Sunday, March 24, 2013

Survival of the Strongest


I have many roles in life, but first and foremost I am a mother. As I spent some time with my daughter this morning, I was reminded of how grateful I am for the solid relationship I have with her. I feel compelled to write about it today.



Several years ago, when I made the decision to make significant changes in my life, I did so for myself. I slowly shed the skin of the person I had become. I needed to do that for me or I knew I would die. Yet, after years of hard work and immense growth I have heightened awareness of the impact all of this had on my children. This is increasingly apparent more and more each day as they get older. 

I had basically given up.  I was a hot mess.  I was a shell of a person. I had become complacent with the way things were and I wasn’t living but simply existing. I had no hope and seemed to be stuck in quicksand. I was oblivious to the fact that by giving up on myself I was giving up on the people in my life that really mattered, my children. My son was very young at the time, but my daughter was eleven.  A pivotal age.  I am quite sure she didn’t like me very much, which made two of us.  She became closed off and struggled in school.

Then came the turnaround.  Complete 360.  I snapped out of it and got with the program.  Thank God.



Today, my daughter is a beautiful, strong young woman who gives freely of herself.  She is intelligent, open and caring. We are incredibly close.  This morning was a perfect example of this.  I took her to a local church because she had accepted a volunteer gig to give her time and her skills as an artist on behalf of the art department at her high school.  She was asked to do this and she agreed without hesitation.  On our way to the church, we engaged in conversation, which is typical practice for us these days.  It was an intelligent conversation about some things that are on her mind. It was an exchange that grabbed my heart and filled me with pride. After dropping her off at the entrance, I parked for a few minutes to reflect upon my gratitude.  My teenaged daughter wants to spend time with me.  She communicates with me openly about teen issues like school, drugs or alcohol, her boyfriend and struggles she has.  I appreciate this for what it is, a very rare gift.  I trust her and she trusts me.  Priceless.  I am grateful beyond words, and I don't take it lightly.  This would not have happened if I hadn't changed.  I can't even bring myself to entertain "what if's".  I have to focus on the now and take one day at a time.  Forward, not backward!  No regret, because we are all stronger today and for that I am grateful.  What doesn't kill ya.....

I am happy today but more importantly my kids are happy.  They are strong and confident.  I firmly believe they have learned from the tragic mistakes I've made and by seeing how I've overcome the obstacles I had put in my way.  My relationship with both of my children is now firmly planted on solid ground.

There is snow coming down, so we are hoping for a snow day!  Weird, it's only a week away from Spring Break.  But I'm not complaining, because life is good today.

Peace out!
xoxo

21 comments:

  1. Hey Michelle,
    That is so sweet. Goes to show though, that we must first get our own house in good order. The rest will follow.

    I do think that mother-daughter thing can be an exceptional bond.
    Cheers, ic

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  2. It just goes to show that no matter what happened in your past, if you make the right changes in life, it can and will pay-off. It's a beautiful thing when children can confide in their parents without fear. If she can't come to you then who would she have gone to? It doesn't bear thinking about.
    You also changed your life at the right time, because your children were young enough to see and accept the changes quicker, if you know what I man. If they were much older it just might have taken longer for the them to accept the new Michelle. Well done Michelle, keep it up girl.

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    1. Thank you! It is most gratifying to see the results from my work reflected in my children. Makes it all worth it :)

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  3. Glad you were able to turn it around, and heal your relationships. That is a parent payday for sure... I hope my girl and I can be close during her teens.
    Carolyn
    http://www.ccmcafeeperspective.com/

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  4. Hi I nominated you for the Liebster Award check it out

    http://myadventureswithmy2kids.blogspot.com/2013/03/nominated-for-2nd-time-liebster-award.html

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    1. Hi Miriam! Could you share the link again? Are we following each other on Facebook? Here is my link:

      https://www.facebook.com/fearnomoreadayinthelife.5?ref=hl :)

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  5. Good for you for raising a beautiful, intelligent young woman. I hope that Grace and I have this kind of relationship as she gets older!
    http://www.mondaysnugget.com/

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  6. Loved this post! It is so important for our kids to be able to really talk to us!!

    Jennifer at http://simplyathomemom.com/

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  7. First of all you look so young to have a teenaged daughter:)I am very happy to read posts like this. You could have continued on the wrong path but you didn't and that is awesome! I am very happy for you! Keep it up!

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    1. Eileen I think I love you!!!!! Lol. It's never too late for change and grow! Or in my case grow up ;)

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  8. I'm so glad that you are in a good place now and that your children are reaping the benefits. We are not perfect creatures. Sometimes, we can be weak and faltering. But when you recognize that, as you did, and make the necessary changes it shows your kids that someday, if and when THEY falter in their weakness, they can rise up and move past their circumstances. I think you have given them a great lesson in life. Some kids never learn what it is to overcome struggles. So happy for all of you!

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    1. Thank you Penny! I truly am grateful for all I have been through because even the struggles have made me who I am today. I wouldn't trade any of it :)

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  9. So lovely and a true testament to not only your daughter, but to you for turning things around and participating in life again! These are the fruits of your labor. Very touching.

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  10. great post! I'm happy you are at a better place in life and that you have such a great relationship with your daughter.

    -Queen Mommy
    www.mt2sm.blogspot.com

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  11. Michelle, your daughter is beautiful! She looks just like you. That your teenage daughter wants to spend time with you, that she trusts you, says so much about the positive relationship you have with your children. It is priceless! I really admire the way you’ve moved forward with your life. I also admire that you have the courage to blog about it (blogging about such personal issues is not easy, I know because I’ve tried). Your courage gives courage to others, thank you.

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