Good Moms Don’t Coast

I’m a coaster. I enjoy coasting. If I could do what I wanted, I think I would just lay around most of the time. I’m good with that. {I’m sure your opinion of me is very high at this moment.} However, laying around and coasting through life is not reality. Reality does not allow for laying around and it certainly does not allow for lazing through life {at least not my reality}.

My reality is that I have three kids — three, five, and six, so I feel like I do very little lazing these days. 

I will admit though, that I’ve been coasting. You see, I go through these cycles. Cycles of “Oh my gosh, I have no clue what I am doing!” And then I read and research and learn and absorb. I master a subject as much as a lay person can. My parenting has improved and whatever it is that started this panicked need for information {i.e. my daughter hitting kids in her preschool class} has gotten better. Problem solved. So I coast again. 

I go on coasting for a while until our next issue pops up when I again panic and realize that I know nothing about parenting a person, or even a fish at this point. Back to the books and the research and the work. I learn and I share with my husband and I change how I am handling things and low and behold, that issue improves and I go back to coasting.

I am good at coasting. But then again, coasting takes no skill, so who wouldn’t be.

Recently I’ve been on a kick — you see all three of my kids are in places where I haven’t ventured yet as a parent. My oldest is learning so much more about people and the world and himself, and I find myself feeling ill-equipped to guide him through this. So I hit the books.  I read and I listen to podcasts, and I buy online parenting conference passes. 

My middle child is learning so much as she gears up for kindergarten, and you would think I would be prepared since she isn’t my first, but this is different. My oldest got things quickly and naturally, and my middle child needs more help. She will soon embark on a new school adventure and I wonder what will elementary school be like for my girl with pretty intense ADHD. I feel ill-equipped to guide her through this. So I hit the books. I read and I listen to podcasts, and I buy online parenting conference passes. 

My youngest is two — I’ve been here twice before. No worries. But she catches me off guard sometimes. At times I can’t remember if my other two were like this, even though it was only two and four years ago. My youngest has some developmental delays, so we enter new territory as she ages out of early intervention services. Is she going to get all that she needs? Should I be more worried? Or maybe less worried? I feel ill-equipped to guide her through this. So I hit the books. I read and I listen to podcasts, and I buy online parenting conference passes.   

I learn and I love it. I absorb it all and soak in all of the wisdom of the parents who have walked these paths before me. I treasure their bits of wisdom and sound advice on these topics. 

Suddenly I realize that I’m not coasting, and I’m actually okay with it. Better than okay, actually. I laze my way through plenty of things, but right now I’m not lazing my way through raising our precious people. I’m learning more, for them. Then it hits me — this is what good moms do. Good moms are always watching, observing, and learning their kids. Good moms learn for their kids and are always teaching their kids. Good moms don’t coast. 

There are plenty of things I can coast through in life, but I do not want my parenting and the raising of little people into amazing adults to be one of them. It is far too important. So today I remind myself of the task at hand — the privilege at hand — in raising my little people. Today and every day, I choose not to coast when it comes to them. 

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