In this post I’m going to jump way out of my comfort zone, and share some personal life. I’ve tossed this idea for a while – it is practically impossible for me to compartmentalize my life – I am wife, mother, and educator. In my first post I said that it would run the gamut, and it is time to follow through. Things at work influence me at home, and vice versa. If my goal is to find joy, I can’t just look for that at work. After some extremely thought provoking events at home in the past few weeks, I asked my sweet family if they minded me sharing my journey as mom, to which they positively agreed. Even Lollipop, the almost twelve year old, said yes, and didn’t roll her eyes.
I jumped into blogging with the admission that I’m bad at relationships. As I’ve reflected on relationships, and how important relationships are, I’ve begun to notice that perhaps I’ve not just been neglecting professional relationships. Being present is extremely difficult today, I can’t make excuses for myself, but I bet I’m not alone in feeling that life in general pulls us all in a million directions. Feeling completely secure in my home life – solid marriage; sweet and healthy kids; good friends – I felt that I could check out a bit and focus on other things. Lo and behold people, ALL relationships need constant care and attention. Relationships are like little plants aren’t they? Tiny secret – I kill all. the. plants. Coincidence? Doubtful.
Specifically I feel that my relationship with my 11 year old (Lollipop for this blog) has suffered. I remember thinking that motherhood was going to be pure relationship magic. I would birth this pristine child, and it would love me and I would love it, and angels would sing. I did birth a pristine child, and I love her and she loves me, but those angels are laughing. I struggle with this gal. We aren’t best friends, in fact, we are at odds a lot. Our relationship hasn’t been instant and easy, and I feel a lot of societal pressure for it to be beautiful and perfect.
In the past weeks I have come to realize that an 11 year old needs a lot of attention. She’s so grown up in so many ways, and very responsible, leading me to believe that perhaps she could handle the independence she asks for. I gave her space, thinking I was helping her learn more and become even more responsible. Enter digital media stage right, and my confidence in my parenting skills exit stage left. Through the enlightenment that digital media snafus have brought, I’ve come to realize that being in the same house and having dinner together every night isn’t building relationships. I’m going to have to get in her brain! Figure her out. Be present and pay attention.
Joy is found in relationships. In the home. In the classroom. In the office. Being together in compassion and working to cultivate love.