I'm rushing down the tiring stretch of life, barreling around every corner with one focus: creating a life for my babies which ensures them a safe, stimulating and thriving environment to live, love and learn.
I want them to tell me their fears without hesitation. I want my babies to never feel judged, like I have been. I want them to live pain free and fearless.
But the reality is, I won’t be able to stop most of those things from happening. Their tears will still fall. Their pain will still hurt. Their expectations of life will get broken.
The important thing I have to keep reminding myself is I will be here for them when those dark clouds do roll in. As much as I wish I could shelter them from it all, I know I need to be realistic.
My kids are 6, 4 and 1.5 years old. It is super easy for me to lose focus. Tunnel vision is something we all get from time to time. I am a perfectionist through and through. I overthink most things and I love plans, schedules and routines. I love to be in control. So I guess, obvzies! No wonder I feel like I do with my babies.
Growing up with my alcoholic and abusive father, it was obviously easy for me to see the failures he left us with. This one time, my brother and I just got out of school. I was about 11 and Shane was 6. My mom had divorced my dad, but they both showed up to school to pick us up because it was Valentine’s Day. I have always been a “mama’s boy," so I chose to go home with mama. Shane chose to go home with dad.
I knew my dad was mad when we left. He didn’t want to hug me goodbye. I remember how hard it was for me. We loaded up in our respected cars and left the school. It was a rainy day, the water sprayed up from the back tires. My dad was driving in front of my mom and I remember it as clear as yesterday. He rolled his window down ad threw my Valentine’s gift out of his car, and we rolled over it.
All I could do was cry. It still gives me a knot in my throat. Little memories in my mind serve as my family compass. Very loud. Very raw. And still, so very real.
That pain is still there in my heart. But the difference today is I know I am in control with how that memory makes me feel. I can either let it make me sad, cry and feel like a victim, or I can let it serve as my parental blueprint.
Sure, I fail. I am loud. I get mad. But one thing I know for certain. I will never be anything like my father.
So, the harder and faster I go through life, doubt has its way of bubbling up into the present. It doesn’t matter how hard I work, or what kid I make happy — doubt still festers and whispers I am not good enough and never will be.
That is doubt manifested in fear. Fear from pain from my own past. Fear from failure, fear from fake people, fear of anything I cannot control. Unfortunately, it is where I have to draw the line. If I lived with that much fear, I would never leave my house!
Yes, all of those fears are absolutely real. But, I know my own heart. And I know it is essential to search within my own self to transform and mold those fears into creating a less scary place. This will allow me to carve my family’s path in such an unpredictable world.
We all have our battles. We can be empathetic or we can choose not to be. What is your choice?