To My Kiddos

Dear Kiddos,

I’m writing this because there are important things you need to hear.

Do not take offense. Do not tune me out. Others may tell you what I’m about to tell you, but you have to know that I’m writing from my heart and not out of some malicious intent to make you feel attacked or defensive. As you get older, more mature, more aware, you’ll realize the importance of those who tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. What you want to hear is not always in your best interest; what you need to hear comes from a place of wisdom, based on experience. So brace yourselves for a whole lotta what you need to hear and remember what I’m about to tell you because, one day, it’ll all make perfect sense. And you’ll know why I said what I said and did what I did.

Firstly, I want to say that nobody owes you anything. Going through life with a sense of entitlement will not get you very far at all. Blaming everyone for what happens to you and not taking responsibility for your actions is also not the best way forward. If I handed you everything you wanted and needed on a silver platter, you would have no appreciation or value for anything you have. Parents are not required to supply you with luxury items; we are only responsible for providing you with a loving home, food, clothing, protection and an education.

In case you haven’t heard, being a parent isn’t easy in the best of situations. Every age brings new challenges and some days I just feel like pulling my hair out in frustration. Imagine going to school every day and getting a whole new set of problems, but nobody’s telling you how to solve them. They give you advice on how to solve them but apologetically say that it’s up to YOU to figure out what will work. You spend an entire day, experimenting with “tried and true” methods, but you can’t see the solution. All the while you’re trying to figure things out, you see other students breezing through all the problems because their problems respond differently to the methods of calculation. Everyone else’s judgmental eyes are on you, waiting for you to solve the problem and ready to persecute you if you fail.

I am your mother. I have nurtured you from the time I knew of your existence. I prepared for your arrival with great anticipation and fantasized about the sort of people you would become. I didn’t think about giving you every gadget known to mankind so you wouldn’t feel deprived. I didn’t plot ways to make your life miserable by imposing necessary limits on you. I didn’t develop a love for the sound of my voice so that I could spend hours nagging you and saying things to elicit eye-rolls. I didn’t come up with clever ways to embarrass you in front of your friends. I didn’t dream up a list of arguments to rile you. I didn’t drop you off with any and every babysitter, just so I could have a night off from taking care of you.

I did have visions of all the times we would spend together, laughing and being silly. I knew that my unconditional love for you, my willingness to endure a not-so-clean house {so that I could spend time strengthening the bonds we share}, my presence at your school assemblies being your most ardent cheerleader would be the sort of stuff you looked back on with appreciation and gratitude. I wrote all those silly stories on your Christmas gift tags to make you laugh and create memories that would elicit smiles every Christmas for the rest of your lives. You’ll learn, as you mature, that it’s all about the little things in life.

My wish for you is that you will learn what it really means to be fundamentally happy ~ that is, being happy in your life no matter where you are, who you’re with, what you have, or what’s happening around you. Material things don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. We don’t look back and remember the superficial stuff. As long as you have a roof over your head, it really doesn’t matter what your house looks like; as long as you have a reliable mode of transportation that gets you from “a” to “b”, it doesn’t matter what your car looks like; as long as you have a house filled with your most beloved people and things; as long as you’re able to live comfortably within your means, you’ll be okay. Having the best of everything is all about perspective and what you actually consider “the best” of everything.

My reasons for writing this are simple ~ you can work hard to live in a nice house, have a fancy car and all the latest gadgets; the reality is, you can lose it all in a matter of seconds, too. The economy, Mother Nature, and man-made tragedy change circumstances at random. You never know what’s around the corner and, as you grow older and wiser, you gain more tools to overcome, adapt, accept while learning to appreciate every moment, every memory, everybody who holds a place in your heart as a blessing. Nothing is guaranteed to last forever, but when you’re strong and appreciate the little things in life, find happiness internally and realize that you can be rich without money or possessions, you will be able to face anything in the face of adversity. Of course, you’ll be challenged and you will be tested plenty along the way. When you understand that generosity is more rewarding than greed and that helping people in need without expectation for what’s in it for you, you’ll begin to understand the importance of the “Ripple Effect”. The idea is to create more positive ripples than negative ones. Don’t spend your time tearing people down or judging them. Accept everyone the way they are and try to understand their perspective (which means really listening).

 In closing, I leave you with these final thoughts:

~ Refrain from saying anything and everything that pops into your head, the moment it pops into your head. Just because you can say what you want doesn’t mean you should. Brutal honesty and honesty are two very different things. Anything “brutal” doesn’t belong in any relationship; there’s plenty to be said for being tactful.

~ Just because you have money doesn’t mean you need to spend it. If you establish good spending habits very early, you’ll be better off. Don’t rely on credit cards to buy everything you think you need. Should something happen to your income, everything in your house isn’t really yours and there are people whose job it is to come collect stuff that isn’t paid for. Don’t put yourself through that humiliation. Only buy things you can pay cash for. It’s far more satisfying to have a house full of things that actually belong to you.

~ Making “keeping up with the Joneses” a thing of the past. Stop worrying about what “everyone else” has. Focus on what makes YOU happy. When materialism stops being a competition, we’ll be a much happier society. If you’re busting your ass working just for the stuff, question why.

~ NO revenge. Ever. Walking away is always difficult but it’s better to declare that conflicts end with you. Exacting revenge gives YOUR power away because you’re basically inviting someone to do something bad to you; if you don’t know what that bad thing may be, you’re at a disadvantage and extremely vulnerable.

Finally, I just want to tell you how proud I am of you. I may not have always made the best choices {due to trial and error}; I know we’ve all been through far too much and I’m so sorry I couldn’t do more to protect you from the bad stuff. I’m fully aware of the mistakes I’ve made, but I have no regrets. Part of making mistakes as a parent is allowing your children to see that you’re human and able to move past those mistakes, too. You have to know how lucky I feel to be your mum and I love you beyond measure or words. I’m always here for you, no matter what; I’ve got your back.

All My Love,
Mum xoxo

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16 thoughts on “To My Kiddos

  1. This is a fabulous post. Such great advice for us all as children, but also a great reminder to all the parents and step-parents out there, no matter what age your children are.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment.

      I think it’s so important for parents to educate their children about the “real world” and not protect them from everything (as much as we’d like to).

      One of the things I really must remember is that things have changed so much since I was a kid. I find parenting kids in this day and age way more challenging because it’s impossible to shield them from everything that’s out there, thanks to social media.

      What I would urge ALL parents to do is to please, please, please present a united front to your kids and teach them {from an early age} that they CANNOT play you off against each other. I speak from experience ~ it does NOT end well. Regardless of the situation, parents must learn to put all differences aside to successfully co-parent the children. If the children feel they’re betraying a parent for loving the other one, it creates confusion and loss of self-worth {“Daddy hates Mom and since I’m part of her, he must hate me, too.”} and, trust me, you don’t want to go down that road. I’m still dealing with that aftermath.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing from everyone who reads me. ❤
      {Hugs}
      Carol

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, you found me here, too. 🙂

      Thanks for the kind comments. I do hope you’ll keep visiting. I’ll be writing a lot in the next month or so ~ enrolled in two WordPress courses at the moment. I just hope my muse stays with me through it all. 🙂 Those posts will be on my blog at https://writefulmind.wordpress.com, in case you’re interested.

      {Hugs}

      Like

  2. Great words of wisdom Carol. It is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of material life and forget, that as you say, it can all be taken away in an instant. Some friends have just had little ones and are just embarking on the motherhood journey, here is some great advice for all new and older parent’s alike.

    Liked by 1 person

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