The age old argument about the pesky glass is it half full or half empty, the new spin that the opportunist drank it while you were arguing over the proper status of its contents. From the perspective of a (dare i say, relatively good) mom – I look at the glass and care not whether it’s half full or half empty, I try to figure out how to make it completely full or, if that’s not possible, how to best split it between two kids and how to make the water appealing to said kids.
Isn’t that true of everything in life with kids? How do we split our time and resources and affection between multiple kids and responsibilities? Life isn’t always fair but is that a lesson a 4 year old or 2 year old need to learn? Can it be learned that early? The thing is while life doesn’t always appear fair, there is usually a reason behind it and typically it balances out. Being as though that’s a concept most adults can’t grasp, it is ridiculous to think that preschoolers are going to get it. We need to teach our kids to share and be grateful and that sometimes “no” is the final answer. There’s not always time or money readily available for everything they want. Some things are dangerous or frivolous or not a good idea at the moment. I think I’m doing a pretty good job. My kids don’t always want to share with each other, they whine & cry when they don’t get their way, they don’t always stay in bed when I put them there for the night, they don’t always eat whatever is given to them with a smile – but they’re kids (and sometimes surprise me by doing the right thing)! The important part is I’m teaching them these things. I’m hoping with patience & consistency & age, their reactions will become more socially acceptable & gracious. They are well taken care of – fed, cleaned, dressed, comfortable, safe – and very well loved. And they’re happy! They don’t know we’re struggling. Isn’t that the best I can do?
Due to unfortunate circumstances we’re in a less than ideal situation. My glass isn’t even close to half full. It’s closer to about a sip and a half left. As a mom I still try to figure out how to fill the glass, how to split a sip & a half fairly, how to make it appealing. My kids don’t need to know that’s all that’s left. I mix in some Kool-Aid, put it in a Dixie cup so their cup is full, and they slurp up their shared sip confident knowing that Mom will make sure they have more tomorrow. One day I’ll be able to fill that glass for them, maybe even two. Who knows maybe one day I’ll even be able to fill a third so Mom will have one too. In the meantime, having my kids best interests -short-term or long-term- in heart & mind with whatever I do, I think that’s the best I can do.
*Just in case anyone reads this literally – I assure you my kids have much more to eat and drink each day than a sip & a half of Kool-Aid between them. Please don’t call DCF.