Two idioms that have proven true in my parenting years are “rise to the occasion” and “fake it until you make it.”
At times when I felt like my tank was empty, especially during the sleep-deprived first years, I surprisingly discovered that I had unknown resources within me. When the 3AM cry of one of my sons reached my ears, I found the capacity to nurse him, rock him, and sing him to sleep. Later, the occasion may have been an 8AM t-ball game, a badly skinned knee, or a puzzling homework assignment, but I had within me the capacity to come through.
The other idiom proved useful until I figured this other part out. At times … many times … I knew there was absolutely no way that I could come through for my children, that I just did not have what it took. But they stood there, looking expectantly, with an expression that showed full confidence in me. So, I responded. It might shock them to learn how many times I felt like I was on shaky ground as I mothered them. However, soon I discovered that I had a wisdom, intuition, and strength that surprised me.
One vivid memory was the late-night notice that one of my sons provided in third grade: “Mom, I need a penguin costume for school tomorrow.” To many moms blessed with the gifts of creativity and craftiness, this would have been no big deal. To me, it was like announcing I’d been signed up to run a marathon … in the morning. Bear in mind—this was prior to Pinterest, so time-saving creative ideas were not a click away. Today I cannot remember the details of how it came together, but it did. Somehow I channeled my inner-Martha Stewart, and my son marched, or waddled, with the other third graders in the penguin parade. I have pictures to prove it, and he was darling!
Both of these idioms continue to hold true as I am parenting my sons in their teenage years. Mothering looks very different now, with very different challenges; however, my sons still look to me with expectancy and confidence. They believe in me and trust me wholeheartedly. I’m learning to do the same. This emerging confidence comes from a decade of rising to the occasion, whatever it might be, even if I had to fake it a while to get there.
What clichés would you add to the list? Scroll down to the comment section below and share!
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