The other day I was talking with a friend whose two children were going through predictable stuff – the yuckiness of the opposite sex, trouble with Social Studies, and the usual overload of growing up in today’s world.
Theirs was a constant motion of soccer, electronics, friends, and school. My colleague was in constant motion, too: monitoring sleep overs, checking in with other parents, and attending school and athletic events whenever possible.
“Getting enough” wasn’t about sex; it was about sleep.
The importance of a healthy family came through when my friend talked about making brownies for PTA, teaching bike riding skills, kissing boo-boo’s, pacing the ER, laughing at dumb jokes — and mostly being in awe that growing up happened so quickly.
My friend sounded guilty saying that much as the children were loved, parenting sometimes got tough. There was guilt in wanting what had nothing to do with children — private, grown-up things. There was resentment that evenings melted into helping with homework and enduring the logistics of bedtime when there was laundry to do and lunches to pack.
To be sure, there was disappointment, anger, and frustration that personal time was lost among responsibilities to work, the kids, and home.
I’d never met those kids but I knew how they felt as surely as if we’d had a conversation: one look at the myriad photos on my colleague’s phone said it all. So when I was out shopping last week for Mother’s Day cards, I was disappointed, but not surprised, when I couldn’t find a card that expressed my special admiration.
And I wondered: what kind of Mother’s Day card do his kids get for him?
Kathe Skinner is a Marriage & Family Therapist and Relationship Coach specializing in couples work, especially with those relationships impacted by invisible disability. She has a firm belief that the quality of a couple’s relationship has significant impact on a family’s health. With experiences as a 7th grade teacher and as a therapist working with adolescents Kathe considers herself “mom” to hundreds of kids. She and her husband David live in Colorado where they teach Couple Communication Workshops and are both mom to kitties Petey and Lucy. Discover more about Kathe Skinner at http://www.CouplesWhoTalk.com where you can sign up for a free, curated, weekly e-newsletter.
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