I'm currently recovering from a lovely Mother's Day with my son. We had such a nice time, I could just take the day off and bask in the 'he turned out just fine' cloud while repeating my new mantra don't be hard on yourself, mom. He made me breakfast, we watched a movie together in his room, I napped, he took me to dinner and then we went to the theater to see another movie. He planned the whole thing a week in advance, and was so proud that he was able to spoil me. In turn, I was proud of him for being so thoughtful. I would've been fine with breakfast, but he outdid himself.
You see, for quite some time, my son and I went through a confusing and frustrating co-parenting situation that worried me so much about his well-being. Whenever my son would visit his father, it was fun time. And hey, as it should be. I have no issue with that. However, I became the not-so-fun parent. The one who nagged about homework, set limits on video games, made him eat veggies, gave him a curfew, didn't let him have a smartphone, met with teachers, the parents of his friends and so on. I was also the one to call out the other adults in his life when I felt things were unfair. It wasn't always pretty. I'm definitely guilty of being a helicopter mom, and my son had no idea what was going on. He was caught in between to very different worlds and parenting approaches, which was exhausting.
Don't be hard on yourself, mom
At 16, he's coming into his own and realizing that what I was doing is called parenting. I needed to do a lot of work to counter balance all the "fun" that was not transitioning well into school work and responsibilities at home. It was not an ideal co-parenting situation to say the least. And trust me, I tried to stick the circle in the square peg for a long time to make it work for the sake of my son. Nothing worked.
It feels good that my son recognizes why I was so protective and concerned as his mother, and why being your child's advocate may not make you everyone's best friend or even liked for that matter. Was I perfect? Not at all. There are so many things I wish I did better, had more patience for and, most of all, trusted. I certainly learned a lot along the way, and my son and I both had a lot of healing to do from it all. But as I said in the beginning of this post, he turned out just fine. As I tell him, we all have our story. Our path. I have mine. He has his. It's what we do with journey that counts. It's the service we later give to others from our experiences that matter. And what I see is a young man with a huge heart and a lot of compassion, and that makes me happy beyond words.
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