Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Im always the bad guy!

I'm constantly told that I'm not strict enough with my kids. I'm told that they don't listen to me because they don't respect me....because I am not consistent with them and they need me to be harder on them. People tell me that I cant be a friend to my kids and be a parent at the same time. Recently I was told that I should "let my leash" out on my oldest because she needs some room. Yesterday I was told that my kids are just teenagers and sometimes they have to learn the hard way.

Seriously, my head could explode from thinking about all of this.

I agree that I am a pretty protective mom, yet pretty lenient in other areas, like letting them eat to many Popsicles. or riding their bikes into the night, and staying up late on the weekends, and sometimes (shhhhhh don't tell anybody) letting them eat cereal for dinner and then ice cream after that. I'm all for having fun together as a family but when it comes to other things like...letting my fourteen year old be alone with a boy, or letting the kids go into strangers houses, or crossing a six lane street on a bike, or have to much free time or unsupervised time while I'm at work, or going into strangers houses....that's when I get very very protective.

Why am I protective? I believe that children should be able to make mistakes naturally and then live with the consequences. But what if one of the girls were to fall pregnant at twelve or fourteen? Who gets to suffer those consequences? ME!!! Of course they are the ones that have to carry the baby, but they are under age and so me and their father get to deal with the extra cost and emotional expense. Or what if, per say, one of them becomes addicted to drugs? Who gets to deal with all of that drama? Well, they get to deal with the addiction but I have to deal with the other stuff that goes with it like taking them back and forth to counseling and the doctor and possibly a rehab clinic. I don't have time for that mess!

In my head it just seems simpler to not allow those addictions and temptations to take hold of them by not giving them the opportunity to even experience them. Some may say that its part of growing up...but I disagree. I made it through my whole life without having to "experience" drugs or sex at a very very young age. I think its ok NOT to do those things yet still experience life in other "safer" ways.

On the other hand, it has become nearly impossible to keep track of every waking moment my children have. I have tried and tried to keep account of all their activities so as to prevent the early pregnancies and drug temptations. I have literally driven myself crazy trying to keep everyone in this little shell. I am simply exausted.

How do I find a place that feels comfortable, yet still keeps the kids safe and accountable? How do I lay down the rules and feel positive about it? Im certain Im not the only parent that has these insecurities or struggles. The difference with me is that I dont have a husband to talk over things with and make decisions with. I find myself just living out of fear that my kids are going to get pregnant or do drugs and then as a result not live healthy productive lives. I cant keep my eye on all four of them at all times when Im responsible for getting dinner ready and paying the bills and bathing a four year old, and cleaning up the house, and keeping the laundry current, and keeping food in the house, and holding down a forty hour a week job, and keeping the kids in church.....sigh!

I need a husband....or maybe a part time nanny....or just some encouragment!!


m&msmommy said...

I have a husband and I still struggle with those insecurities AND my children are only 4 and not quite 8 months. I can't even imagine how I'll be when they are teenagers, UGHHHHHHHH! Unfortunately I went through the drug and alcohol "experiences" in my late teens and early 20's. Although I was never "addicted" I lived a life that I would not be proud of today. I couldn't agree more with your statement that experimenting is all part of growing up. It doesn't have to be. I hope I can instill that in my children. I've seen the AWFUL effects addiction can cause. Addiction runs on my side of the family and my husbands so I am even more scared for my children. Although I was not a teen mom, that also frightens me because I have several friends who were. I just keep praying to God that I will raise my children "right" and then at some point it will be up to them to make their own decisions, and I have to just pray they make the right ones!! You can shelter them and protect until your heart is content (or not content becuase I don't think moms will EVER feel like they are protecting their children enough) but ultimately the decision making will be up to them. That's what I keep telling myself and I hope that when the times comes that these issues will be relevant to my children that I can remember to tell myself that!!!! :)

You are not alone, that's for sure!

Good luck!

Annjeri said...

Oh man! I know you are doing the best you can sis. Even hearing you say to Chelsea the other day "You can made a decision to do that but if you do you will have to deal with the consequenses". This is so true!!! I am proud of you for saying that. I can't tell you what the right or wrong answere is for parenting because, well, I'm not a mom and we certainly didn't grown up with perfect parents either so...You are doing your best. Love you. ;-)

All My Monkeys said...

Everyone has their own thoughts on parenting, and I hear some of the same things you do, only my kids are 6 and under. Ignore them. You are doing what YOU feel is necessary. And husband or not, this is the hard part - protecting them from all the evils of the world, especially when they have their OWN free will. It's exhausting just THINKING about that. Uffda! (And, there are pleny of husbands who don't really take part in parenting. Plus, if you had a dh who's not the kids dad, how would they feel about him telling them what to do? That's a dicey situation.) You're doing a great job, but you can't control everything. (On the pregnancy front, have them watch some episodes of 16 and Pregnant. That otta deter them some.)

So I vote nanny. :D

jodilee0123 said...

You are doing a perfect job of parenting. All three of my children's first moms were teens. You know all to well the emotional repercussions of adoption. You love your kids therefore you want to protect them. Don't second guess yourself. It's so easy for people to tell you what is right or wrong when they are not the ones doing the parenting. Or the ones who don't really know your children and what works best for them. Everyone is different and you know your children the best! Keep up the good work!

Tanya and Mattea said...

You have to be confident that you are raising good kids that can have fun without doiing the bad things. It sounds like you lack the confidence in your parenting skills and are kind of having a pity party about not being married! You can do it, I'm a single mom and I am lucky to have a village supporting me, but I know that the responsibility is on me and I am doing the best I can in raising a confident and well-rounded girl. If you don't give them the room to make mistakes how will they ever learn to make good decisions?

Rebekah said...

Don't give up, Rebekah! All of this is exactly why parenting was designed for two. You are only one parent. One parent who works hard to keep all the plates spinning, while providing stability and love and support at the same time. All you can do is your best. And you're doing it! The rest you need to leave in God's hands and trust that he will take care of your kids and their futures.

Trust that he will bring helpers into your life to lead, guide, mentor, and love your babies.

I wholeheartedly agree that it takes a village to raise a child. You are not the only shaper in their life. They are surrounded by people who love them and offer influence, even if they pretend not to notice!

Keep doing what you're doing. You'll see fruit one day. I promise. And one day when your kids have families of their own, they'll come back to you and thank you for the sacrifice.

I was a really good kid, but never understood the extent of my mother's love until I became one.

Love you, hang in there!

Deanna said...

You're an amazing parent and love for your kids shines from every word you write always!

I left you a blog award!

THE CHETNEY 4 said...

Found your blog through the other Rebekah, who I stumbled upon by chance. I am totally awestruck with both of you lovely ladies. And, my interest in your journeys is twofold: 1) That I am an adult adoptee myself, sorting through finding my birth family a few years ago; and 2) My husband and I are called to finish our family through adoption. Your story is beautiful, though I can only imagine how challenging, and I can tell from your words what an AMAZING mother you are. Really.

On a side note about some of your struggles, a friend of mine recently recommended a book called "Hold On To Your Kids". The author talks about the real root of a lot of that kind of behaviour, the things that make us as parents stay up late at night worrying about... It's a fantastic book (though a bit of a read). My oldest is only 2.5, and I already worry. This book has been HUGE for me. Not sure if you're a book person, but it might bring some peace to you. Either way, know that our Father is holding your family in His hand. Besides, His guidance and covering FAR exceeds anythign we can get from a book. Blessings to you and your family. :)