We made it home from FL to MA in one piece. 21 hours, four pit stops, five movies, and a lot of down time! (I read a whole book!) It was actually kind of relaxing.
But now that we’re home and my son is back in school, I feel miserable. Why? Because he‘s miserable! It’s amazing how our own happiness and sense of peace is tied in with how our kids feel. It’s so hard to feel great when you’re kids are having a tough time. As a mother, you feel responsible for their happiness: if you can see a smile on their faces, you feel good… and when they’re down you feel you should be able to do something to make them feel up again.
Well, truth is, sometimes you just can’t. Especially as children get older (mine is a teenager now), you just don’t have that kind of control over their spirits. You have to learn to let go of that sense of responsibility and let them work through their feelings. I think often of a really helpful book I read called “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk.” It taught me how to respond: to nod, to repeat words my kid is saying, to validate their feelings and to SHUT UP ABOUT OFFERING SOLUTIONS.
“Sorry you’re bummed out about school starting up,” instead of “Look, everyone has to work! Can’t you just buck up?”
“I bet you wish you could be on holiday forever,” instead of, “But you had a great holiday… be happy for your good fortune!”
“It’s tough getting back to work, isn’t it?” instead of “Try to get over it. Life isn’t one long party!”
Moms don’t always have solutions to every problem. I’m trying hard to shake off that sense of melancholy I developedÂ by switching my mind to something else. And then, when my son gets home from school tonight, I’ll have a nice dinner for him and some relaxed family time.
He’ll still have to brace himself for homework, but, you know what? That’s life!