My hat’s off to all of you Moms, Grandmas, Daughters, Sisters, Aunts and Women Role Models out there! We chose a sometimes difficult role, didn’t we? Being a female often means we “should be” responsible for others and is laden with feelings of guilt. Most of us find ourselves being caretaker at some point, whether it’s for our child, neice, nephew, grandchild, neighbor child, you name it. I still struggle with knowing when to back off with my kids.
I have two teenaged daughters, ages 14 and 15. I know this is a difficult time for them, finding out who they are and what to believe. It makes it more challenging if I have my own “teenager” within myself who also wants to be right and in control. So we do occasionally butt heads. What I’m learning is that guilt serves no purpose in any interaction.
When I play the guilt card, I’m trying to get my way because I’m fearful that if “they” don’t do it my way, I will not be as safe or happy. It really comes down to that. My daughter, Chelsea, was feeling guilty because she didn’t want to hang out with Mom, Dad and little sister as much. She wanted to be with her friends. When I explained to her that it was okay to want to do this and to just have fun, she relaxed. When she felt obligated to spend time with us but didn’t want to, the subsequent guilt made it easy for her to blame
us for shutting her out. In reality, we’d ask her to do something and she’d be too busy.
She admitted, however, that she justified her isolation by thinking of the times when we were too busy to hang out, which was much less frequent than the times she turned us down. She was focusing on the negative to prove her position. How many times have we all done that just to be right? Can you see how dramatic things can get, and that it is just plain insane thinking? Whoever we are and whatever we’ve done to feel guilty in our lives, I’m here to say that it’s a useless emotion, and that no one deserves to feel guilt.
Let’s just do our best and forgive ourselves for a change, okay? Let’s forgive ourselves for the times when we’ve been impatient with our loved ones, especially our kids, when we’ve been selfish and irritable and maybe even abusive.
Like a friend of mine told me yesterday, we are responsible TO our children (to simply be the best we can), but they are responsible FOR themselves. They are God’s children, not ours. They are meant to journey their own path and learn their own lessons, even if the lessons are very painful. Their souls are the same as ours, infiinte and powerful and all-knowing and wise. Our bodies are just our encasements, and because we raised our kids, it’s easy to forget their true origin and nature.
Our children also reflect back to us what we need to learn. They are our best teachers! Here’s wishing you a guilt-free, relaxing, calm and well-deserved Mother’s Day to all you caretakers!
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Peace & Blessings,