Last night, Zack and I had an interesting conversation. Lately, he has hit this stage where he is saying things to me like, “It’s my life!” or “It’s my body!” (That one is reserved for when he wants to be picky about what he eats.) So I asked him what is going on with him. He told me he doesn’t understand why I get to make all of the decisions about his life – what he eats, when he eats, when he’s allowed to play video games, where he goes to child care, where we live, and what type of extra curricular activities he does.
I was shocked. I mean, truly shocked! This child is 8 years old!!! In case you missed that, I said eight years old. Wasn’t I supposed to have a few years to prepare for this I’m grown and I know what’s best for me stage? As it is, I don’t think I handled it as well as I wanted to. I told him the reason I make all of the decisions is because I’m his mother, it’s my job, and until he’s 18 that’s how it’s going to be… Even reading it now, it looks like I didn’t handle it well.
I do understand his frustrations. We have moved around a lot, and I know that’s hard on him…but the economy has been rough, and as a single mother with NO help from his father, I do my very best to keep a roof over our heads. I’m sure a lot of people are tired of hearing about how hard it is to be a single mother, but I honestly haven’t always had a job. Sometimes I can’t find childcare, sometimes my child gets sick too often – and who’s going to babysit a sick child? So we have struggled with bills, gotten evicted, lost friendships, (but also been blessed by people helping in unexpected and wonderful ways) etc. But I digress from my point…I’m just trying to say, I understand the last few years have been hard on him.
Nevertheless, even if he is stressed out because times have been hard, or we’ve moved around too frequently, I still wasn’t prepared for his new attitude. He’s supposed to still be my sweet baby boy. *sigh*