I’m not sure this will end up in a question, but it’s on my mind. I’ve been thinking a lot about appreciation and mothering lately. I’m not talking about the side where I appreciate things … I know I see the short end of the stick sometimes, and fail to fully appreciate the amazing kids I have, the chances I’ve been given, and more. However, that all falls under gratitude to me. I’m not sure of the actual distinction, but my mind makes one. I think appreciation means understanding something, and enjoying it for what it is.
I know my husband appreciates my parenting, and he does verbalize it sometimes. I appreciate that :). However I think a part of me expects my kids to appreciate some of the things I do for them, and that’s just plain a misplaced expectation. They don’t see or appreciate my point of view at all, and it’s not fair to expect them to. I’m going through a tough phase with my newly-minted 8-year-old, which hasn’t been made any easier by all the recent changes. He’s home every day, we went away without his dad for 10 days, and now his dad has been gone for another 5 days. I know all that is upsetting, and we both are slowly finding our new routines. It’s a lot of trial and error, and that produces testing and craziness on his part, and a lack of patience on mine.
I think part of it is I’m in-between support structures, and so feel rather left in the dark as well as under-appreciated. Perhaps I need to go find my whining rock?! (My in-laws used that with their kids to great effect I think, and I rather wish I had one to go climb on once in awhile!) Despite all the resources, friends, ideas, and camraderie amongst moms, motherhood is still a very individual and lonely experience. It’s just me and my kids most of the time, and I find myself expecting some adult-like reactions from them. Appreciation is just one of those things.
I do think it’s a bit deluded to go around expecting to be appreciated for a role I fill in a relationship. It’s the “this is a job” part of me that wants to be appreciated. If I were truly filling and enjoying the role of mother, the need for that should disappear. Hmm. Attitude adjustment needed? Perhaps. Any reactions or thoughts appreciated!