by Suzanne Allen
The day to day is never the same and you never know what to expect.
When I was younger, I wanted to grow up and be a pilot. A fighter jet pilot to be exact. I was enamored with all things Star Wars and believed that being a pilot was the closest thing to that dream of flying up to the stars. Unfortunately, vertigo and bad eyesight was a major eliminating factor. I still love flying for travel when I get the chance.
I continued to grow; that dream became a purpose in my younger life. I enlisted in the Air Force at the age of 17 and went off to my future career in 1990. Little did I know that the United States would go off to a war in the desert a mere few months later. It seemed never ending. That is where we trained to go and the place that most were sent to over the last 31 years. I was responsible for ensuring that others were trained to do their duty and was fortunate enough to never be deployed there. Most of my friends and family were not so lucky. I finally retired in 2013.
I then spent the next 7 years post military retirement in various customer service and management positions. I utilized the skills I gained as Non-Commissioned Officer in the Air Force and Air National Guard. It became a constant struggle after finally facing and dealing with trauma, depression, and anxiety.
Then an injury in 2019 required surgery and as of May 22, 2020, I am retired from work again. This time it will most likely be permanent from any positions requiring manual-labor. Instead, my ability to learn and gain knowledge aided my decision to go back to school. I’m not done, just yet, with trying to contribute back to the world. I just have to find a new way.
The only “true” job I have had consistently all these years is being a parent.
I have raised, in my opinion, the four most caring, compassionate, considerate, smart, funny, and hardworking individuals the world will have the opportunity to know. Yeah, most parents say that about their kids but other parents, teachers, and coworkers throughout the years have told me the same about them.
If you, the reader, are a parent then you know what I mean about parenting as a job.
Amid trying to go off and save or create the world in my own way, I was struggling to be this role model to my own children. The hardest part of this job has always been creating a safe place for them to be themselves when we are together. At the same time keeping them motivated in whatever they want to become while being supportive of how they define themselves as individuals.
A mother’s love is never ending or at least it should be. I am and never will be perfect. I am flawed. I get angry and lose my cool. Frustration and miscommunication are the biggest factors when dealing with adult children. It’s a constant tug of war between being “mom” or “friend” to them and knowing how to balance between both.
There will always be that small part of me that wants them to stay little forever while being afraid of losing them to the world. A bit dramatic, I know.
The struggle is also the facing my own mortality with each passing year. They feel “responsible” for me now and I find it comforting as well as annoying. I am 50-years old not 90. I am still a capable person full of her own ideas, thoughts, feeling, dreams, and desires but they tend to overlook that. Hence, the miscommunication. We eventually work things out and our relationship with one another keeps growing.
The responsibility they feel is most likely attributed to the untimely death of their father, my ex-husband. He was only 53 when he passed away from a heart attack a year after the divorce. We had been married 17 years. They were there when it happened, and it is my single greatest regret. I should have been there instead. Things cannot be undone. We cannot dwell on it and time continues to move on. Their hearts and spirits will heal, it will just take time. I just keep listening when they want to talk.
Here I am in my mid-life, in a different state of mind and place in the world than what I originally planned but it is okay. Thing will always be okay when you learn how to roll with everything.
As a parent, we do not know anything the moment we become a parent and sometimes it was a surprise to begin with when finding out we have this new title of Mom or Dad. The only position where there is no previous experience required but a lot of on-the-job training.
We can only impart what knowledge we have about not only the big things but the little things too.
The children we raise today will be tomorrow’s leaders and teachers. One day they may become parents themselves, if they choose to.
The job of the parent is to be the keepers of the history and be wise enough to pass on the best parts while acknowledging the bad. It such a huge responsibility and one not to be taken lightly. Depending on ethnicity or how you were raised, there may also be keeping your cultural identity, belief systems, and self-preservation at stake.
You, fellow parents, keep going.
Yes, it is exhausting and some days we do not like them. It makes the days seem long.
Then one day they will turn into these amazing people in the world.
The human beings we contributed to make the world a better place for others.
The future is never about us it is about the generations to follow. We can only contribute a small part of ourselves.
That is the ultimate part of the parent job description, to keep growing humanity.
Thank you so much for stopping by.
Have a great week!
Take care and be safe out there.
Stay motivated, positive, and keep moving forward.
Peace, love, happiness, and good vibes, always.