In the ring tonight:
PARENTING vs PROVISION
My oldest memory, and the call on my life, PARENTING is here for the fight. By definition, the rearing of a child, epsecially the care, love and guidance given by a parent. Training was on the job and many years ago, and has basically been handed off to others for large chunks of time. This leaves PARENTING going into the fight feeling defeated.
Favored for the win tonight is PROVISION …. the art of providing the needs particularly for parents to their children. Food and shelter seem to not be enough in this day and age, instead PROVISION must also supply a steady stream of technology and activities to keep BOREDOM at bay for she is always in the wings ready to enter the fight. Sinking economy, every day emergencies (like no A/C in the house and no brakes on the truck) and a demanding work schedule does have PROVISION on edge, so the fight may be till the bitter end.
The arena is my heart, my soul, my mind. It never seems to end. This constant battle of what is best.
Obviously I am writing from the dilema of being a single mom and that makes my circumstances slightly different but when I look at my happily married, stay at home mom/dad, friends, I would think that they must have the same inner struggles.
I struggle even now with what to share here. I am perplexed and defeated right now. I look at those above definitions and I wonder who should win. I know the answer is that there HAS to be a tie. A happy medium and a balance. The scale tips heavily to the provision side for me these days though and my biggest heartache is that my parenting is falling to the wayside.
My budget, on paper, allows for us to live a fairly normal, though frugal, lifestyle. I kept my home in the divorce and my child support pays for it. My cars are paid off and praise GOD I have no outstanding debt. That leaves my income as a retail manager to pay for everything else. The problem comes in when we don’t live by that paper budget to the letter. When summer starts in GA mid-April and the a/c needs a charge and then a couple weeks later the brakes went out on my truck. Of course those are emergencies … but I will admit that even in every day life I find it hard to stick to only what I need. It is SO hard to sacrifice a warm gooey pizza delivered to the front door after I work a 9 hour day and come home to whiney kids. I used to be really frugal with eating out, we still follow the only drink water rule but now the $1 menu may have more selections but the portion is just not enough. But before I get lost in retail food world …..
It is summertime at my house. Last year, my first year single, things were difficult between the kids but we made it the 9 weeks and everyone did ok. This year …… sigh …. it’s not going so well. Many, many, many people have told me I am wrong to leave my teenage daughters in charge of my little ones. I know that it has been discussed behind my back and I also know that from the outside looking in it doesn’t seem like a good solution. And now, we have hit the hard times. It’s NOT working. Outside of my home, Brittney and Sarah have both been babysitting for many years. I pride myself on the early years of parenting I taught my girls to be loving sisters and just in general helpers. They do well …. everywhere else. But for reasons that each and every one of us have likely experienced but really don’t quite comprehend, it’s really hard to be our best with those we love the most. Maybe I set my expectations too high. Maybe Nicholas turning 13 … and learning to stand his stubborn (your NOT in charge of me) ground. Maybe taking away cable/satellite TV. Maybe and most likely, my own parenting when I’m home failing to near nothing. Maybe it’s all or none of those but I know it won’t continue to work. I can’t run my business and field phone calls of … he won’t do his chores … the boys are fighting … there’s nothing to eat … Alli is whiney … I have had to ignore a possible emergency in my home to wait on a customer (no worries, just another He will NOT LISTEN) and I have had to just hang up out of frustration …. What do you want me to do from 20 miles away?????? I can’t be at work and at home. I can’t enforce rules from afar. I can’t break up a fight or just sit and cuddle because that’s all she needs. But the biggest of all ….. I CAN’T NOT WORK. And PROVISION takes the win.
So, I pondered what to do.
The clear vision that I want of a community working together just doesn’t exist. It takes a village to raise a child? Then why am I alone raising 6? And more than that, why does my heart pound at the very thought of making this a public blog? I am beating myself up as a failure already. And then I get angry…. at me….. for not calling on my village. How has this society so influenced me away from calling out to my friends and loved ones? There is NO way I am the only one that has that feeling. Sure I need a night out or to go to the grocery store alone or to have a work day when I don’t worry but …. all of you have a life too. Just as busy as mine. I can’t ask YOU. I can’t burden you. And to top that, my large family lends to me being even MORE withdrawn from asking. Most people don’t even drive a vehicle big enough to seat 1 or 2 extra children … certainly not even half of mine. So … it’s just too much to ask.
And before you panic. I’m not asking. I’m pondering. I can’t get past this whole that I’ve dug myself. And this is a VERY controversial thought I’m putting out there, but one that I think about sometimes. I can name names (I won’t) and I can point out many many others in society that take full advantage of the programs our government has put into place to help those in need. I won’t make judgements of the programs or even of the people accepting. I enjoyed my WIC food when the children were younger. I have been a part of the system. But …. let’s just say for arguments sake …. I got laid-off from my job tomorrow. And then I told a little fib about exactly how much support I get. And don’t think for one minute it can’t be done!! I wonder, how nicely would the government support me? I could sit home with my babies and love them every day. We could eat some really good food. Would it be enough to live? I’m thinking I could get away with a lot in that area.
And again … before you panic, lol. I’m not going down that road either, unless something really bad happens.
PROVISION does win right now. The good thing is, I really enjoy management … not so much the retail world, not so much even the franchise I work for (since they are not real good at keeping promises or interested in rewarding those who work hard). I enjoy the reward of work. I have a years worth of numbers to show I am good at what I do. I have an intense desire to learn more and better than that a competetive spirit that likes to WIN!! So at least I am not burdened with a mundane task that puts food on the table.
PARENTING just can’t lose though. And for that I need your prayers. God has a plan for my children. God has a plan for my place as the parent. I need to align with His plan. I need to follow His instruction manual in raising them and discipline (yes, girls, that part is on me too) and instruction. More than that PARENTING usually happens just by living what we want our children to be. I indeed want my children to all become great parents and great providers so …. the fight will continue.
My mind is the biggest battle field today and I just need to accept that in the ring is where the fight is supposed to happen. PARENTING and PROVISION both have to walk away from the fight bigger and better.