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Parenting Difficult Children

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I have spent the past 30 plus years parenting my chiildren. I’ve learned so much over the years. There is no manual to tell you how to raise your children. I have tried and failed at so many things. One thing is for sure, I have always loved my children with all of my heart, mind, body, and soul. Even if they didn’t see it, the love was still there.

I struggled whether to write today about this because I run the risk of “upsetting” a child. My deciding factor was this. Don’t give me something to write about then. I will most certainly make the most of it. So here I am. 

I am positive that I am not the only parent that has tried her hardest to raise a certain kind of person and ended up with a result that was so far from my vision that I feel as though I failed somewhere. I believe this is normal and I believe that it happens more often than naught. This is always the case once their own free will kicks in and they fight you at every move. 

I have had my children tell me I’m the worst mom ever and that I did a horrible job and I’ve ruined their lives and caused so much damage, yet I’m the first person they call when they need help with their own children. So in actuality, I’m not that bad afterall! Right? Because if I was that bad, I would never be allowed around their children to run the risk of ruining their lives as well.

This tells me that once they grow up and start having children of their own, the reasoning behind everything I did becomes their light and it’s like a light bulb goes off and they say now I get it. 

I  have made many mistakes. I’ve made some that I would never do again if given the opportunity. There are other situations where I feel I acted appropriately and I stand by my previous actions. What is most important is that you learn as you go and you realize what didn’t work and what did work. 

Currently, my husband and I struggle with our youngest child and his decision making. He has struggled with doing so much in his life. He is the most caring individual I’ve ever met yet he doesn’t know how to do self-love and take care of himself. He will be 19 soon and all I can think of is where will he be in a year? How can we help him move forward into a better life and get going with himself?

Everyone has an opinion and they are sure to give it. The only opinion I truly care about is my husbands. It is up to us to produce tough love and to try our best to live by example and teach him how to live appropriately. We do try! Every single day. 

Frustration sets in. Some days are harder than others. We as parents give 110% while he gives back maybe 30%. That is being extremely generous.  It can be very exhausting.

I find myself missing my beaches in San Diego and the peaceful life I once had. It would be so much easier to have stayed there and not chosen my family over myself. That isn’t what God intended though. He didn’t give me a child to love and raise only to abandon. It is my job and my responsbility to be there for my son “until”! Until he gets it. Until he understands. Until he can take over and do it on his own. Until he begins to make those sacrifices for himself that we do, for now, on a daily basis.

I do believe that my son will grow past all of this. I believe that in time he will be that person who we so badly wanted him to be when he was just a baby and we had the visions of how we wanted it to play out. I just think it will be a different version of greatness than we could have ever thought of. I am ok with that. 

As I type this post I am reminded that there is always someone out there that has it worse than I do. So I learn to go with the flow. I learn to sit back and watch and wait for his own personal growth to kick in. I learn to breathe more and relax more. It isn’t in my timing that all will be accomplished. It is in my son’s life and timing that things will take place.

There are times when us parents have to let them make their own mistakes and learn from them and that alone is very difficult. We can sometimes predict the future, even voice it out loud. Still it is ignored and lived out and learning the hard way kicks in.

We are not responsible for our childrens decisions as adults. We are only responsible to love them and guide them as much as is allowed. Wait, pray, and hope for a better future. 

I’m in the waiting and praying stage right now. I may be here a while.

Every now and then I see the knowledge of how to be as an adult spill out of my son and that is progress. I see it when he talks to his nieces and nephews and teaches them right from wrong. So he knows it, it just doesn’t apply to him yet. Maturity will set in eventually and he will get there. I have faith in him and I will wait “until” he gets to a point where I can really relax and trust he has thing crazy thing called life. 

The only thing I know for sure is that I adore my children and I want the very best for them. I’m there when needed. I love them unconditionally and always. Regardless of anything they can say or do. I believe they all know that by now!

So for now, I roll on my oil of Peace and Balance and take one day at a time. 

We are all in this together. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but I also believe it takes a village to move past every part of our lives. So I write to reach out to my village to offer hope and share that you are not alone. I hope that I portray that in my writing. It is why I do it.