One of the problems with blogging is that I'm human. Because I'm human, I have tendency to experience moods, therefore, my posts can represent that. Sometimes, I'm a little giddy and my post will show it. Sometimes I want people to visit my shops and that too becomes apparent. Other times, I want to give stuff away, I think you like those days best, as the number of comments seem to peak, which is good, I appreciate that. Then, there are also those times when I feel strongly about something and I just need to write about it. Today is one of those days.
As a mother who happens to blog, I feel compelled to respond to recent tragic events with which we've been bombarded by the media. I'm referring to more than one suicide committed by a young girl. It's been reported that these suicides were preceded by bullying and that these young ladies saw no other way out. Needless to say, these extremely sad stories make me think about my own daughters and their future.
We have three little girls. Our oldest is six and our twins are four. One of my biggest fears is losing the ability to communicate with them in the future. Now, I know the knee jerk response might be, "Well, get prepared because it's coming" Which, of course, is a response based on the stereotypical thirteen year old girl who can be seen in every sit-com. It's the girl who wants nothing to do with her parents because they just don't understand her. But, you see, that's exactly what I'm afraid of. I'm terrified of losing the connection that I share with my daughters, even for a moment. Frankly, I would miss them terribly. I'm not willing to lose them, even temporarily, so they can go through a phase.
Now, you might expect me to describe the ways that a mother can stop that from happening. But, unfortunately, I haven't a clue. I know I make bad parenting choices sometimes only to realize it after the fact. An example would be, scolding the twins for sneaking into the pantry and taking cookies when I've told them only moments before that they can't have one. Then, they get caught, the cookie is taken and there's a time-out. But, I'm too busy and I don't always take the time to explain to them exactly what's going on. I forget to tell them why I don't want them to have the stupid cookie, and that it's because I want them to eat their dinner so they can be strong and healthy. I guess I just think that they know that (because we talked about it only two days ago) and I suppose, for some reason, I expect them to make better choices. But they're FOUR, their memories fade fast plus, the cookie tastes really good. When the whole ordeal is done, their problem isn't that they ate part of a cookie, the problem is: they were caught. And the only thing that I've taught them is that they need to improve their sneaking techniques which really only pushes them away. It's an issue that I strive to improve everyday.
Today it's a cookie, down the road it could be the boy of whom my husband and I don't approve or riding around with friends or...anything. I'm afraid that my disapproval will push them away and teach them to hide things from me. At the same time, I have no desire to be that "cool mom". Remember those moms from when you were a kid? You know the ones to whom I'm referring, they tried to act young, dress cool (actually, I do want to dress cool) and ultimately befriend their children. It seemed pathetic when I was twelve, and now it seems beyond pathetic.
I hope to fall somewhere in between cool mom and commando mom, I'm just not sure exactly how to go about becoming that person. I certainly don't claim to know that the parents of those young girls who made the decision to end their own lives could have done anything to stop it from happening. I wasn't there and I wouldn't begin to judge those poor people. I'd like to learn something from it though, even if it's only to take the time and stop to think.
I've always thought that it was a mother's responsibility to provide her children with a soft place to fall. That just doesn't seem good enough anymore. I want the girls to seek guidance before they fall. I want to teach them that when life hands them a seemingly hopeless situation, there's always a way out and that it's not outside of them, it's in them. The same can be said of happiness and peace. People spend their lives searching for these things only to end up empty handed. We can't find it, we can only let it in, once we do so, we have the ability to share it with others. It's then, and only then, that we are given the gift of happiness and peace. Yet, I'm left with the realization that that's not necessarily something that I can teach our girls, but thankfully, it's something that I can show them. I pray that I'm up to the challenge and if so, I hope they're watching.
"Example isn't another way to teach, it is the only way to teach."