February 12, 2015

My Kids Will Never Be a Status Symbol

I will not parent my boys in a way that is done solely for others approval.  I will love and discipline them in a way that promotes a healthy relationship between us and so they don't grow up to be total dickwads when they leave the nest.  And if for some reason, they do end up being delinquents, I will know I did the best I could do.  It will be up to them to use the tools Tim and I gave them to keep from being grown-up assholes.

My kids have not, are not and will never be a status symbol.

Luke and Jack are not boxes I can check off on my life's to-do list.  They are people and they deserve to be treated as such.  No line crossing out here.

This is not to say that I don't love being a mom.  I will wear that name tag with honor for the rest of my life.  We will always be connected but we are each our own entities.  Their "success" or mine in life does not depend on one another.  No matter if they are "good" boys or "bad" boys - I will have succeeded at this parent thing because I woke up each day and gave it my best.  When I screwed up, we all started anew.

There have been days I asked the boys for forgiveness at 7:30 p.m.  They always let me start over.  Never yet have I heard some version of, "Sorry Mom, you were just too mean and you yelled too much today.  No do-overs for you today."  They are getting really good at this grace thing.

The same idea spreads over to my marriage.  I didn't marry Tim so I could just say I was married.  It wasn't just the next step in life or our relationship.  We didn't get married because everybody else we knew was doing it.  We also aren't staying married because it's the "right" thing to do.  Marriage and parenting for us isn't a keeping up with the Joneses kind of thing.

Tim and I got married because we wanted to create the Pell Team, forever partners in this hard and amazing life.  Besides, he's extremely hot so there's that too.

Sure, I loved saying he was my husband.  When we were newlyweds I would try to creatively drop it into conversation.  "My husband" was so fun to say but the label and married status wasn't the why behind our union.

What we have doesn't fit neatly into a box.  Our love is ever changing, ever growing and getting better each day.  We have our rough spots, sure.  Part of the greatness is the getting through the hard times and looking back on them while giving each other a high-five.  We beat that life tumble, Pell Yeah!

I think we started out with this marriage idea early on and it just transferred to our theory behind our parenting.  We got married young and had kids young.  I am proud of that, but still, the labels and the timing weren't the why's behind it all.

It's way too much work to try to please everybody anyway.  For every one person who approves of our marriage or parenting, there will be 99 others behind them pointing out all the flaws.  I will absolutely never change how I am a wife or a mom in order to gain the "good job Lady!" from anyone.  It cheapens the experience.

Tax forms, mortgage applications, facebook.  Yes, I will check the appropriate boxes.  I do have a husband and two kids, but my status in this world isn't based on that.  That isn't why I galloped into this story or even why I stay and put my all into it.  That kind of story has boring black text on a dull white page.  Our story is full of vibrant pictures and poetry.  Our pages are filled with elaborate imagery and complimented by colors your brain can't even comprehend.

I am Lindsey. Tim is Tim.  Luke is Luke.  Jack is Jack.  We are Mothers, Fathers, Sons, Daughters, Brothers and Sisters.  Those labels depend on how we relate to others in this life.  But standing alone, we are just as amazing as when we stand together.


stacey said...

I love everything about this sentence. " I will love and discipline them in a way that promotes a healthy relationship between us and so they don't grow up to be total dickwads when they leave the nest."

You may enjoy this article — the line that stuck out for me is "Our kids are not our masterpieces." Love, love, love that idea. Helps us separate our own "stuff" (like needing to feel like our parenting was a success) from what our kids really need.


Lindsey said...

I love that article! It kind of lets us all off the hook. One way or another, our kids will land in therapy. Actually, I hope they do because we all have issues and it's would be helpful to talk to a professional about it.