Saturday, May 30, 2015

Growing Pains of Parenthood...

    
Being a parent is one of the most challenging jobs there is, especially in a single-parent household. The time needed to take care of each person in the house, the emotional support needed to keep the peace, the hours of work to financially support everyone, and the mental battle that goes on in your head trying to figure out if you're doing the right thing takes everything you have inside of you. Then there's the conscience mind that wonders if all of those decisions were the "right" things to do. Although there are so many books written on parenting, there is no "one-size-fits-all" answer since every family's dynamics are different and no two kids are the same.
     I seemed to have developed a habit of using a hashtag on Instagram "MomOf3" when I post photos with my kids. A lot has changed in my family over the last few years, which I know is what is supposed to happen...kids grow up and move on. It seems so much easier to move on when you're the child than it is when you're the parent (or at least it was for me).
   
My oldest son who is now 25 joined the US Air Force full time at 22 years old and went from Basic Training to being stationed  in Germany for 2 years and has been back in my own state just an hour or so away and visits on some weekends. I was fortunate enough to visit him in Germany and more fortunate to have him so close to home and on safe grounds.
     My 22-year old daughter who has also become my best friend is a very talented makeup artist who lives at home and is getting ready to go back to school to be a veterinarian's assistant or something to help save animals. Being a vegan myself who influenced her decision of becoming a vegetarian, I am SO happy that she is choosing this for her future career. I'm also grateful to have an amazing makeup artists living with me to make me look flawless when needed :)
     I got separated in my marriage when my youngest son was 3 weeks old and ironically the same time he became colicky and didn't stop crying until he was about 9 months old. There aren't  a lot of people that can handle a child that screams bloody-murder for months at a time. I don't really know how I didn't have a nervous breakdown under the circumstances, but I've always been a firm believer of "That which doesn't conquer you makes you stronger"...words to live by!
     Somehow I went back to school to become an x-ray technologist at Bergen Community College while still teaching aerobics classes and waiting tables and graduated with a 3.98 GPA. I look back now when I can't sit still long enough to read a chapter in a book and wonder how I did it. Bottom line is...we do what we have to do to take care of our family.
    
So this emotional, wish-washy blog I'm writing today is because I just found out that my 19-year old son whom I thought was just "training" for a few more months for the US Air Force Reserves actually just got an apartment near the base with my older son and will not be living home at least for the life of the lease which is one year (or never again for all I know). I am SO PROUD of how much he has accomplished since he graduated high school a  year ago, (not to mention the car he just bought without telling me last weekend) but am also sad that my baby that was rubbing my arm until he was 17 has grown up so much in the last 6 months, that he really doesn't need me anymore.
     I can remember as a child having pains in my legs that I couldn't describe and my mom would always tell me they were "growing pains" so I left it as that. Now that I am fully grown physically and realize that the mental and emotional aspects of growing are much worse than the physical, I wonder...is this part of a "Mid-life Crisis" or just "Growing Pains of Parenthood"?
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