Parent/child relationships will hit many peaks and valleys, but it will all be okay in the end (hopefully).

I don’t consider myself a jealous person. That being said, I do find myself slightly jealous of some of the moms I observe in my daily travels and even a couple that I have the pleasure of knowing.

When I think of the women and mom’s that are teachers and homeschoolers, in particular, my first thought is always, “there is a special place in heaven for them,” because I could never do that. I can barely keep up with parenting my kids.

My kids are 20, 18 and 11 and I have custody of my 4-year-old nephew. I suppose in some way I’ve earned the right to be tired and overwhelmed but not in their eyes of course. I’m a single mom too. I don’t want pity or sympathy, my story isn’t special, we all have something, but some understanding on the rocky days, well that would just be outstanding! A girl can dream, right?

There isn’t anything that I wouldn’t do for my children, although they would tell you differently. In January my 20-year-old son moved out. When things fell apart, six months later, he tried to move back home. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do but I refused to let him move in. I’m skipping over the crux of the situation, but the point is I didn’t want him thinking he could come and go essentially disrupting the rest of the household. Fast forward to today, he lives nearby, so I see him all the time. He has a beautiful girlfriend, a good job and he just signed up to go back to EMT school. So while it was hard, it worked. Our relationship is also better than it’s been in a LONG time. It took him a while to get past his anger but he very recently thanked me. My heart sang a little that day.

Naturally, the daughter, 18, followed in her brother’s footsteps. Apparently, she is much smarter than me, in every way. I gave her a few rules to follow now that she’s out of high school and that was too much for her to bear so she moved out. I tend to worry about her more because she’s a girl. Yes, I’m well aware that this is a double standard of sorts but it’s true just the same.

The frustrating part is that they break promises and don’t do what is asked of them and there is little recourse at this stage of the game other than to stand your ground. Here’s a perfect example: after months of battling, I got the girl a T-Mobile new cell phone that required an additional data plan which she promised she would pay. I know, I know, I shouldn’t have signed on the dotted line at her word, but I did. But, in doing so I did warn her that if she didn’t in fact pay the difference, than she couldn’t keep the phone. Not particularly smart on my part because, while I do have possession of the phone, I still have to pay the same amount, they won’t let me lessen the data package due to the contract. Lesson learned, but I don’t regret it because at times we simply have to give them a chance to prove us right or to prove us wrong.

I’m reminded often of being a teenager myself and what I put my poor parents through. I had the audacity to call my mom one day in meltdown mode and exclaimed that she couldn’t possibly understand my frustration to which she laughed and said, “Of course not. I didn’t have three children of my own and I don’t have eight grandchildren.” After realizing what I actually had the nerve to just say to her I apologized and also said sorry for all my rotten teenage years. I’m quite certain her heart sang a little that day too.

The take home message, stand your ground. It might be hard, you might need to cry in private or scream into your pillow, but in the end it will be worth it.