Lately conversations with my oldest have been strained…. tense… or whatever you want to call it. But today I feel like today was a total mom fail (again).
My oldest, Caitlin, is an incredibly smart, talented, and beautiful child. And I’m not just saying this because I am her mom… it’s proven by the grades she gets (her current GPA is a 4.50), the awards she has gotten for band & choir competitions, and through conversations with teachers. She’s well behaved, doesn’t get into trouble at home or at school and does what she’s supposed to. Almost sounds like the perfect child, right?
This is what’s bothering me. She is very focused, very driven, and wants to excel academically. That’s good. But it seems to come at the expense of everything else. And by everything I mean that she doesn’t go out with her friends ever, she doesn’t go to school events (like the homecoming dance), she doesn’t take part in all the fun things that make high school a little more enjoyable and make it more than just education.
I feel that one day she is going to look back at her time in high school and regret not having enjoyed the time she had. The time when responsibility was next to nothing, the time when you can just have fun with friends.
Then I learned something. Something that shouldn’t really shock me since it happened when I was in school. Drinking… lots and lots of underage drinking.
She told me that all kids do is go out and party and drink. They’ve come to band camp practices still drunk or hung over this summer. Really? Is this all there is to do around here? What the hell!
I’ve been trying to push her to do things with her friends but she pushes back and doesn’t do anything with them. I get the normal excuses… there’s nothing to do, what are we supposed to do, and so on.
I thought about it for a minute and there isn’t a lot to do around here where I live for teens but you can still make your own fun. Go to the movies, rent a movie, hang out at each others houses, or go to the park and play (Yes, teens can play at the park too!). All of these ideas were scoffed at.
She’ll go to the movies with her boyfriend or watch movies at his house or ours. But other than that she is at home with us.
She’s to grown up. Having fun & being silly doesn’t seem to be part of who she is anymore.
This is where the mom fail part comes in. Is this my fault? Did I push to hard for her to do well in school when she was younger? Did I not give her enough opportunity to have fun, play, and do things with friends?
The answer is I simply don’t know.
What I do know is that I feel bad for pushing her to do things with friends. I want her to know that I love her and want the best for her but also that she needs to have fun, enjoy life, enjoy school, enjoy friends, and everything that goes along with that. I want her to do well in school and life after school. But most of all I don’t want her to look back with any sort of regret. I don’t want her to miss out on anything.
Do I let it go or do I try to get her to do things with her friends? I don’t know anymore.