We always expect something to happen, but the big trap for moms is that they have special, long term expectations from their kids. Even moms who fiercely deny this, still have some future picture of how their kids should look like in X years.
Is it OK if your son becomes a clown?
This is the biggest trap, since you, as a mom, are waiting for “dividends” from the investment you are doing now. But both “investment” and “dividends” are terms you should forget about and here is why.
- Replace “investment” by “living the day”. You bring children into the world because you love the process children, because you enjoy seeing them grow as they are, because motherhood brings you immediate reward. If it doesn’t and you are more concentrated on the future rather than on today, than you are on the wrong track. Because probably nothing of what you expect will actually happen in the future, at least not the way you see it or at the time you expect it to happen. Kids grow to be free people and make their own mistakes So you better forget the words: investment, sleepless nights, no life (“I’ve had no life for so many years growing you, now I expect you to…” ) and similar self-destructing terms. Having said that, of course we should invest in kids’ education etc. It’s just that the word “investment” shouldn’t be taken in the wrong sense of expecting something from it.
- Forget dividends. Year ago, people used to make kids for this obvious reason: someone had to take care of the elderly parents, and the more children a family had, the better
chance of survivalinsurance they had. Whether there was a family business or some field to dig, whatever – kids were born for a clear purpose and their life was more or less predicted from the start.
Now it’s different. Kids are independent creatures
and it’s good if they can maintain themselves (not to speak about helping elderly parents). I know families that help their 30-year old offspring to finish the university (not like the university homework, you know. I mean financial help).
Of course you can disagree and say “this will not happen to me, my kids will probably support me, or at least, be my friends when they grow big and I grow old”. But, my friend, it’s a big question and if you bet on this and bring kids solely for guaranteeing yourself happy old days then your old days may really suck you might be very disappointed.
My own position is balance – keep your thoughts and expectations on a low-medium level if you can’t make them go away, but remember, that these are your projections of the future, which do not necessarily have to fit with reality. As a mom, one of my key goals is to maintain my own independent, interesting and fulfilled life that will feed me also in the future. Feed – means not only financially, but emotionally. I don’t know about your experience, but my experience shows that the less sickly engaged parents are in lives of their grown up kids, the healthier their mutual relationship is.