There Are No Do-Overs!

I wanted to write this blog several weeks ago, but I decided against it. Why? Because my two older children read this blog as well and although I use real-life experiences when writing my blogs, I didn't want it to seem as though I was sharing "too much of their business". However, after careful thinking, I have decided to write it anyway.
I woke up yesterday morning feeling so "New", so blessed and I had an "a-ha" moment. Of course this moment did not come instantaneously, it has come to me over the last couple years with much thought, anxiety, soul-searching, self reflection, and self-satisfaction. I, me, she, her..."I" had to be okay with the way things are and were going in my life. Anyone who truly knows me, knows that I am a perfectionist and anything I do, I do it with zeal, persistence, and determination; including being a MOTHER. Which brings me to this blog. As a mother, I have four children who count on me daily; I have been a mother for the past 20 years and it's something I take great pride in. It has always been my desire to ensure that my children had a great childhood, did things they wanted to do, participated in extra curricular activities at school (clubs, organizations, field trips, parties, etc), participated in sports, had an equal balance between being a student and a friend (socially). I regularly attended parent conferences, except four. Why? Because I was working on my Masters so hubby stood in for me that year and he went solo. I regularly attended all school performances, and I regularly attended all games. (Screeching tire sound here) STOP! That's where I was wrong. You see, my eldest daughter shared with me a few weeks back that she felt I should have been more supportive of her and her Basketball Games. I didn't attend "all" of them only "some" of them. She was right in saying that. Although that's not something a parent wants to hear, she was valid in feeling that way. I didn't attend all her games; I have been a working mother the entire length of my kids' lives. Prettie (her nickname because she is gorgeous) played JV Basketball and their games were always at 2:30 in the afternoon; don't get me wrong, I have taken off work to attend "some" but I couldn't take off work one day every week, my principal would have thought I'd lost my mind. It's difficult to not be there for your kids while you're still being there for them. Does that make sense? It's like, I wasn't there for her physically at the game, but I was there for her while working to help hubby provide for us all. When those games were over, she had a ride home after school in the truck because we paid the note. She had food on the table for dinner because we worked so we could afford groceries. She had someplace to sit and do her homework because we worked and paid the rent. She had two parents in the home who could help her do her homework (if necessary). She had someplace warm and clean to lay her head at night because we worked and could afford a bed with clean sheets. She had a mother who was not out partying and "doing her", but always there when she needed an ear. I could go on and on but I'll stop here! She and her brother always say "boy you can talk!" I sure can!
Nevertheless, what I'm trying to say is, in parenting, there are no do-overs. We do the best we can do for our children. Sometimes that may mean they are not going to like us, they may be angry with us sometimes, and they may tell us how awful of a job we did raising them. But at the end of the day, you can't go back and change anything. What you can do, is acknowledge their feelings, take accountability for your actions or lack of in my case, and move forward. What pleased me so much about the conversation that Prettie and I had is that although it was a bit hurtful hearing my child say she felt I wasn't there for her enough, I was proud I raised her to have such a discussion with me. She knew she could say anything to me and it could be discussed. I raised a young lady who is not afraid to voice her opinion and is articulate enough to have an engaging conversation. I was proud! good news or bad, I was proud because at the end of the day, we want to raise children who feel empowered, supported, have a positive identity, and know what expectations and boundaries have been set for them.
I did respect Prettie for coming to me and sharing her feelings, and I also told her, "If this is the only complaint you have about me as being your mother, I think I did a pretty darn good job! Don't start me on all the things I HAVE done for you girl." LOL, but I really did say that!
This has been a pretty rough year for Prettie and she's had a great deal of time to think and reflect, so maybe she's just thinking about some things and wanted to get that off her chest. Nevertheless, I don't get a Do-Over with her. So where do we go from here? UP of course! There are going to be so many more events I will be a part of and she's knows that I will be there for her.
Side Note: My seven year old is not too happy with me either because Tuesday is her Christmas Play but I have Parent Conferences with the parents of my students all next week (five a day) and I can't make it. She's not interested in the fact that I am behind because the sub in my room did nothing for two months so it was like starting from scratch. She doesn't care that Daddy will be there filming for me and we'll watch it together later. All she said to me (through tears) is, "But you never miss my shows Mommy!" I can't catch a break with my princesses!
I know your time is precious and valuable, and I thank you for sharing it with me. Until we chat again...

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