I've been here before: tight schedules, working till my brain aches, with my body buzzing with fatigue. I was often in that place when my daughter was growing up. So as I was whizzing down Highway 85 South this morning, my daughter's comment about happy memories ran through my mind. And that's when I realized how important consistency is to children.
I was often so overextended and stressed out that I would be burning incense, chanting, praying, writing affirmations all at the same time to get through tight grantwriting deadlines, motherhood demands, and having a personal life as a self-employed, single mother. I worried all the time about how in the world I could raise this child unscathed with such a life as I was living.
Now I realize that the things I prioritized as a mom actually worked:
- dinner every week night (mostly homemade-- because it was very comforting and grounding to have something simmering on the stove as I lost myself in writing),
- getting her to bed at the same time every night with a story and a tuck-in,
- never letting her know when I was short of cash,
- having a network of trustworthy babysitters who gave us both much-needed time away from each other, and
- although she certainly saw me get upset way more than I intended, I always gave her the message that life has it's really hard and bumpy places-- but none that I couldn't handle.
I was thrilled to hear her basically saying that those hard and bumpy places were eclipsed by the happy times. And as I think about it, there were absolutely plenty of happy times.
If your kids are grown, remember all the good stuff you did with and for them. If you're still parenting, take a tip from me-- consistency goes a long way towards making children feel secure-- even if you're flying by the seat of your pants wondering which end is up.
My novella Salt in the Sugar Bowl is now available at www.mainstreetrag.com/AEpps.html
Order your copy today and find out how Sophia Sawyer's six children fared after she walked aways from them and never looked back.
Salt in the Sugar Bowl
a novella byAngela Belcher Epps
ISBN: 978-1-59948-402-0, 104 pages, $12 ($10 if ordered from the MSR Online Bookstore)