So a month ago my oldest son turned 20 years old. In eight days my second son will graduate high school. He’s already 18. That makes me the mother of two grown men. In August TJ, starts high school and Christopher starts junior high. Within 10 years all of my child raising will be done. It is an overwhelming thought for me.
You would think that being 20 years into this adventure of raising boys to be men, I would be eagerly looking forward to the day when I can rest from such heavy responsibility. But, oddly, my reaction is on the very opposite end of the spectrum. I am really not handling any of it well. I’ve been trying to figure this out for a while now and today I had sort of a light bulb moment about it.
I have been raising kids for 20 years, my entire adult life. I had Damon 11 months after I graduated high school. The way my kids are spaced out in age, I’ve had young children filling my days and nights for all of those 20 years. As the baby of the five is getting older the need for mommy lessens. I think that is where my struggle is. My life did not turn out anything like I had planned it when I was growing up. I was so sure I had this life thing figured out… until it actually happened to me. Turns out that I am not always a very good grownup. As a matter of fact I am rarely a good grownup. I have been so many things as an adult. I’ve been a waitress, a store clerk, delivery driver, apartment manager, salesperson, office manager, homemaker and web site designer. But the only thing I’ve ever been truly successful at, the only thing I’ve ever consistently been is a good mom.
I’ve had moments of failure and moments of weakness. But there is never a day when I am not a mom to my kids… never a day where I don’t give being a mom 110% of myself. Where I have failed at so many other things in my life, raising kids is something I feel, I’ve done with great success. Being a mom is the one thing in my life that I’ve unquestionably identified with for 20 years. Even in my worst mommy fail moments, I knew that overall, I was doing right by my kids. That I was raising them to be good people and instilling good manners and healthy self esteems into them. I might screw up every other part of my life… ok, probably it’s more than might and much closer to I did or I will screw up every other part of my life. I might fail at every other endeavor I try. I have failed out of just about every career choice I’ve made, didn’t finish college, can still barely manage money, in my late 30s even, I’ve never owned a home, I’m not at all prepared for retirement and I’m running my business on a wing and prayer. Raising my kids is the one area of my life where I’ve never doubted. I’ve never questioned my ability to do it well. And, it is the only area of my life that I’ve never self-sabotaged.