Can I Give Up?

“I am here to help you” is written all over my face. I have a mom face. My teenagers see it, and the requests for help hit me in my mom face like darts hit a dart board: a quick load of laundry when I’m ready to call it a day, a quick ride to the library before it closes, write a quick check…quick. It’s all quick, because no one plans ahead in my house. I get frantic texts when I’m at work: “There’s no ink in the printer and my paper is due!” Not much I can do from work, but why did you wait until now to tell me we are out of ink? Why did you wait to print your homework until it was time to leave for school? Why didn’t you bring your dirty laundry down when I was doing laundry? Why? Why do I bother to ask?

One of my biggest struggles as a parent is knowing when to keep my comments to myself. Nothing that comes out of my mouth hasn’t come out of my mouth a hundred times before, and since I’m not being heard, when should I stop offering my commentary? Can I give up? Is that legal? Can I just not respond, or respond with a vacant glassy eyed half smile? Would they notice? 

My son, in his daily dash for the fleeing school bus on this rainy morning, slipped and fell on his arm…the same arm that sent us to urgent care last week when he fell off his longboard. Well, he got right up, and I suppose the bus driver took pity on him because he stopped the bus, and my son once again made the bus by the skin of his teeth. 

That was probably an example of a time when I should have kept my comments to myself, but I couldn’t help myself. I texted him: “Why can’t you get up five minutes earlier?” I say it everyday, but I thought his falling might have made him realize that he creates his own drama. I was wrong. He texted back: “You can’t even ask me if I’m ok.” He was right. I am an uncaring horrible person. What I should have said was: “Are you okay? Why can’t you get up five minutes earlier?” That would have been more helpful, and “I am here to help you.” 

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The Daily Post, March 24, 3016, Daily Prompt: Help~ <a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/help/”>Help</a&gt;

12 thoughts on “Can I Give Up?

  1. I started leaving my children “notes” when they refused to “hear” anything I said. Nothing works better IMO than an extremely embarrassing note from “mommy” in the lunch sack……..worked rather well

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Of course it is good and important to think about when to keep comments for yourself. You want to be a good example to your children.

    On the other hand I tend to think that spontaneaous reactions and outbursts also can be of value to children. It is good for children to become aware of how you feel at times. You are a person just of similar feelings and emotions as your children – although you obviously are older and more mature than they.
    What feelings to show will depend on the age and maturity of your children.

    Being real is what allows children to freely express themselves on their part. I believe making mistakes also can provide an opportunity for children to grow.

    This is what came to my mind after reading your post on today’s prompt. I like your vivid way of telling…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is one is my favourite. Important life lesson- there are times when I can see everyone is trying and struggling and I am right here to help – then there are times when the ‘trying’ is missing from the equation and I am right here in your face with a lecture…Isn’t it the hulk that says, ‘you won’t like me when I’m angry’

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I know your pain! And my kids are now grown, but then it’s family period. What’s Kaiser’s number? Yes, I usually remember, but really? Your post really made me smile. But, no don’t give up. It is really the pleasures and joys of being a parent. No, not at the time, but later, when you have to shake your head in disbelief. Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve done the same thing, but what the kids don’t realize is the second half of my message is “don’t you realize how scared I get when I see my baby fall? Do something so that doesn’t happen again!” I don’t even realize it!! And I could never say it!!! It’s convoluted mom thinking and communication, how fear translates into something else entirely. And yes, I know a fall like that isn’t likely to do great harm, but the mom reaction says I don’t.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Interesting post. It’s never easy being a mother, times never change even when your children are adults, it doesn’t get any easier.
    Just do the best you can, especially by yourself.
    Blessing to you.

    Liked by 1 person

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