Life on the edge...
I have been taking a moment out of my day to read a book by Thubten Chodron titled, "Awaken Everyday, 365 Buddhist Reflections to Invite Mindfulness and Joy" Life in general is very chaotic for most of us. So taking a moment to just read and reflect is helping with the trials and tribulations of being a mom, small business owner, and wife. None of this easy. Each day presents new problems, new stresses, new joys, new happiness, new upsets. We as women continue to find where we fit in the chain of perfection. Ensuring our bodies are the right size, ensuring our kids are not outcasts or different, ensuring our house is perfectly kept, ensuring we are providing the exact right meals everyday, ensuring our kids are only taking on that coveted one hour of screen time...the list goes on. How are we as women supposed to manage all of that and still maintain our sanity? I for one am pretty much at times living on the edge of crazy! I cannot be what society deems me necessary to be in order to fit in. I am going to loose my freaking marbles if I keep this up! And my kids...well they will lose their marbles too.
I actually had an awakening most recently and it involved my oldest. Let me introduce you to Tessa. She is a warm hearted, strong willed, emotional little girl. She has always been the one who was most attached to me. Never wanting me to leave her side, never feeling comfortable enough to go to other kids homes, always on the edge of emotions. Tessa started playing soccer when she was three. She has loved the sport, and I love the sport as I had played in high school and college. I always found comfort on the field, always felt that I belonged there. My mom never pushed me, never corrected me, never really said anything except positive words and the occasional awareness of my offsides.....in my defense I was way too quick and always was ready to receive the ball. LOL....I am sure I will get comments from my midfielders on that. Anyhow, a part of me always wanted my mom to push me more, tell me what I did wrong. I always felt that could of helped me more down the road. So when Tessa started playing I turned into what I wanted my mom to be. I corrected, pushed, gave positive feedback as well...but I am thinking this all has turned into a big old wake up call.
Tessa has played club since she was eight. She is on her second club team and I always felt she was a talented child with tons of room to grow. I also started noticing though that she would get upset on the field. She would get down on herself the second she messed up. I really didn't say anything to her because I figured, hey she will work that out. But she didn't and now that has affected her so much so that her game is not where it needs to be. I blame myself for this. I blame myself for critiquing her, for pushing her, for yelling from the sideline, from giving her advice right after a game instead of just hugging her and telling her good job. She recently was left off of a roster that I thought she would of been on, and after having a very nice chat with her coach I now know that it was me that has caused all of this.
Why are we as moms (and not all of us are and I give the mothers so much credit that are able to be what ultimately I should of been...a supportive and encouraging parent) sometimes so focused on pushing our kids to the limits? Why was I caring so much about making a team and perfecting a skill or shooting a goal? Why was I not just sitting back and smiling the entire time so that when she looked over at me she saw comfort and happiness? There are so many things I want to just correct in myself but I also know that I am not perfect. The fact that I am now realizing that I was the root cause of her anxiety in soccer is a stepping stone I guess. I love this little girl so much to the point that I wanted her to be what I never was at her age.
When I had told Tessa she didn't make the roster her immediate words (with big tears in her eyes forming)..."I am terrible at soccer, the coaches think I am terrible." How upsetting is this as a parent to have your child say this? I know that's not why she wasn't chosen. I talked to her about why but in their minds they still think they are not good enough, no matter how much we as parents try to make them understand and feel better, they still think in their mind that they were not good enough.
This brings me to a few promises I am making to myself and to my children....I am no longer going to be that parent who pressures. I am no longer going to get worked up if they make a mistake in sports or in school. I am no longer going to compare my child to another. These are promises I am making....and you all are witnesses! So if you see me not fulfilling my promises, please call me out!!!
Pressure....its just too much. Our mental health is important, our kids mental health is important. I am hoping by doing this I can see a calming change in Tessa, that she can just go out and enjoy soccer without fearing I am going to be disappointed. Please rest assured my friends, I was never disappointed in Tessa, that's just how she perceived me based on my constant pressure I was putting on her, my constant critiquing. I know this was a long read but I felt I couldn't do the topic justice in a few short paragraphs. Who out there is also feeling the pressures? Let me know and let us work together to realize that our lives were never meant to be perfect, our children were never meant to be perfect...let's stop as women constantly trying to compare our lives and children to others. Let us all just focus on bringing happiness to our kids...for the sake of their mental health.