Wednesday, August 29, 2007

On Being a Parent of Older Kids

Our older sons - Luke, Greg, Nick - were here for the weekend, last weekend. For our parish Dinner Dance.

We had fun doing silly dances together on the dance floor ( Abba? The Sylvers - Don't Blame it on the Boogie?).

And I have reflected a little on my career as a mother.

In many respects, I suck at mothering. It doesn't come naturally, I make many, many mistakes. I do things other mothers would not.

Like yesterday. Anthony was texting his brothers on his mobile phone while doing a page of maths. I told him I'd have to put his phone on the breakfast bar for awhile, simply because he was constantly distracting someone with the phone and messages. Jonathon said - "See, the other homeschool mums ( my friends) are right~! He is too young to have a phone! :-)"

I replied that I didn't mind him texting while doing schoolwork, it was just distracting others.

And then Jonathon laughed - what mother says she doesn't mind kids texting instead of doing Maths??


What I have learned about mothering, however, can be summed up in a few words. My internet friend, Willa , reminded me of the importance of these three words.

Not, they are not "I love you", although saying that is important.

The key words for me, as a mother, have been "Staying in the moment."

Willa is very wise.

Staying in the moment.

And keep on working on relationship - relationship with parents, siblings, others, God.

I have found this to be most important, as my kids have grown older...I have three young adult sons, one eighteen year old and three younger sons. I thought I'd be a bad mother of young adults - I didn't know how, I knew the little ones best. Well, I am not a great mother, but I am learning!

Staying in the moment has helped - I am not parenting any generic young adults, just my own.

Seeing each one as an individual, praying, working on myself and with Gerry and with the kids, has been key.

Right now, I am at a spot where I think parenting and giving the kids a good childhood , passing on the Faith, are just as important as a good education.

They can catch up on the education later, if they need to (but, hey, I see them learning all the time, anyway!).

It is harder , however, to work through problems in parenting and relationship so I'm aiming for joy and trusting that the rest will follow.

It has, so far.


Genevieve said...

So very true! I'm working through these same issues. Education is important but compared to parenting and developing loving and trusting relationships, educating is so much easier. It makes me think. What is a good childhood? I'll have to ponder on that some more.

Leonie said...

I think we end up working on mothering during our whole parenting career...A good childhood? A few things that I think about are good memories and a strong sense of Faith, of self, of family, ....

Moonlight in Vermont said...

Wow, Leonie. I wish you were near us! You are a mirror of me and to think you are so FAR away. I think the very same thing. Imparting the faith is most important. We discipline but our children have so much freedom and I'm loving the choices they are making. Blessings to you and your family...You are amazing:)

Ladybug Mommy Maria said...


I agree...the relationship is tops!

Leonie said...

Lol re the mirror image - nice to hear that someone is like me! :-)

Maria, relationship is something I am always trying to work on. Right now, its my relationship with my dh - sometimes I say dumb things and am a $#&& wife...:-(

Jane Ramsey said...

Thanks for this reminder of what's important, Leonie. I really needed it tonight!

Leonie said...

We all need reminders, don't we? I need them daily!!