Parenting is so freaking hard. There are so many peaks and valleys and you never quite know where you’ll be from one day to the next. Being the sole parent of boys amplifies things a certain degree. I remember when I first lost Byron people would refer to my boys as ‘fatherless’ and I’d quickly reply that they had a dad, he was just deceased. And while that’s true… the logistics are definitely a bitch.
The phrase “a woman can’t teach a boy how to be a man” pops up everywhere. And while I know that it’s definitely a mountain of a task I have to feel like a positive outcome in all of this is at least remotely possible. I mean, Barack Obama’s mom pulled it off right?
I want so much for my boys… I want them to grow to be successful, contributing, happy members of society and I want them to have all of the tools necessary to succeed in life. But these early stages are killing me. The hardest part about parenting is the fact that it’s 50% guess work. I’m never all the way sure that what I’m doing is the right thing to do and each of my boys is so incredibly different.
Finding the balance between being stern and being inflexible, encouraging individuality and providing structure and boundaries is a tricky tightrope to walk. I wish there was some sort of grading system that I could check into quarterly. To find out whether I’m making an A or a B, whether I’m passing or failing or if there’s an area that needs improvement that I can focus on. I wish there was a tutor, a person I could call that could step in and fill in the gaps that I can’t quite wrap my head on and coach me until I’ve increased my parenting score a bit. Instead, it’s just me. Grinding it out, cramming when things get rough and trying to keep my head above water.
I only have one shot at this… one chance to get it right. So the pressure is on… prayerfully in a few years I’ll be able to look back and say I aced this 18 year test with flying colors. But for now we’ll just take things day by day. I’ll keep my head in the game, stay positive, prayerful and focused…
and keep fighting.