As adults, we have learned our boundaries, but it took many years for us to know just how far we can go without going over to the dark side. We teach our kids that they need to fight their own battles, but when is it time for us to step in as parents or step out? Stepping out is something I recently had to do.
Being a teenager is rough. Your body is changing, your hormones are running like wildfire, friends come and go, girls are just plain mean, and the boys are in this awkward stage of life. These tweens/teens are learning who is in their corner and who is not. I think it is very important that our children have other adults they trust that can also be a shoulder to lean on or a sounding board, whether this is a teacher, friend’s mom, or coach. I made it a point a few years ago that if you are not going to be a role model for my children then I do not need you in my life. This was also how I chose my babysitters for years, and I still talk to these girls to this day, even though they do not babysit anymore and have started their own careers
Recently, I have watched my daughter struggle with something that she absolutely loves to do. She is my dancing queen. She dances around the house, and she always needs music to do her chores, so she can dance to the beat. The past few months have been a struggle with her on what is best for her versus what is best for her dance team. I am 100 percent a mom who says that you sign up for something until the end. This time was different. She was sad, always crying, hating practice, and not like herself. Her school grades started to slip a little, and her smile was gone. I wanted to step in like a momma bear so badly and handle this, but this time, she needed to make the decision on what was best.
She had finally had enough and decided to quit. Her father and I gave her our permission to quit because nobody should be able to take that joy away from her, nor make her feel worthless. Again, she didn’t want to leave her team hanging, which I understand is hard. You don’t want to do that to your friends, but sometimes, you have to put your needs at the top of the list. That night, after the decision was done and the email had been sent, she slept. She slept so well that the alarms didn’t even phase her the next morning.
I am very proud of her for standing up for her rights as a human being, but also for putting her mental health above all other things. I also learned a lot about myself by stepping back to let her make this decision because I promise you, this was the hardest thing I have done in a while. I’m sure many other momma bears can relate: nobody messes with my cubs and gets away with it.