Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Not the mommy!

Some days I feel as if I'm the child instead of the mother. I'm supposed to have all the answers and know what to do all the time, but I don't.

What do you do when she won't eat? What are you supposed to do when she smarts off? How much television is too much? Should she be doing flashcards or will it be okay to just let her color? What is that spot on her leg? Why is she acting like a baby? Do I give her medicine for a cold or not?

These questions and so many more pound my brain, test my limits, wring me out and fling me to the floor like a rag doll. What happened to all the the answers I had just a few short years ago before I had my first child?

Aren't young children supposed think their parents know everything? Mine don't, or at least I don't think they believe that. They hear, "I don't know," from me too much to think that I have all the answers, or even very many of them, for that matter.

I suppose the one thing that confounds my co-parent and I more than anything else is discipline. I don't mean punishment, I mean the whole thing, the big picture. The raising them up to be loving and respectful, loved and respected, human beings and the day-to-day effort that takes. We try so hard to do right by our kids and then lay awake at night wondering if something we did or said was the right thing to do or say and hoping we're not scarring them for life, or at least not messing them up too badly.

A lot of it just feels like one great big guessing game. Will I get the right answer this time? Will I judge correctly? I want to know, but I just don't. Here I am a grown woman with two little children looking to me for guidance, and often I just don't have a clue.

Sometimes I'd just like to feel like the adult instead of the child.

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