The Parent Report Card

When I was a young mother raising two kids as a single parent, I didn’t have time to worry about whether I was “doing it right”. I worked full time, had two kids in two different schools, sports activities and seeing two different therapists because I was divorcing and both had special needs at that time. I made it through every day hanging by my fingernails!

I look back at that time now and wonder how the hell I made it all work without losing my sanity. Now I have my children as grown adults who routinely don’t agree with me on a variety of topics. I often wonder if they are issuing me a “report card” on my parenting. One of my children ferociously disagrees with most everything I hold dear and important. One has an addiction that comes and goes in life. For the longest time, I thought these things meant I didn’t do something right.

I have to regularly remind myself that because we disagree or they are hurtful, it doesn’t mean I got an “F” as a mother. I can still be true and authentic as myself, and allow them the freedom to live their own lives as THEY see fit, not by my standards. I did my best, and now it is up to them to be who they are. Even though I am an experienced co-dependent (!) I no longer get to control and enable their choices.

All of us can be good parents by taking care of ourselves. Following our own path and dreams is actually role modeling healthy self-care behaviors as a parent. That means we get an “A” for effort and intention every time!

 

Posted by Susan Odegaard Turner – MentorRN