Friday, February 23, 2024

The Good Enough Motherhood Process

April 5, 2016 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

“Dear Riviera,

What do you do for a teen who picked a major clearly not suited for them? Do you let them take the classes or do you talk them out of it and advise them to sign up for the classes that better suit them?  Especially if you are worried that it was your biases that influenced that wrong decision in the first place….?”


Ethical Mama


Hello Dear Loving Mama,

I just went through something similar with my tween, and I spent a couple of months worrying and trying to solve his ‘problem.’ I watched as he struggled and stressed and floundered and took baby steps and floundered again.

It was painful to watch. I was desperate to help him get through his problem… I wanted to fix it and move on! I talked with him and encouraged him but nothing helped ease the struggle either of us was having.

Finally I realized that it was not my struggle to endure! His pain certainly felt like my pain, but this was HIS journey. My son is no longer reliant on me to get him through his life.
I finally saw that I simply needed to take a step back and allow him the dignity of his own process.

Amazingly, as soon as I gave him back his own space, he straightened things out on his own.

I saw that it was my own harsh self judgement of the situation that was keeping my son at odds with the answer to his dilemma. He had his own answer all the time, but my energy was keeping him stuck.

Once I took it easier on myself, and took a breath, and reassured myself that he was not broken, and did not need to be fixed, (which is the way most people view others in particular and life in general) I was instead able to offer my unconditional support with an open hand rather than a strong arm.

The bottom line: my child makes good decisions that serve him on his journey. I don’t always know how they will serve him, but I know he is on his path and he is finding his way.

I also saw that I had been under the delusion that if I do a good enough job as a mother, my son’s struggles would magically vanish and his life would smooth sailing for him.

Hah! Absurd!! What I had done, instead, was to successfully launch him from a higher vantage point than I had entered the world from. His struggles will not disappear; they will simply be different than mine were and are.

And the more I honor his own process and respect him as his own person, (whether he is making decisions based on my input or not), the more he will continue to share with me and consider my input as he reaches the many crossroads stretching out before him in his life’s journey.

Motherhood is a process of letting go… And trusting that you did the best job possible, and that it was, indeed, “good enough.”

Lots of love,

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