Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's Tough

I never quite know if I'm doing a good job or not.  When I was working full time I would get progress reports, and raises, and kudos, and I would know the bosses were pleased.  Now my job is much harder.  I take it very seriously.  I am not working for money.  I'm working to make good people.  And yet in this job there is no feedback.  I don't have anyone telling me, "You handled that so well!"  Or, "That was such a nice thing to say when he was upset."  Or, "I don't know how you stayed calm but way to go!"

As parents we don't get that.  We just have to try our best and hope that we are making the right decisions.  We don't know how our decisions will pan out until years down the road, if ever.  Each decision has the possibility to nurture and teach or scar and hurt.  Of course we always want a positive result but emotions are involved in this job and many decisions need to be made in a split second.  Mistakes are made.  And we hope they are small mistakes.

We hope that maybe someday there will be validation.  "Mom, remember that time you found out I stole a tube of chapstick from the store and you got me out of bed, made me get dressed, drove me all the way back to the store, held my hand as I was crying when we walked into the store, and made me apologize and give back the chapstick?  I'll never forget that.  I learned my lesson."  Or, "Dad, remember the time you were driving us up north in that horrible snowstorm and you kept pulling over to help dig people out of the ditch even though you didn't have any gloves?  And then you even towed them out with your truck though you were worried your truck couldn't handle it.  I always stop to help people now."  Or, "You two always believed in me.  Even before I believed in myself.  I always knew that no matter what decision I made I could count on your support."

You hope they are getting it.  You hope it is sinking in.  You hope you are doing a good job.  But you never really know.

And it is the not knowing that is tough.


Tabor said...

I think if you are worrying about it you must be doing a fantastic job.

Jeni said...

Trust me, Kiddo -you're doing a fantastic job as a Mom!

Unknown said...

I know what you mean... and we of course, are always criticizing ourselves (at least I am!)

From where I sit you are doing an amazing job, my friend.


lime said...

yes it is tough. and i think this is one reason why we need to have a supportive community around us whether it's older family members, a church family, wise neighbors, or even moms in the blog world so we can get some of the encouragement we need for such a thankless job. it's also something we as spouses need to do for each other as well. husbands and wives need to be able to encourage each other after a day of thankless efforts.

it's evident to us that you take this job seriously. keep up the good work.

MLE said...

I am sure I'll be paying for therapy for at least two of my children. It's hard not knowing. I miss my kudos.

Wisconsin Girl said...

Amen! I always pray they remember the good times and not the times when we lose our cool. My friend and I were talking about this recently. When we look back, we tend to think of all the fun memories and not so much those times when mom got upset and didn't handle the situation too well:) I think it speaks volumes that we do put so much pressure on ourselves to create the best environment for our kids to grow. It's just hard to focus on that during the tough times or the times we wish we could "redo" or words or actions. You are a GREAT mom...I can tell by the words you say and the posts you create. You have a beautiful family!

Riahli said...

This brought tears to my eyes... I think about this kind of stuff all the time. You always say things so beautifully. :)

Wendy said...

Love this post. It is hard to know if you're doing a good job when you're in the thick of it, isn't it?

Karen Deborah said...

You forgot one thing. Your husband is there and he sees. Your God is always there, helping, seeing, encouraging. I like to say, "I believe that God is working." Children are so forgiving and they
know you love them.
You are doing a GREAT job. Yeah they are getting it.

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson