Something I knew that I always wanted to be when I grew up was a mom. I mean, it’s nothing that requires a degree and certainly not to the level that I achieved. Although, it certainly wouldn’t have hurt me to take a few more medical classes! I think ALL the degrees would be helpful. Of all the experiences that I have had and and obstacles I have overcome, this is what I was preparing for, I just didn’t know it. The world of COVID didn’t help with the normal day to day struggles with kids and it has turned into some other kind of SUPER challenge. All of that aside, something I never expected was the pressure that I would put on myself as a parent. The new mom struggles, the new and different routine and how it changes as the kids get older, and of course keeping a marriage together. Not easy. I often say, there is a lot they didn’t tell me! From the moment that my daughter was brought into this world, there was this sense of pressure- either put on me by myself or the external world, not sure which, that seemed to appear overnight. Am I holding her right? Am I feeding her enough? All the while trying to show an exterior confidence that would tell others that I know exactly how and what I am doing and a “get back I’ve got this” attitude. Of course over time, that confidence has been shattered and I am no longer afraid to show it and share it. I always say we know better so we do better and that still rings true. Every. Day. I learned early on that there were many different ways to MOM and that I wanted to show my support to all of them- even if they choose to do it different than me. #nomomshamehere
There are so many things that I want to be sure to pass down to my kids- and plenty I want to make sure stop my with generation. One experience/lifestyle I knew I always wanted to provide my kiddos was the opportunity to do some of the things that I felt so lucky to have been able to do. I’m not talking about skydiving and traveling world, although that sounds great for my adult life. I always imagined riding horses with them, taking them to junior rodeos, and of course the week long home-away-from-home camp out during Fair Week. What I didn’t realize was the amount of work and time that went into it from my parents’ side. I knew they probably worked harder at it then I did- most of the time. I just didn’t realize how much of them it took to get me there. Not just financially, but actual time and the emotional drain. I figure as long as both sides are enjoying it, it certainly beats sitting inside watching TV together- or apart. However, recently, I’ve come to the same realization that I remember my parents coming to so many years ago. It isn’t any funner on this side than it was on the other side, as the kid. As a parent, I will only bust my butt for you- if you are in fact busting yours, too. In short, I will not work harder for you than you are willing to work for yourself. Obviously there are some limits to this and it also depends on their age. At some point- not sure of the right time – she needs to learn to tackle these types of things herself. She needs to show the interest. She needs to learn what it means to be dedicated to something.
I will not work harder for you than you are willing to work for yourself.
For so many years it hasn’t really been feasible for us to provide a horse or the ability to ride consistently for myself, let alone my children. Josh and I sold, what I assumed to be my last chance to be competitive inside the arena, nearly 8 years ago. At that time, I just assumed that truly was it. Maybe someday we could get horses for the kids but my chance just went down the road. Sad. It was hard. It was also necessary. Now that we are so close to being debt free, thank you Dave Ramsey, it doesn’t feel as unrealistic as it once did. Early this year, we purchased a trusty steed for Miss Reagan. Read more about Flame here! Reagan has shown an interest in many different things, ballet and gymnastics included, both of which require a skill that would also be useful to stay on the back of a horse. I used to dream of a day when she would ride- and I could ride with her. I hoped she would find a horse like I had and hope that Flame is it.
She started quite slow- as was her choice, and mine. After a runaway last fall we needed to build confidence- and a lot of it. In February we first started with me leading her. This went on well into the spring and lasted until our adopted college kid took her horse back. Once that was no longer an option she didn’t want to ride. It was a fight nearly every time but once we were there and she was on the back of that horse, she was happy, content even. The one thing that finally seemed to light a spark was when our daughters from Chicago came for their summer visit. Both got on Flame with no hesitation and rode by themselves- trotted even. Reagan had been dragging her feet to get on and I had come to the point that I didn’t even ask any longer as the answer was always no. Once they left, she began talking about how well the girls rode. How they trotted and she didn’t. How they don’t live where the horses are and she does. How were they not scared and she is? Then, one day- she asked to ride. Apparently, the competitive spirit has been transferred to the littles.
Summer went fast- and now there is snow. Seriously. It is September and there is snow- let’s not get started on that. The main take away here is that I don’t get to choose what she likes and how much effort she puts in. The older they get the less control I have. It won’t stop or slow down. I also don’t get to pick who she looks up to. Who she goes to for advice and who she wants to learn from. I am still that person for MOST things for now. There is something about me trying to teach her how to ride that just doesn’t jive. I know from our crazy school experience in the spring that I am also not the teacher for her primary education, either. Lots of people have an opinion on that and that’s ok. I know that I cannot be the best mom I can be and try to teach them and work from home. Something has to give. So, knowing this about our personalities, me teaching her to ride seems no different. Now, I don’t specifically remember telling my mom that she didn’t know what she was talking about when it came to, well, anything. I would never do that. And, Reagan hasn’t said it to me either. But man. For her to want to ride with the college kid over me….it kinda hurts. Some of the very same conversations that happen with Reagan and I, also happened between my parents and I. I understand, so much more, about how they felt then. I have apologized numerous times to my parents since becoming a parent myself- on more than just this topic. Often times during this new journey, she hasn’t blatantly questioned what I have said but has listened to others tell her the exact same thing. Frustrating, to say the least. Perhaps my biggest challenge now will be to sit back and watch her learn from someone else. She may not learn what I want or how I want, but she will be learning none the less. She may not even want to continue with horses. That is where I have to remind myself, whose dream is it?