Will I Get To See All Of My Hard Work Pay Off?
I ask this question for a reason while raising my family. I ask it a lot. As I get older I ask it even more.
With infants there were many sleepless nights. Many nights that ended in tears because I couldn’t calm my hysterical infant because everything I tried just wasn’t working. Then slowly they learn to communicate with you. My youngest is just beginning to learn words and how to communicate, he whines and cries out of frustration for more than half they day lately. My daughter never did that so my patience have been tried a lot lately.
One of the things I struggle with now that I have a 4 year old is that it’s hard to discipline. When they are young you take care of your sweet little babies because that’s what parents do. We nurture, we feed, we just be there for them. Then they get older and you ask yourself, when do I start teaching this little “person” right from wrong, good and bad and responsibility? My Mom always told me that it’s never to young. I also believe that. However I do believe their is such thing as “expecting” too young. I recently just started teaching my daughter that we don’t just throw our cloths on the floor after changing, we put them in the hamper. We don’t just leave the dinner table, we bring our plate to the counter to be washed, we don’t just come in from the cold and throw our hat, mittens and coat on the floor. I don’t expect her to do it every time. I don’t get mad at her when she’s at preschool and I see her plate sitting at the breakfast bar. I just keep reminding her. I never thought something so easy would be so difficult. Isn’t it just easier to do it for them? I had been doing it for almost 4 years why not just do it because sometimes the “NOOOO” I get back or the attitude I get “NOO I don’t want to pick up my coat!” is just not worth it. However what kind of little people would I be raising? It’s the Mommy in me to want to teach my kids these little things so when they get to be 8 or older they aren’t spoiled and expect Mommy to do everything for them.
Another big task as parents with this age is “feelings.” Read the letter I wrote my daughter about how she struggles with it. Hey she’s four I get it, they don’t even understand feelings yet and they are just learning to actually experience sadness, hurt and disappointment. I know I have to start somewhere. I can’t tell you the numerous times I’ve had to tell her to not speak to her grandmother that way, or her father for that matter. The attitude is out of control sometimes and she learns these lovely things called feelings.
I know the struggles will get worse or maybe better as they get older. As they get older there will just be different kinds of struggles. I’m realizing this more and more as the years pass. The homework, the sports, the broken hearts and more sleepless nights. It’s all a part of parenting but I still ask myself this one question.
Will I get to see all of my hard work pay off?
Why do I ask myself this? It’s a strange question, I know what your thinking, of course you will! When they are older and become good little-big people! I will see them become successful adults, form loving relationships and become parents themselves. I’ll get to be a grandmother and see that all of my hard work paid off because now my children will be raising good little people. Right?
Wrong. My father didn’t.
It’s only normal for me to ask myself this question, numerous times a day sometimes because my dad died too young. He was 49 and I was 22. Too young to loose a father and too young for my father to have lost his life. It’s a pain I’ll never forget and it’s a loss that I still feel every day. The last happy time I remember involving my father was the time around my college graduation. I had just bought my first home. Two major things that I accomplished where he got to see how all his hard work paid off, but what about the rest?
Only Two Major Things. How is that even fair? Something I find explaining to my daughter these days is how sometimes life isn’t fair. Bad things can happen to really good people.
What about how I handled it when I lost that first home to a break up. How about when I met and married my husband. I married a man my father never got to meet. What about the time when I brought two beautiful babies into this world that he promised me that he would get to hold. Or how about now, while I’m raising two great kids. How about when my kids turn into amazing adults because of all the hard work he put in? The long commute into the City every day to make a living so my mom could stay home and raise us. Or the time when he stayed home and raised us because he got laid off and my Mom went back to work. What about all the hard times my parents went through raising a family together. Why didn’t my father get to see all of his hard work pay off?
I know it’s life. People are taken from us way too young, he is surly not the only one. I know all of that. However I still continue to sit here and ask “will I get to see all of my hard work pay off someday?” I asked my husband if he ever thought of that question and he said “NO!” “Why would you think that??!!” My answer was because sometimes people don’t get to. It was an eye opener for him, he’s naturally a positive person (and is incapable of thinking ahead more than a week) so this question would never pop up in his head.
This is how I answer that question now on bad days:
Life passes on day by day and I make the very best of it. I have a beautiful home, a happy and healthy family and an amazing husband. On the days that are harder for me I remind myself that all of my hard work will pay off. I stay positive, I live in the moment. I put away the phones and distractions and I just watch my children be children. I even say yes to somethings I normally say no to. I know the sleepless nights won’t last forever, the tantrums and struggles won’t always be there, what gets me through these tough days is knowing that in the end my husband and I can sit back together and see what an amazing job we’ve done. That when we retire and have another house to vacation at, we will be thankful for all of those hard moments that got us to where we are. If god has other plans for me and I don’t get to see my hard work pay off at least I’ll know the wonderful memories my children will have of me playing with them and just being with them.
Now I need to learn how to not beat myself up over this random question that still arrises inside of my head. I have to remember that it’s only natural for me to feel that way, since my very own Dad didn’t get to see his hard work pay off. I know my father was proud of me. He was such an amazing man, friend, husband and father. He wore his heart on his sleeve.
So I can only hope and pray if my Dad were here today he would know that all of the hard work he put into parenthood, did paid off. I’m a good person. I’m a happy loving wife and I’m a damn good mother.