WARNING… Crazy mom rant ahead! … I woke up the other day angry and upset because of a dream. In the dream I was angry because Tyler was not giving a good effort. Just ask any of my kids…. Lack of effort isn’t tolerated! In the dream Tyler was arguing with me and had a really bad attitude. I was angry with his lack of effort, embarrassed by his attitude, and distraught that I had spent so much of life trying to help him only to have him turn on me! It was just a dream, and really not fair to Tyler for me to feel like that at all! As with most dreams I think there’s more to the emotions that I woke up with than just the events of the dream. And I don’t believe it’s underlying anger, but underlying fear that’s messing with my head right now. We are starting another major school year and I’ve started a new job. More big transitions ahead! And suddenly I find myself questioning how I’ve spent the last 20 years of my life. I certainly didn’t spend them adding credentials or making a name for myself in my chosen field. I didn’t spend it making lots of money or writing a bestseller. I spent the last 20 years being a mom and really pouring myself into establishing a home and memories for my children. But as I face new stages in life I wonder, do they know that? Do they appreciate it? And am I really done? I still have a 12 year old. He reminds me that he isn’t 15,17 or 19…he is only 12! I remind myself that I didn’t spend all of these years with my primary focus on raising my family for nothing, nor do I want to stop prematurely. I didn’t stay home all of those years and put my career on the back burner only to neglect my family now. I woke up this morning upset about Tyler, but really I think I am more upset with myself. I worry about his future and his choices, and yet when I talk about him even I can hear the pride in my voice and the gratefulness I feel for God’s provision and the success that we have already seen in Tyler’s life. But still I worry that I haven’t done enough to teach him to be disciplined and independent and respectful and social. I worry that I’m not spending enough time with Ryan to teach him the same. I fear that Megan is slipping away, spending too much time alone, in her disastrous room and on her ipad. I cringe as I wonder what Kyle is doing at college that I really don’t want to know about! I worry that My husband is disappointed that I have not been more successful or contributed more to our wealth or future. But at the same time I am angry and defensive at the thought that he would not be overwhelmingly grateful for the time and energy that I’ve devoted to raising our children and taking care of our home and family. I’m disgusted by the clutter in our home. I’m overwhelmed by the thought of sorting through everything. I feel stretched in so many directions that I just want to curl up in a ball in a quiet room and be alone. I long to see the possibilities, the potential, the promise in my life…without feeling inadequate or overwhelmed. I want to be in excellent physical shape, to be spiritually sound, to be intelligent and successful at something. I’m feeling unorganized and trapped. When I think about all that I need or want to accomplish my mind just shuts down. I suddenly have an overwhelming desire for a nap, and perhaps a stiff drink. How do I let myself get so overwhelmed? And how does everything in my head circle back to being all about me? I need help! I need focus! I need a clear picture of how to spend my time each day. I guess I just need to do the next thing and know that God has a plan and a purpose for each day. I hope that my family remembers good times. I hope that they know I wouldn’t change how I spent the last 20 years. I would try to be more patient, more joyful, more kind. But I wouldn’t trade the time I’ve had with my family for a better job or a bigger pay check, or more initials behind my name. I guess a selfish part of me wants my family to recognize my efforts, and the insecure side of me wants to know I didn’t screw it all up. It’s time to begin to let go of my children and let them make their own choices, with a little coaching from the parents. I’ve always said that I can’t take credit for all of the good choices they make or responsibility for all of the bad choices. I can only hope that my family respects me and loves me and appreciates my efforts. Honestly, I don’t really even need appreciation, I just want to see the fruits of my efforts in the outcomes of their lives. I hope I didn’t screw it up.