One of my kids didn’t get something they really wanted. They worked super hard for it but no, they still didn’t get it. It stung. Not just for them, but for me. Of course, since it wasn’t about me, I didn’t have the luxury of acting irritated or devastated or outraged. I just go to shake my head, say “Oh, I’m so sorry” and listen.
(I could have gone Operation Varsity Blues on their butt, but I had already blogged about how I’m so much better than that. I can’t be a hypocrite now, can I?)
The good news in the above paragraph, at least regarding my own experience, is that I’ve grown so much. Even a year ago I’d have been aghast at the results, dramatically trying to pump the kid full of encouragement and wisdom that, in the end, would have done nothing to ease the teen’s pain and instead only serve my own wounded pride at the rejection which, as I type this, makes no sense. My child is not me. It’s natural to feel bummed out for my kid. It’s quite another to personalize it. After all, in doing so, I’m not giving my kid time to grieve for themselves. Maybe they’ll be over it in a day. Maybe not for a month. At the time my kid found out about the results, I had no idea what they would need. But one thing they didn’t need was their hypersensitive mother swooping in on their grief, creating confusion. (A year ago it might have ended with my kid comforting me.)
(um, sorry, I did.)
The issue with this reaction would have had the effect of having my kid feel less safe to tell me what is going on in their lives for fear of eliciting a nutty response.
Maybe you don’t suffer with this kind of attachment to your child’s outcomes.
Maybe you are the kind of parent that can easily let go.
I DO let go. Oon the outside.
But on the inside, it still hurts. It speaks to old wounds in me. It tugs at the child who was never picked for the lead in the play or for the sports team.
But… and this is the big takeaway: It’s NEVER my child’s job to suffer my hurts.
And in the case of my kid, they were over it the next morning. (This mama might take a few more weeks to process it… but I acknowledge that… and am calling the fact that I was able to sit with my kid for a good hour and help THEM process it a big win.)
Now if I can just get through the next week of work, burying a family member, signing up both kids for college courses, get my printer to work and put away two weeks worth of laundry we’ll be golden.
Not that it’s your issue ever, dear reader, to worry about this crazed blogger’s dumb schedule. But a prayer? That wouldn’t hurt. And Tuskany, you can bet your sweet ass I’ll be swinging by your place again this week. You saved me last Wednesday.
Happily Ticked Off Tip #29: It can be hard to let your kid feel disappointment, but let them feel it anyway. Just listen and don’t make it about you. (Oh, that last part. It’s not easy. We all have our hurts, don’t we? Oh, you are perfectly balanced? #LuckyYouIDon’tBelieveYou)