Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Growing Pains

I know you are all dying to read yet another post about how my parenting skills are being tested like Job's faith in God (hyperbole aside, I am being driven out of my mind), but I thought I would try to distract myself into a good mood. Yes, I am dumb (and desperate) enough to fall for my own tricks.

I have been thinking that if I do manage to fail miserably at this whole parenting thing, and my kids end up on the streets (or behind bars), maybe I can salvage a few shreds of dignity and self-worth by being a successful person in my own right! As silly as that sounds, I do see many parents heavily invested in, and buoyed by, their kids' success, and alternatively, completely devastated if things don't work out exactly as they'd hoped. Believe me, good parenting definitely increases the probability that your kids will turn out okay, but it is, by no means, a guarantee (don't I sound wise? I think I must have read that in a book somewhere).

So instead of living vicariously through my kids, which at this point would be a big, smelly nightmare, I am going to invest some time and effort in me. I have already spent many years growing as a person, but honestly, it has been with my family in mind. Doing what I could to become a better mother or wife (although my husband is probably reading this, thinking, "?"... so let's just leave it at better mother).

Anyway, now it's time to focus on being a better me. Period. Yes, I am aware that by improving myself will most likely make my family's life better, but frankly, at this second, I don't care very much about that aspect of my self-improvement plan.

So let's talk about me! What do I want to be when I grow up? How can I help others (that aren't my own blood-relatives)? What makes me happy? What do I like?

Well, hopefully my little pet project will take off. I am going to take it slow and see where it leads. I have a good feeling about it, and I know that moms in my position could really use some support.

I am going to take a class. I've never been afraid to try something new, but I have yet to find anything that I can do with confidence and claim as my own. Maybe I never will, but I am going to keep searching. Photography? Basketweaving?

And, I should probably include something about exercising and eating better, but I don't like to make promises I can't keep. 

I realize this sounds like the standard midlife crisis of the suburban set, and I guess maybe it could be. But really, I am tired of being so involved in my kids' lives, and I know they are ready for me to start loosening up those apron strings (since I have never even been in the same room as an apron, I guess we should call them sweatpant strings).

So, that's it. I guess this is the resolution post I hadn't planned on writing. I know you are all on the edge of your seats, waiting to see where this goes.

You know, now that I think about it, I may need to hold off extracting myself from everyone until Moody actually passes Algebra II and Beans remembers to bathe on a semi-regular basis.  Ugh, I think I have officially become part of the problem instead of part of the solution.


Heather of the EO said...

I think maybe you already have a gift beyond apron/sweatpants strings. WRITING. HUMOR. DUH.

Just saying.

Kristina P. said...

I definitely think that by helping and improving you, you are helping your kids.

Heather of the EO said...

And I didn't mean you only do humor...because you do so much more...

Under the Influence said...

Funny, I was just thinking about a "What do I want to be when I grow up?" because I DO KNOW! I want to be a doula (an assistant who provides non-medical; ie: mental and emotional, support during childbirth). It will incorporate nicely into my massage therapy work! It will take a while, I can't really start this process until my youngest is old enough to get himself out the door to school since I could very well be at the hospital many late nights/early mornings.

Good luck with your journey!

mama-face said...

You complete me. I don't know if that makes one whole person or not... :)

Everything that I want to be left a long time ago. I know, I excel in the good attitude department.

I would love to display your button; I wish you all the best with this project.

Beth said...

You really should do something for yourself. You deserve it! Moody Teen and Beans will manage.

Denise @ Sunflowers, Chocolate and Little Boys said...

I love the idea of doing stuff for you. It will help your whole family. Try something you always wanted to try....go someplace new. Whatever will make YOU happy. Cause when momma's happy...everyone is happy!

Chronicles Of A Mommy said...

Oooh! I love that you are going to be doing stuff for you. A few months ago I posed the same questions to myself and I've been jazzed ever since I actually ANSWERED the question. LOL Nw I'm going to go check out this pet project of which you speak...


Em said...

How about blog header designer? Love the new look.

What to do? What to do? Maybe a better question is what not to do?

I decided this weekend I want to be a biochemist or a lab technician. Wanna join?

Nah, me neither. See, two down :-)

Sera said...

Oh, Deb. I just love you. :) This is freaking AWESOME! Seriously. There are so many little nuggets of wisdom in this post that I need to stow away for the teenage years. I think it is fabulous that you are going to focus on YOU. I think that's what keeps us vibrant and HAPPY. I took a few years of photography, and my time in the darkroom developing stuff was pure therapy. When my brother was in high school, I got to go with him to a free night for his pottery class and that was also pretty therapeutic. Might sound silly, but I think there's just something about creating something with your hands. I'm so excited to hear about what class you'll choose to take, and I'm also looking forward to see what else you decide to do for yourself. You deserve it so much. :)

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I think this sounds like exactly what you need. Good luck!

Harlene said...

Get out of my head! Okay, not really, I love that we have such symbionic thoughts. It is just soo hard! I wish we could attend a "boot camp" for moms of teenagers, kind of like a parenting rehab? Not a bad idea, huh?

I have something to email you...and my thoughts are with you.
Thanks so much for your encouragement, it means the world to me!

Anonymous said...

I think you should be a cyber-life coach.

Did you ever see that show Starting Over?

Obviously I did.

Deb you could outdo Rhonda ANYday. Or maybe you could be the female version of Tim Robbins?

Is that his name? I'm too lazy to google it.

See? I need help.

AmyLK said...

I agree with Denise, when Momma's happy so is the rest of the family. Take care of yourself.

Summer said...

You can do it!!!

Write a book...about basketweaving.

I'd buy it....if you wrote it! =)

And yes, my sweets, you ARE wise, which is why I love you so.

Evolving Mommy Catherine said...

I don't think this sounds like a mid-life crisis at all, it sounds like what goes on in my head on a daily basis.

Nishant said...

I definitely think that by helping and improving you, you are helping your kids.
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