A friend of mine reached out to me earlier this week thanking me for a blog I wrote a while ago https://www.kristysands.com/bows-and-arrows/ that spoke to her now. It was a sign from the universe that she reached out this week, as it is comforting to know I am not alone in my struggle.
I continue to find that at this middle school and high school stage of life that if Mamma Bear roars or the helicopter hovers, it will actually hurt more than help.
A friend of mine was telling me recently that a boy she knows didn’t make a certain club level team not because the kid wasn’t any good, (he was actually in the top three of the players) but because the coach had a history with that boy’s mom pushing her kid to him and touting his talents. When the coach’s board asked why he didn’t choose that boy he said, “I cannot stand his mom!”
Another friend said something to another mom about how her daughter was being mean to her own daughter. The other mom trying to be kind, asked her daughter to please change her behavior. Instead the gal became even more mean because “Why would you tell your mom I was being mean to you?” And the two girls are no longer friends.
These are just two examples but you get my point. IT IS SO HARD. When we see our kids sad or hurt we want to make them better, but often we just make it worse, directly or indirectly.
So, what I am working on right now, is realizing that while I cannot fix things for my girls, I can give them tools. I can be here for them for advice (if they want it because I’ve also learned don’t give it if they don’t!!) hugs, or just to listen if they need me to. I can be here to tell them that life isn’t easy and that life isn’t always fair. I can be here to teach them to stand up for themselves (DAMNIT!) and to go talk to that coach/teacher/friend/boyfriend and tell them how they feel. And I can be here to tell them that “talk is always better than text” and that slowing down is always helpful. And that deep breaths really do help.
Our most important tools as moms, I believe, are all the things we’ve learned along the way. All the things we can teach our own children to help them become more confident, more independent and free to find their own way. THEIR way, not our way. And while this is extremely difficult for me and I’ll ask my husband weekly, “Can’t I just……..,” I know in my heart that I can’t, and I know that I won’t, because that would be taking away power from my daughters, power they absolutely deserve to have.
If you are feeling this way as well right now, hang in there. Check your tool belt, I know you have some great things in there. We all do. We are all in this together. We are all doing the best we can.
Thank you, A, for the reminder.