and now for something personal…

Published October 16, 2012 by S. E. Myers

Typically, I try to stay away from true life events on my blog.  I figure that those that do read it are more curious about the next step in my book and possibly a sneak preview of the 2nd book.  Maybe.  Or I am fooling myself completely.

As a mother, I want the best for my children.  I try to be reasonable, accommodating, the voice of reason, a confident, disciplinarian, etc…  I’ve been a single parent since October 2000 when my ex-husband and I separated.  It truly has been me and my children.  I’ve been single since September 2005.  I tell myself I have spent the last seven years taking care of my children.

My efforts have been spent creating a career to support my family.  Then, in 2010, I lost my job because of the mortgage crisis.  I’d thought about writing years before that.  Wrote a screenplay, poetry, and whatnot but did not actively publish anything.  I didn’t have enough confidence in my ability as a writer.  I didn’t have enough confidence in my imagination to push through an entire book.  But that is beside the point.

For the past two years, I have struggled. My unemployment income was 65% of my prior income.  Because my job was off shored, I had the opportunity to go to school and get a degree with a Federal grant.  Or rather, a diploma in Business Administration.  I did that, graduating in April 2011 with a 4.0 and a diploma.  What does a diploma do?  Nothing.  So, I decided to continue my education.  At the same time, I started a temporary job.  For the past year, I have been working a full-time job and going to school full-time.  I also released a book and am now working on my second.  All of this, while trying to take care of my family.

I’ve missed things.  I really have.  I’m at a point in my life where I am not sure what I need to do.  My oldest daughter is 19 and has decided to drop out of her culinary school.  Now mind you, she isn’t quitting at the beginning, but rather the end.  So, 17k later, she has decided she hates it and is now starting a community college.  At least she is going to another school, but I think what is most disappointing are all the other secrets she is keeping from me.

In order to stay in touch with her, I have to read her tumblr.  What is that?

She says she is afraid to tell me because I’ll get mad.  Um, I get mad and upset because I care.  Isn’t that what parents do?  Am I supposed to smile and commend her.  Clap her on the back and congratulate her on growing a set of cajones?  I don’t think I would be doing a fair job as a mother if I did that.  I told her I get mad because I love her and am upset.  If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t say anything.  There are other things going on to continue my disappointment.  I sometimes wonder if I’ve done enough.

With parenting, you can’t ever tell.  I know that when I grew up, I wouldn’t have done or said half of the things that I hear.  Not necessarily from my own children.  There seems to be some sort of entitlement with this generation.

I did my best, I really did.  I will continue to do my best for her, my son, and my youngest.

She is an adult and needs to learn from her mistakes.  But it really hurts to watch her make them and not ask for advice.  It kills me a little inside


4 comments on “and now for something personal…

  • Unfortunately I can not speak from a mother standpoint as of yet but I do know that I have been a stubborn headed child to my own mom my entire life. Obviously I can not speak to everything going on with your family right now but in my own, I know that my mom did do everything in her power but damned it all if I didn’t have to figure most of it out on my own. My husband and I were talking about this recently…about how we wished there was a way to prove to a kid that you have been there and know better….but it seems to be an almost impossible journey to avoid. You teach, nurture, guide and love but often decisions don’t seem to reflect what you think it should. I hope you try to not be too hard on yourself, although I gather that that is a rather difficult task when it comes to your own children. I wish there was a magic formula but I do know that even though I would bristle at my own mom, especially from 15-18, we are now incredibly close. It has not been an easy road at times (her and my younger sister are still on it) but it is a very rewarding relationship and I am grateful for her guidance and advice when I was younger. I pretended I didn’t, but I heard every word. Hugs dear

  • You have my sympathy here Stephanie! I’ve been a mum since the age of 19 (no, I didn’t think it through!) so I can see both sides. The only important thing is to keep the dialogue going. Your daughter is breaking away, pain is part of the process. Keeping things secret is normal behaviour- an attempt to protect the parent I think. But she hints at stuff because she still feels the need for guidance. Maybe she feels guilty that you have worked so hard for her, and then resentful at you for being a source of guilt- not on purpose, just the way juvenile human minds are. Lead by example; be honest, be as kind as you can manage, keep being there. I hope that helps. I’m a granma now and actually looking forward to the next teenage challenge; and if several years ago I’d been told I would feel like this, I would not have believed it possible at all. Hang on in there, mom!

    • I also became a mom at the age of 19! I was in the military and was married shortly after.

      I tried to raise my children with an “open door” policy. I had hoped that they would or could come to me with just about anything. But, I remember what it was like when I was younger – I would hide and keep things secret from my Mom.

      Thank you so much for your comment. I really appreciate it! It made me remember how I was and remember that there is still a lot of life ahead and my daughter has told me currently she knows that she can count one me. 🙂

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