer concerned with them liking me, or even wanting to be my friend because I expect more of my friends anyway….Just as long as they understand that….YES, I DO know more than them and always will, the only advise I have left is…get over it! Either you will learn from my mistakes or you won’t, that choice is yours.