Anyway there was this post on Facebook this morning and it really struck me, in a good way! You know me, I of course have a story about this! As most of you know I have been a single mother most of my daughters life. Her father left when she was 5 weeks old *okie can't believe Shiane will be 23 in November* and from that time on I was the only parent my sweet daughter had.
When Shiane was little I wanted her to find things she loved to do so she was involved in many things...soccer, basketball, softball, tae kwon do, Girl Scouts and just about anything she wanted to experience. I did limit her to 2-3 things at a time so we would be able to get some occasional rest. I can remember my evenings after work being filled with shuttling her here and there to practices, meetings, etc and being exhausted when I finally got in the bed. Our weekends were usually filled with visiting family, going to movies or something where we were spending time together. We were always on the go. Ever since my daughter was in first grade I have been blessed with having a job that would allow me to not miss any of her school plays, parties, ballgames and always be available when she needed. Of course at times that also meant I was the one mom that could be called when someone else forgot it was there day for snacks and then I would have to make a quick trip to the store after a quick change in my schedule and drop off snacks for her class.
When Shiane was about 8 years old we were visiting with my Mom and I had been telling Mom how tired I was and how busy we stay. I can still remember so clearly the short exchange between me and my Mom.
Mom said "Shirley don't wrap your life up into her life so much that you don't have a life of your own. One day she will leave, she is suppose to leave...that is how it is suppose to be".
I remember smiling at my mom and telling her "Oh Momma I know that. I know one day she is going to grow up and have a life of her own. I know that one day she will leave me and I will be alone but that is the exact reason I want to spend so much time with her right now. Right now she is mine and all mine and I want to cherish every moment".
I still remember the sheer exhaustion that I felt so many nights but ya know what? Now I smile and know that I participated! I participated every day with all the energy I had and I would do it all over again if I could! I think I really did see it as a privilege to be able to be there for her and do so many things for her. We have had some rough years but now she is coming into her own and blossoming into the adult I had always hoped she would be and I know soon she will be leaving me and this time probably for good but I also know that I can always look back and think I DIDN'T MISS OUT ON ANYTHING! I PARTICIPATED!
I really don't think I can be more blessed than that!
I love every word of this. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with your daughter. My son is 10, we we are smack dab in the middle of participating in everything with him. Again, thank you!!ReplyDelete
this may end up a double post ... not sure. BUT, I'm reading this post and thinking "I'm there with ya!" I'm very new to this empty nest thing, and I don't like it! So, so grateful that I participated!!! But, now Who AM I?? I'm not longer the taxi driver, the errand runner, fixer, babysitter, runny nose wiper, mediator, cook, shopper, etc... I'm a little ... a lot! lost.ReplyDelete
Amen! I don't regret a minute of running to functions for 4 kids - all in high school at the same time! I was CONSTANTLY tired, too. I remember sleeping in my car while I waited for them at their piano/violin lessons--even when it was -20 degrees outside. They have all become wonderful, bright, hard-working, happy adults with families and good relationships. So proud of them all!ReplyDelete
I here what you're saying Shirley. I did the same with my children when they were young ... a boy and a girl, so I was off in several different directions. But I loved every minute. Now they live across the Country from me (or me from them), as they are in California with their families, and I am in Florida. I miss them more than I can say and feel blessed that I have those wonderful memories.ReplyDelete
I honestly can say the same Okie!!ReplyDelete
I was always the head room mother for both except for oldest Son 6th grade but I did still go to his parties. Just didn't do all the phone calls and setting up. Never missed any of their band competitions or chaperoning their away games or to Disney. Oh how I miss those days. I even did what I could for my Grandson who just turned 20. But not with my 4 youngest :( I don't get to see them very often.
You've really gone the distance with your daughter and raised someone who will stand on her own and make you proud. Kudos to you for doing what you really wanted to do and having so many great memories to cherish now.ReplyDelete
I also participated and don't regret it for one single hot minute. I was a single mom from grade 3 on…. My daughter is 25 and just purchased a home and moved out on August 28th. I will miss her but I didn't raise her to be dependent. I raised her to be strong and independent like her momma.ReplyDelete
Aww, Okie you've gone and made me cry. You are a great mom-I can tell even though I don't know you personally. I love that you can look back and know that you were there for Shiane, and going forward you are still there as much as she needs. Thank you for sharing your experience. PS I don't know if this is posting twice either, Google is being a butt.ReplyDelete
Kudos to you and your daughter, enjoy your empty nest and just do you! Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
I'm in southern California and I remember 6am Saturday morning ice hockey practice, Saturday morning football reviews. The shuffling the child around town, other towns, and states, and well as the "communal" projects I also remember. The love you demonstrate to another comes in many forms. I am a substitute teacher and get so upset with modern parents who cannot come to the conclusion that love for a child is more than buying that latest game, phone, or outfit. What a waste of a chance to be able to enjoy the company of someone and watach them grow.ReplyDelete
That was beautiful. When my kids were growing up we called it "making memories". They chose to live close to us...and still do. Now we make memories with our children, grandchildren and greatgrandson...It is our biggest blessing...God bless you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us...ReplyDelete
Thank you for your post. We did the same thing Okie! My husband was transferred so unfortunately, we didn't have family close by. We were there to celebrate with her in her accomplishments and we were there to pick up her when things weren't so great. When my Mom was ill her senior year I was gone for several weeks and missed one of her events out of town. Her Dad was there but I missed out. When I told her how sorry I was that I couldn't be there her response was, "Mom, you and Dad are always there for me, it's okay." I've never forgotten that. Okie, your life is so much richer because of the things you've done and the experiences you shared with Shiane and no one will ever take that away from you! Good job!ReplyDelete
Oh Okie, this is the greatest post! And, yes, we are out here reading every post you write - fans for life! If it's okay with you, I'm going to share this with my daughter and daughters-in-law so they will feel good about the effort they put into their kids' lives - beautiful and so true! Hope your daughter realizes how lucky she is to have you for a mom!ReplyDelete
A most excellent post Okie! I too got involved with all 6 of my boys and yes I was exhausted!!! But now our youngest has left for college and our oldest is being deployed on his 6th deployment. So from 18 1/2 to 32 years of age our kids range and I swear I don't know where that time went. It seems like yesterday they all were out back playing and hollering in the window that they were going up to the farm with dad. In the blink of an eye they were all grown! I still sit here shaking my head wondering where time has gone. They are all fine young men, some with families of their own-giving us 7 grandchild thus far. I can say too that I didn't miss out on anything because I participated too and yes, I would do it all over again!! Now, I enjoy the grandkids. lol Still shaking my head because they are growing up so fast too!ReplyDelete
Nice to see you again! Always look forward to your insights,ReplyDelete
Thank you for the reminder that I don't spend nearly enough time with my 13-year-old son. Being a middle school teacher, I know how important it is, but by the time I get off of work each day I am so done with kids! I know that I have to change that mindset and I'm really working on it, so your post was so very timely!ReplyDelete
I, too, tried to allow my daughters to participate in a variety of activities and was run ragged (and broke), but when they grew up it was a long time before I felt I had an identity of my own. I don't regret things from my end, but unfortunately, they take my presence for granted now and are busy living their lives. I have four fantastic grandchildren and their mom doesn't make them the priority they should be, so I don't know which decision is the correct one.ReplyDelete
You are a good mom and your daughter is lucky to have you. I remember being "so tired of it all" as a single parent. My son is now 28 and in the U.S. Army. I wouldn't change a thing.ReplyDelete