Yes, It Is Personal!.....BUT

Hello All!

So, it has been a long while since I sat down to write what I think on this blog that I hope has some value and if not, I will continue to delude myself into thinking that is does!

I have been rambling around the world..(YES! I got to travel to London for THE Wedding) and then went on to New York for wedding planning with my oldest, and then onto Cleveland for LaCrosse Coach viewing and car buying with our youngest daughter. Along, the way I have been percolating different ideas, and am keeping them written down in a good and safe place, as long as my memory holds, I will discuss those at a later date! But.. today, I was reading an article in the most intelligent of magazines, Bazaar, of course I am being self deprecating with the intelligence part. However, while perusing, I ran across and article about NEW YORK MOTHERS AND THE INSANITY THAT ENTAILS.

I have talked before about what I believe it takes to help your children become all they can be. I truly do believe that it takes a lot of work and of course commitment to do the job well. As I was reading though, I came across the question of what is the right motivation for mothering? Of course, we all just celebrated Mother's Day and hopefully got lots of accolades from our own children about the job we did, or at least are attempting to do.

The article in Bazaar addresses the manic behavior that is the Manhattan mother in this case. (Whew...glad that I did not have to experience that!....Hooterville was hard enough!) The woman who are the mothers of small children in this piece are all about elite preschools, nannies, the right clubs, and the right path to get their children into the most prestigious colleges in about 15 years. Man! I could barely think about what to do for the next day's dinner, yet alone plan that far in advance!

I guess my point is what is the motivation behind these mothers? While I continued to read the piece, and laugh at how outrageous some of the scenarios were, I realized that it is all personal. It is hard to separate ourselves, as Mothers, from the quality and success and outcome of our children's lives.

The author, Molly Jong-Fast, spoke to this exact point. At the end of the article she talked about winning, and how competitive it is in the Manhattan mothering circles, to raise your kids. That some of these uber high powered and successful mothers have a hard time separating themselves from the success, or lack of success that their children achieve, and that is the crux of the problem with all this crazy over the top mothering.

I think she is onto something! But, you do not have to be a super uber successful hight powered Manhattan mother to get trapped into this scenario! I do believe I have found myself in that same thought process! Yes, I admit it. I love getting accolades from people in my childrens lives about the type and quality of person they are! Just this past weekend when my husband and I were in Cleveland, where our youngest daughter is a teacher and coach at a wonderful middle school, I had the chance to talk with parents who complimented me and my husband on our daughter and the impact she has made on the kids she works with. YES! ( I said to myself!) we have done a good job with this one! (Actually, I think we have done a good job with all 3 of our children...if you ask me:) ) It was wonderful basking in the glory of a job well done, and it certainly also helped that it was a glorious sunny day! is what I am thinking. It gets tricky when you link yourself so personally to your children.

We, in my opinion, as parents are all required to do the best job we can. It is important once you bring this new person into the world to take care of them well.....all of them, and all parts of them. Parents need to nurture and love their children in their physical, emotional, spiritual and mental development, and yes, try hard to do a good job. In this process though, the tricky part becomes how to do all of that well, and is the clincher, NOT MAKE IT ABOUT YOU!!!!!!! THAT, is the hard part!

Yes, it is fine to bask in the glory of your child's success, (I just did that!:) But, remember that your ultimate job is to create a child in their own image, not yours. I have said before, we already got to do that. We got to create our own lives, and hopefully still are. The best parents use their energies to create kids not in their own image, but help them find their own path and the way that is best for them. My husband and I have 3 kids, all grown ups. They each have chosen a different path, a path that works for them. The pathways have not always been straight, or without angst, but they have been paths of their own choosing.
And, right now, as of this moment and day, they are all doing well! I never knew we would have a cheesemonger, an educator, and a filmmaker....ok I sort of guessed on 2 of them, but still, I did not choose for them, they choose for themselves.

So, it's ok to be excited about your kids and relish when they do well, and even pat yourself on the back. But, in the long run, remember, it is their life to lead. Help them find the right way and the path that is meant for them. Relish the fact then, that your children are leading lives of their own may have helped pick out the design books and made some suggestions, but the ultimate choice is theirs!

If you want to win, maybe take up tennis or golf, or ballroom dancing!

Until next time,