The Paradox of Parenting

Here is a morsel of advice for Moms: You work hard to be the BEST MOM in the universe.

You may be a wondrous business person.

Your dinners may be Julia Child caliber.

Your home may be pristine.

Your child may be enriched in cultural and educational ways.

Your calendar may be organized with no possibility of double booking.

Still, even you can admit to a weak spot. Or two.

Perhaps you miss PTA meetings.

You may sing off key.

You may be an inadequate baker. Or lunch packer. Or present selector.

Whatever soft spot you have…BOOM.  Your child will find it.  Complain about it.

Whatever you do NOT do- your child will decide that is ALL they ever really wanted.

Notes in the lunch box. Home made cookies. Mom at every game.  Mom at no games.  You will disappoint.

They will use their disappointment as leverage.  They will remind you of your deficits. They will ridicule you for not knowing how important it was.  They are master exploiters. This can last for years.

How can this be the payback for such devoted service?

It just is.

Your kids need to have ammunition to devalue you or they will never leave you. They need to leave you someday. No one with a brain leaves the perfect universe, so they trash the ecosystem you so generously and carefully constructed.  Roots and wings.  The order is important. Your dream is that they soar, that their world might grow brighter.

So relax. Be a good enough parent.  Expect the  criticism, the occasional hate. Be free to fail on your own terms.  Do not let your kids, your spouse or your friends pile on. Rejoice in every little happiness, ignore the punch list of ways you annoy your kids.  No, rejoice in it.  You are paving their roads to somewhere…



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