I like to think of myself as a reasonably bright and strong person, able to handle most things that life throws my way. After all, I made it through an Ivy League college, Law School & built, what I consider are, two successful diversely different careers and businesses for myself. But I tell ya, raising kids is by far the toughest gig I ever signed onto. If I didn’t color my hair, I bet you’d find it’s white by now (don’t worry, you and I will never know the truth:).
My daughter is a soon-to-be teenager which brings with it a whole host of challenges from attending dances, wanting to wear makeup, being invited to the movies, and spending the night with friends. Although I’ve always wanted to know the parents of the friends she stays with, I’m starting to become more paranoid and feel the need to grill her on who else will be there (i.e. parent’s boyfriend—does he live there?, older brothers, etc.). I’m probably being a bit overcautious but I’ve told her that as parent you can’t be too protective because if something happens….well, you can never undo what’s been done.
My son, on the other hand, brings another set of challenges. He’s in 5th grade and going through…--how should I put this tactfully?--…an ‘asserting his independence, thwarting authority, testing the boundaries’ phase at home. My daughter has always been relatively easy to discipline but my son, Wow! Let’s just say, I could seriously use a Valium a lot of time these days.
All of these new adventures would be a whole lot easier if we just didn’t care as parents. Sure, daughter, spend the night with whomever and whenever you want. Son, do whatever you want, watch whatever you want in the other room, just get out out of my hair.
But of course, this isn’t how we moms are, are we? Of course not, we love our kids to death; we’d do anything for our kids; we have that Mama Bear maternal instinct going on (What do you mean that boy was mean to you on the bus? Where is he?). It’s tough and frankly, I can’t remember how easy my life was without them.
But you know what, I know you’ll agree raising our kiddos is also the most rewarding endeavor you’ll ever undertake. So, press on, my girlfriends, our kids need us to set a good example for them, set boundaries & ‘be all up in their business’. These trying days shall too quickly pass and they’ll be off on their own (hopefully!) making every decision for themselves. So take a deep breath and repeat after me, “Serenity now, serenity now" (Seinfeld, anyone?). You’ve got a sisterhood of fellow moms cheering you on!
Hey, we all know how protective we are as moms, but have you actually planned your affairs so that your kids will be protected if you’re not here?
- Have you named guardians for your kids if something happened to you?
- Have you named emergency guardians who can immediately go to your kids in the event of an emergency if you aren't available?
- Do your kids have emergency id cards with their health care information if someone else takes them to the E.R.?
- Have you set up a Minor’s Trust for your kids to manage any life insurance or other property you may leave them and named responsible trustees of your choosing to manage it?
- Do you have sufficient life insurance to provide financially for your kids if something happens to you?
If not, I invite you to check out my website or give me a holler if you’re a Florida resident. I devote my practice to empowering Florida women to make smart estate and special needs planning choices for their kids and loved ones. You may download my Free Planning Guides from my website here, including my guide on choosing guardians for your kids.