Being a parent is hard. I look at other people and see how they raise their kids and realize I am quick to criticize them in my head. It is easy to throw stones from my glass house over here.
I also plainly see the mistakes I make. I should probably start keeping a journal of them when they happen because it will make it easier for you when you're older and in therapy. You can just flip through it and say "Oh, here it is, October 2017, my Mom lost her temper and said..."
Sometimes I feel like I am too hard on you. You are just being you - navigating through your own challenges the best you can. I find myself putting pressure on you to know how to do it already. I put pressure on you to know how to act, what to say, how to behave perfectly in every situation like you have had 40 years experience doing it already. I forget that I have had over 40 years experience and still don't know how to act or what to say most of the time. Why do I expect more of you?
I try to tell myself to relax, go easier, be patient but I usually lose it somewhere around homework or reminding you to do the same thing over and over again.
Do you hear the disappointment and contempt in my voice? I do... that's what I am afraid of. I am afraid you hear it, take it to heart and replay it in your head until my voice becomes the soundtrack of you not feeling good enough about yourself.
The truth is - you are good enough. The truth is that I am really happy and delighted and so proud of you. The truth is you are beautiful.
When I fall short and over react and yell at you its often because I am tired or internalizing whatever you have done to make it a reflection on me. The truth is you are a really good kid. When you are upset or insolent it has been building up. I the adult could have steered it somewhere else, or taken your attention from your phone, or given us both a time-out sooner.
I do understand school is hard. It is a lot more demanding than when I was your age. Social drama is hard! You have a lot more distractions to juggle and pick your way through than I did. Why should you always know how to act?
The truth is I only have you around for a few more years and then who knows where you'll go. I promise I will do a much better job of remembering this before I get so frustrated and hit the roof over little things.
How do I want you to remember me as a parent? Do I want you to remember me as the tired woman who never smiled and complained you weren't doing good enough? Or do I want you to remember me as the mother who motivated you and showered you with affection? I want you to remember me as the mother who trusted you and let you work toward your own dreams and goals not mine. I want you to remember me as the person who was always in your corner and had your back. The person who's eyes lit up when they saw you.
To do that I also need to be patient with me. I need to relax and mother myself. I can't work out my imperfections and shortcomings by trying to correct them in you. Your school years are not a way for me to do over mine, they are your lessons to learn for yourself.
Mostly, I need to enjoy you more! As you switch gears and grow into an adult I have to switch gears too. I need to focus more on helping you nurture your inner wisdom as you make your own choices. I must focus on enjoying this journey of raising you before you leave to be the captain of your own journey.
I promise I will work on this. Why? Because, I love you more than you'll ever know.