Posted by: sistermom1 | October 30, 2009

Parenting from the sidelines

When our children were babies, I used the term above to dismiss other people’s efforts to manage their children’s activities without needing to get their own hands dirty. At that time, I was healthy and mobile, and able to walk, run and dance with my children at the drop of a hat. I had no idea what was in store for me and my family. I definitely took that time for granted, never expecting that the universe would deal me a hand that would include needing a scooter, a wheelchair, and a chair lift to successfully live my life and even move through my own home.

I have written before about needing to redefine success in certain areas of my life because of the effect of MS.   Now, parenting from the sidelines is something that I am forced to do on a regular basis.  My attitude about this has had to change.  I simply cannot be right there with my children at all of the important moments of their lives. In fact there are many nights that I am unable to eat dinner at the same table with them (and I had always prided myself on having dinner together as a family every night, and didn’t understand families that did not do that.)  I cannot physically run to them when something negative happens, or interject myself into their more challenging situations when I think they need adult intervention.  My husband is very much involved, and you know how differently mothers and fathers can approach situations with their children. (smile!) 

One positive side of my current limitations is that it is forcing my kids to be more self-sufficient, better able to speak for themselves, and able to handle more situations on their own without depending on/needing (or wanting!) my opinion.  I am also learning to trust my husband’s way of dealing with things, despite the fact that he does most things much differently than I do.  (Different is not wrong, just different!)  Learning to let go of things is an ongoing challenge for me  – one I am forced to struggle with every day.

As I look at my children – often from the sidelines  I am a very proud parent who is as involved as I can be on any given day. I have a lot more equipment that accompanies me, but they know that I am there, and even when I can’t be there with them, they know I am waiting at home with a smile, kiss and hug and to hear all about every single detail when they get home.

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