Over-parenting, underparenting, responsible parenting–way too much Mom Guilt

Being a mom is hard.  Knowing the right thing to do, and when to do it?   I was just at Barnes & Noble looking at the hundreds of parenting books.  I could read all of those books and still not know the answers.  I can feel my role as a mommy changing these days.  It used to completely encompass me.  It ruled everything I did for the first 7 or 8 years.  I am the first to say say that I had an anxiety attack when both of my boys were gone for a week to sleep away camp.  (They were fine.  I’m the one with a problem.)

For the next few weeks both of boys are 11 years old.  Yes they are only 11 months apart.  There were pluses and minuses to this.  What that means for me as a mom though is that I go through stage development and just when I’m figuring it out.  Poof!  It’s over. 

Right now we are entering a new stage.  I have these two preteen boys.  They are developing their own identities.  One is currently thick in throws of this.  He has asked to go to the mall with friends or the local amusement park.  I’ve said no, not without an adult.  I do think that 11 is too young for that.  I have however started letting him walk to a nearby park with his friends.  I am willing to let him go with his friends for awhile with me in said mall or said amusement park.

Our children need to develop independence.  I know this, and I hope that I am encouraging it.  I need to learn when I need to parent or advocate for my child and when I need to allow him to advocate for himself.  This is hard, but as a mom something that is imperative I do.

This has come up in conversation for me multiple times this week.  My teaching partner talked about how her daughter (19) went to a college interview without her, but all the other girls had their moms there.  My friend blogged about an article at her site.  I thought the article had some great points.  I also had an articleforwarded to me from another friend.  Then I had two completely separate friends talk to me about the exact topic.  (At this point I start saying, “Ok God, I’m listening.”) Then this morning as I checked some of my favorite blogs, Mojomom had written about it as well.  Timely to say the least.

We beat ourselves up on a regular basis.  We need to quit.


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