Tuesday, October 09, 2007

On Parenting

So, I am slowly crawling out of the 1st trimester hole. I started zofran today and was pleased to discover that when 7 am came around I was no longer wishing I was on hospital bedrest and could just curl in a ball and have someone offer me ice chips occasionally. I'm not sure if it's totally the medicine or that I may be wandering into week 10 which is when morning sickness is traditionally said to slack off. We don't actually know where I am in my pregnancy yet since my Monday appointment that included the dating ultrasound was rescheduled for this Friday. Apparently OBs occasionally have unpredictable schedules- who knew!

Anyway, when I wasn't starting at the ceiling and debating if breathing was really a necessary waste of my meager energy, I spent quite a bit of time contemplating what sort of relationship I would ultimately like to have with my children. There is always drama with both my mother and my husband's parents but it has been particularly tumultuous lately and I keep wishing that I had a really good relationship with one or the other side. I've been thinking a lot about friends I have who seem to get along well with their parents. There is still occasional friction but they seem to generally look forward to visits and will do things like call their parents because they want to. I've also thought a lot abut the difference between my relationship with my dad vs my mom. They have very different ways of interacting with me and I generally feel like my relationship with my dad is positive. It seems like the thread that runs through these relationships is that the parents have let go. In this instance, it seems that if you love something you really can set it free and it really will come back. These parents don't seem to spend tons of time giving advice or questioning decisions or offering unasked for opinions. The general attitude seems to be that they have done as much as they can to mold their child and it's time to see how it turned out. I've noticed that these adult children seem to be among the more successful and happy of my friends. They are confident but seem to know that there is a place for a soft landing when they need it.

I am trying to incorporate these observations into my interactions with Charlie already. This is so hard. I wish I could have a model or reference in the way my parents raised me or the way my husband's parents raised him. I have to let Charlie fail and struggle and get there on his own. I want to swoop in and do it for him. Sometimes it's easy to know when to be there. When he's crawling on the sofa, I am right there but other times it's such a challenge for me to judge when he truly needs help; when he has reached the limit of his patience; when it is time for Mommy to make it better. I know it doesn't get any easier but I keep hoping that if I am just reflective enough, I will one day be able to tell Charlie to fly and he will still call a while later and tell me about all the wonders he's seen because he wants to and not because he feels guilty.

1 comment:

Skyzi said...

Isn't it crazy that at the age of one we are already scared of scarring our children. For now I am going with the idea of love, lots of it, being consistent and not a push over.

My parents messed up a lot but they were always consistent with the message that they loved us and that we could do anything we set our minds to and that if we needed help they would be there. I think it was a fundamentally great way to grow up.