Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Balancing Leniency With Standards

My "job" description as a parent is evolving as my children start to move out into the world.  No longer am I needed to wipe runny noses, taxi kids around, or help with homework.  But, with my 20-year-old daughter still living at home, I am striving to balance the demands of being her mother versus bonding with her more as an adult.

Some days are beautiful and others seem like one step forward, two steps back.  And this makes me wonder if I have been too soft with her.

It's been a journey raising three kids, each having their own personalities and traveling their own path.  With Haley, the middle child, I find that I am challenged by how easily I fall back into doing things for her rather than empowering her to do them herself.

When she needs clean clothes for work, I rush to the rescue and throw her laundry in with mine.  If she's working late, I always make her a plate to eat when she gets home.    Sometimes I even catch myself wandering into her bedroom to grab her towel and hang it back up in the bathroom.

It's amazing how those old patterns trip me up every time!

Maybe I'm not doing what's best for her, or myself, by jumping in to help.  But, I find a certain joy in what feels like a service out of love.   Still, she is a strong person and fully capable of more independence than I am giving her.

I should also make it clear that she is no slouch.  She works 30 hours a week and is starting back to Community College part time as well.  I would simply like her to step it up when she's at home.

Thinking about this, I've decided to approach our current relationship like an investment - setting a few standards jut like I would with any other activity I put effort into.  And if this means she struggles a bit, I have to let it be okay.  We are both building new habits and it takes time.

First on my list for Haley is that she help out with dinner at least one night a week.    I'm asking her to plan the meal, go to the store, buy the items and cook for the four of us.  

Last night was our first attempt and we decided on steak fajitas.  Agreeing to go to the store with her, we purchased the usual items PLUS the red and green bell peppers she loves (not my favorite!)   We worked together in the kitchen, and she took over the sauteing of the meat and peppers.  We chatted while we cooked, carrying the conversation over into dinner and it was WONDERFUL.

Dinner was delicious, clean up was easy and when she left to watch the VMA's in her room, it was a smooth transition.  Not bad for the first attempt.

I'm certain there will be some bumps as we keep up the new weekly task and add more to the list.  I'm also sure that we are both starting to honor who we are as individuals.

Now we are free to explore our new relationship as it develops.  And I can let go of blaming myself for being too lenient and bring more love back into spending time with my daughter.

So, today, I set the intention to drop the Super Mom act and to be more authentic in my relationship with my children.

"A relationship is more of an assignment than a choice.
We can walk away from the assignment, but we cannot walk away
from the lessons it presents.  We stay with a relationship
until a lesson is learned, or we simply learn it another way."

"When you practice unbending intent, you match up with the intent
of the all-creative universal mind.  So keep a solid picture of the task 
you want to accomplish in your mind, and refuse to let that
intention disappear."
Affirmative Prayer:
Entering into a consciousness of joy and happiness, there is a knowing that there is only One - One Source, One Presence - creating and sustaining an all-expansive experience of life.   This Presence brings thought into form, nourishing all action with love and with peace.

Declaring that this Presence exists within me, never separate, I am free to allow an outpouring of love to all that I do and to everyone I meet.  It is a maturing love that embraces the truth of who I am - a Spiritual being having a human experience.  

Nothing I do will change the fact that I am loved.  And I can move through my day in confidence that my relationships with others are gifts to be opened and to be experienced in all the ways that they show up.  My beliefs and values are shared with my children and they, in turn, mold and shape their own beliefs and values, all held in the presence of Grace.  At each stage of our relationship, we learn and we change and hold to our vision of how our life should be.  We are respectful of each other's space and encourage the faith and the hope that continues to propel us down our path.   In times of need, we are there for each other and when we disagree, there is still a love that exists, always present and always available.  We share our unique gifts and talents and lift each other up if we stumble on our journey.

I am so grateful for my relationship with the Universe, knowing that as I think, it is done unto me.  And I am thankful for the Divine presence within all of my relationships.  It is all God and it is all good.  Thank you, Spirit, for the blessings and the love that flow effortlessly through and around me.

Knowing that my highest good is here now, I release my word to the Divine action of the Law.  All is well.  And I let it be so.  And so it is.  Amen.

My daughter, Haley