Sunday, May 10, 2009
Do We Love Our Kids Too Much?
To my girls on Mothers Day,
Being a mom has many joys and many challenges as well. It is often the mom that the kids resent. Dads seem to get off the hook somehow. It is the mom’s who say, “brush your teeth, comb your hair, that outfit doesn’t match, sit up straight. All of these exhortations and many others get us in “trouble” with our kids. As our kids grow older they don’t want to hear us tell them to clean their dorm room, study harder, or hear us give relationship advice. I remember telling one of you about a friend of yours that I didn’t exactly like. You thought I was being judgmental, I thought I was trying to protect you from getting hurt. You resented my interference, I felt hurt that you didn’t trust my advice more. Dads seldom get involved in these ways.
Mom’s hurt when their kids hurt, they get fiercely protective when someone threatens their child. We interfere, we give advice, and we plead, cry, hover, and miss our kids fiercely when they are away from us. So we get a bum rap. Our passions get us in trouble. We feel deeply for you, yearn to see you happy and sometimes act in ways that may seem controlling rather than loving. It is our duty to learn the exact balance of love and letting go.
Let me put it like this..You know when you have that great outfit that is to die for? Sometimes I find an outfit like that and I wear it so much that one of you will say, “ I liked that outfit when you first bought it, but, WOW I am a little sick of it now.” So, I guess it’s a balance, too much of a good thing is just that, TOO MUCH. I guess as a mom I have to learn that exact balance of backing off but still communicating my undying love for you. This is especially hard with college age kids. You girls communicate how much you want me in your life but then when I step over that invisible line you let me know that I am out of bounds in“subtle” ways. I end up feeling rejection and hurt and in the future tend to back away too much. After the backing away too much, I feel guilty and then begin the difficult road back to coming toward you again.
So, you see, it’s not so cut and dry-being a mom. It is a juggling act. So, just remember girls-your mom yearns to protect you, has an undying love for you, and hurts when you hurt. Be easy on her, forgive her, and celebrate her uniqueness just like she does yours. I love you all..Katie, Kelli, Sadie, Hannah, And Emma- You too, Lukey boy!