May my pleasures be many, my regrets few....Life, children and everything else...
In today's society life is hectic. We try to cram so much in everyday that sometimes we lose a sense of what we really want from life. Is it that car, house, job, kids, status or happiness and a sense of accomplishment or joy that comes when we paint or read or spend time with family and friends? Is it taking the time to sit at the beach and feel the spray of the ocean and the warmth of the sun? We sometimes get our reality check when someone close passes on and we vow that we will forget the material things and enjoy the family and friends we have around us, but again the reality of bills and work commitments hit us and we forget the things that really matter.
How do we keep that sense of time moving and moments passing? How do we do all of the things that will bring us pleasure, yet meet our obligations financially? It is a question that seems to be easy, but every day life shows us that it is not easy. We have to work to pay bills, we have to work at relationships to keep them. Building those relationships by showing trust and commitment through times that are shared and eventually become cherished memories.
I grew up in a family, which financially was in ruins, but love kept all of us in check. We had a mom who gave us her time and showed us that the material things can only add to happiness not make it. She had quit school at sixteen and had been a stay at home mom until I was twelve. She started work, but did not make enough to pay all of the bills. Kids today cannot imagine not having a cell phone. Imagine not having a phone. Imagine not having electric or water or both at times because there is no money to pay those bills. Imagine having no car in their home at all. Bikes and walking become a major part of everyday. They cannot imagine knowing the possibility of losing their home.
We did not feel sorry for ourselves. We got jobs to help ease the financial woes. We lit candles when the electric was shut off and sat around talking and laughing and building memories that we still talk about. We boiled water for baths. When there wasn't any water we had a tough time improvising. When there wasn't any toilet paper we would get some from a corner diner by the house.
Today with the economy the way that it is, many kids may experience these things and think it is the end of the world, but I lived through it and so did my brothers and sisters. It made us appreciative of the simple things and made us stronger, more compassionate people. It was our reality check to remember the things that matter cannot be taken away when you don't have money. Today kids and adults alike need to remember it is not a punishment it is a learning experience that will stay with them and give them a sense of who they are and whether they will wallow in their misfortune or rise above it.
Children and everything else....
The most important job I have is being a parent. It is also the most difficult and trying, at times, yet brings me the most joy! I remember my mom telling me that if I didn't do a good job she would take over, but how could I fail, I had an awesome teacher.
My mom had six of us. Six individuals that she treated as individuals. She never compared us or wanted more out of us than our best. We had our disagreements, but she always knew when to tell us what to do, when to give advice, and when to just listen.
There were the three who did not have to crack a book to succeed, one that had to study a bit harder, and the two who had to study harder than all of the rest. The ones who needed more attention and direction and those who only needed a bit. She had a way of knowing us like noone else ever could. She really taught me the true meaning of "MOM". Always put us first and herself last and still does that today even though we are all grown. She is still the "worry wort" we always said she was.....HOW CAN ANYONE FAIL WITH A MOM LIKE THAT BEHIND THEM!!!:)
Now I have three of my own , who show me that my job is far from easy, but if I pay attention and listen I can make it easier. I don't always do or say the right things, but I tell them that if they came with instruction manuals I would be the perfect parent.
There are two that need little direction and attention and one that needs more. There are two who have fully developed with self confidence, who are not afraid to sway from the majority. Then there is one who is still feeling his way around.
They grew up with my ex and I always fighting to have more time, which, at times, drove them crazy, but there is worse that they can go through. I have always been very involved in my kids lives and support them no matter what they choose to do. Some just support them as long as they are doing things that don't put them out or take time away from "their time". Deciding what to do and when to do it with them. I have travelled hours to soccer games on weekends and spent those weekends travelling from one game to another or spent weekends at soccer tournaments. There were weeknights when I got out of work in time to go to the away games and saw all the home games just because I knew how important it was to my kids. Some found it hard to make it to home games and last games.
I tell my kids they can do anything; and they can!! Why give them reasons why they can't. I JUST WANT MY KIDS TO BE BETTER THAN ME, WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT? No less as a parent?
It is hard to raise kids today (especially teenagers) and try to balance out the views of sex that society puts on the television, radio, internet, and everywhere with what it really should be to them. Intimacy is not wrong with the right person, but today's view is that it is okay to be intimate with everyone and anyone. I don't want my boys to think of women as objects. They are sexy, yet there is more than that, especially if they want a relationship. Are they old enough to shoulder the responsibility if a child comes along. They will have to shoulder that responsibility because that child they chose to bring into this world deserves their time, attention and support. A child is never a bad thing, but it is a huge responsibility that takes a lot of sacrifice and time!!! There are also the diseases if they flint from one person to another.....which come without any benefit!!
As a woman, you are expected to look like models after child birth, have careers, be perfect moms and wives and take care of keeping the home intact. What have we done to ourselves? Women's lib has put us in a position where we are expected to do more and more.....at the cost of time with our children..... What are we doing to our children?
It is my responsibility to guide them, to advise them when needed, to listen and to pray that when they are on their own with their friends they will always follow their own lead and not follow the crowd...what a difficult thing to do when the world our kids live in, as a majority, goes with what everyone else is doing. Take the time to guide them. It is not in what they watch or read or see, but in what you teach them and talk to them about. Leave the conversations open. Don't leave them to believe that if society thinks it is fine and if someone thinks of it and puts it in a movie or on a television show it is fine or it isn't. Do not censor them. They will see it in other places. If it is ok for society how can I say it isn't? How can they follow their own lead when we fail to do so? Give them the information and input and let them make their own good choices on their own. It will come in their time. It will do so through a good foundation and a sense of who they are and what they are and what they, themselves, choose to or choose not to do. They will never be perfect, but they will be founded on a good foundation of love and support. Strive for no regrets and you will have no regrets. Learn from successes and failure and continue to learn everyday and there are NO REGRETS to speak of at all. I have learned from all my successes and learned more from my failures and I continue to learn everyday. What am I here for if I don't and what are our children here for if we don't try to teach them?