Parenting Makes Me Sad

Parenting is the single most difficult thing you will ever do. I always thought is would be simple. My parents made it look easy. Clean you up when your dirty. Feed you when your hungry. Spank you when your being bad. Hug you when your feeling sad. Girl was I wrong. There are so many stages and levels to parenting. Now I get why people always say, I wish there was a manual.

The first 15 years was a breeze, at least in my case. She was a healthy bouncing baby girl. She liked dolls and dressing up. Smart, caring and friendly. Considering her mother and I were raised signifcantly different, I felt like we nailed it with this one. Then she turned 15. She had her first school fight a couple of months berfor the pandemic closed schools. The first week of quarentine I was informed that she had a boyfriend. All normal stuff to me. When I was her age I was a way worse. I was in the streets doing anything and everything. Even though I had great parents I chose to do my own thing.

It’s been a year since she started distance learning. Her grades are the worst they’ve ever been. Which I don’t understand since she doesnt even have to leave the house to go to class. She doesn’t seem to have any ambition or goals. She doesn’t even consider finishing high school an achievement. I may have been a knucklehead but I new that getting a diploma was important and did the bare minimum to graduate. She doesn’t even want to do that.

She thinks that adulthood happens over night. That she will get a good paying job and nice house based on I don’t know what. I’ve been struggling with ways to motivate her and help her see that her future is in her hands. I feel like how her life ends up ultimately reflects me and the kind of parent I was. I’ve been pushing her to do better and improve her grades. I created a schedule for her and even gave a chance to explore her interests in adition to focusing on school and take her learners permit test. She still has to be nudged and reminded of how important it is for her to stay on track. I had a moment that I lost it and spoke to her harshly and I immediately regrettted it. When I got home I apologized and told she should never allow anyone to speak to her that way, including and especially me.

Like I said this parenting things is so complicated. You never know when you’re doing too much or not enough. Maybe because she’s a girl. I think if we had a boy, I wouldn’t be so worried. I also hate to amit that I probably wouldn’t be so hard on him. It’s frustrating because all I want is the best for her. She probably thinks I’m trying to control her. Actually, I’m trying to empower her to strive for the best and not have to depend on anyone. As a parent and as a man, I’m not perfect, how I can I expect her to be perfect?

It makes me sad, because we were always close. She trusted and believed everything I said. Now we hardly talk. I got tired of yelling at her. I also got tired of her sitting there like I was speaking another language. In my heart I believe that she will have a moment of clarity and will come to her senses. I just fear that it will be too late for me to help her. She has no idea what life will be like without mom and dad there to take care of everything.

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