Own up or shut up
I posted about this on Twitter earlier, but I thought it needed an actual, honest-to-gods blog post. My tweets are as follows:
There are some mornings I want to just shake some sense into my child. I love him dearly but GODS does he FRUSTRATE ME. It's hard being a teenager. I remember. So I try to cut him some slack. But there comes a point where there is no more slack. I hate that. Now it's time for me to go into supermom mode and ride his ass and make him get cranky and pissy with me. This is the part of teens I hate. My job as a parent is to make sure my child succeeds. I will do that. Because I'm his mom and I have his back. Even if he doesn't see it. I remember my parents nagging & hated it. They were just trying to get me to do what I was supposed to. Sometimes we need a foot up our ass. Doesn't change the fact I hate doing that. But, when it needs to be done, it needs to be done. Okay. Done venting. Back to teacher emails.
I emailed each of his teachers, giving my email address and phone number. I asked them to please contact me if there was anything I could do to help. I asked them to email or text if Anthony was missing assignments or not turning things in. I also asked to pick up what schoolwork he was missing over the last two days so he could get caught back up.
Parenting isn't easy. Sometimes it downright sucks watching your kids struggle to succeed. Although you know it's necessary, you want to swoop in and give them the hand up they need. I've never been one of those mom's to do something FOR my son, but I've been overly helpful at setting up his assignments and telling him when to do what. He needs to learn to do things on his own and set his own time. But he's horrible with that and I know it.
But I can't be there at college to make sure he goes to classes. I can't be there to prod his ass out of bed when he makes a stupid mistake and pulls an all nighter and then skips out of work. And I sure as hell don't want my son to have to move back in with mom after he moves out because he is unprepared for real life. However, that's where I see this going. The same path I took. Only I didn't go back home. I lived out of my car out of pride and stubborness. I was NOT going to prove my dad right. I was NOT going to have a 9pm curfew at 22. I was not going to have to share a room with my little sister who was just at the age where she needed a room of her own.
I made the decision to, and I am going to be sexist for a moment:
To make that a little more gender neutral and stop putting emphasis on male ubermasculinity... Time to own up or shut up. And, to paraphrase Yoda: there is no try. Do or do not.
I have to suck it up, be okay with my kid being irritated at me, snapping at me, being generally cranky and stressed out until this is all under control again. As much as I like being a relatively cool mom, I need to start riding him until he starts doing the things he should do. I'm irritated with myself that I didn't see this coming. I tried to cut the apron strings a little and he sank.
Time for mom to dive in after him and shove his head above water so he can swim back to shore. This time I'll put some arm floaties on before the strings come off.