Monday, October 24, 2011

You don't get a "do over" in parenting

I've mentioned before I don't have a very close relationship with my son.  We struggle.  I don't praise him enough and I don't feel he respects me enough.  My husband gets so angry with me and often corrects me in the way I talk to my son.  He reminds me to Be Positive.  Point out my son's successes and minimize the failures.  Don't use a Tone in my voice.  Don't Yell.

I wish I could have a "do over" in parenting my son.  In my old age Now that I have more life experience, there are things I wish I would have done and things I wish I had not done.

1.  I wouldn't have felt responsible every act, good or bad, my child performed.  I certainly wouldn't have berated myself as a bad parent for every poor grade or bad attitude my child exhibited.
2.  I would have found more opportunities to take a break from parenting and gone on weekends with my husband.  We lived so far from family it was not possible to ask them to watch our son so we could get away for more than a dinner or a movie.  I wish I had had the courage to ask a friend to watch our son for a weekend every now and again.  It would have been a nice break from parenting and reconnection with my husband.

3.  I wish I would have punished less.  And I certainly wish I hadn't hit him.  Yeah, I called it spanking, but I hit him.  And, I hit him while I was angry.  Super angry.  Yeah, I wish I could take that back. 

4.  I would have picked my battles better.  Lucky me, since my son still lives with us, I can work on this.  Not every issue is worth a battle.  Spilled milk, no issue.  Muddy shoes on the carpet, who cares.  Wearing the same underwear for a week, so what.  Bad grades, this one would be tough, but what the heck.

5.  I would keep in mind that, this too shall pass.  My son is going to grow up, some day.  He's going to move out of the house, some day.  And he WILL be a responsible adult, some day.  This is still one I get to work on since my son is still at home and hasn't done any of the previous things yet.  But he will.  Some day.

6.  I wish I would have treasured his childhood more.  I now know how quickly childhood goes by.  Time flies.  You can't catch it and you can't get it back.  I wish I would have taken more pictures.  

7.  I would've remembered how special my son is.  I wouldn't have wished him to be like any other child.  I wish I would have focused more on what he IS, than on what I wished him to be.  This, too, is something I can do now.  Wow, I'm super lucky my son still lives at home and hasn't moved out on his own.  I DO get an opportunity to continue parenting him, but I'll call it "consulting."  I am SUPER lucky.  (btw, I tried Super Hard to take the sarcasm out of my Tone)

8.  I wish someone would have reminded me you don't get "do-overs" in parenting and give me something like this post to read.  I needed to be reminded I don't always have to be the "bad guy."  I needed to be reminded to say Yes more often.  I needed to be reminded to BE PRESENT more often in my child's life.

9.  I would have remembered how short life is.  Life is short.  Life goes by fast.  When I was 30 I felt I had all the time in the world.  Now that I'm in my 50's I see how fast this life is zipping by.

10.  I wish I would have known how far hugs and cookies go to make a child feel loved and special.  I see now that you cannot get or give too many hugs.  And cookies, well there can never be too many cookies.


  1. As you know, I've still got a (fairly) little one at home.  Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Thank you. I imagine this was hard to write. Thank you for your vulnerability.

  3. I think you've got it nailed - look forward, not back.

  4. thank you for this. I need to remember it every single day...but even still I wonder if it's possible to love without regrets...Parenting is hard. 

  5. i feel you on this...i think parenting is def not for the faint at heart...and should not be taken light heartedly as well...i do think we all mess up and need to give ourselves a bit of grace at times as well...def this is felt and vulnerable and i respect that...

  6. It is crazy how things come into your life at just the right moment. I needed this reminder, thank you.

  7. I needed this reminder also.  I get so caught up in the doings of things that I miss precious time.  

  8. Parenting is the hardest job we will ever do. Just be glad you are realizing now to make some positive changes for the future.

  9. It's never too late to change.  When you know better you do better.  I could go on and on with platitudes, but the bottom line is this.  This may have made me look harsh, but I've parented all the way through the teen years into young adulthood.  I have 24 years of parenting under my belt.  Anyone with that many years is going to have made a mistake or two.  Thanks for the encouragement.  :)

  10. Thanks.  I think the readers with young children may look at me with more malice than the parents of teens.  I'm feeling fairly naked just now.  :)

  11. These are some really great things to consider with any relationship.  But no one does parenting perfectly.  The main thing that I remember is love.  I am glad that I was born and that I was loved.  I have forgiven a lot of other things. 


Comments from my readers bring sunshine to my day. They make me so happy.