I don’t make it a habit to tell all of my personal business on social media. I am pretty much an open book but you can’t read my Facebook feed and tell my mood from day to day. I make it a point to keep family and friends updated about The Joes accomplishments via social media. Much of my family lives at least 30 minutes away from us and few are able to attend their events. Facebook is a convenient way to let the world know what they’re doing and why I am especially proud of them at any given moment. I do not have a nefarious plan to trick the world into believing my children are perfect. It would just seem so if you take a gander at any of my social media pages.
The reality is that I have children who are naughty and nice teenagers. I actually have thought of divorce on more than one occasion. For years, I was embarrassed by the fact that I had to deal with a son who was disrespectful or a daughter with mood swings. Listening to parenting stories of more seasoned parents, I would know that they would never put up with that type of behavior. For a long time, it was my secret shame. I raced to the school countless times to address behavioral issues at school. I begged kids at night to pack their bags and set their clothes out so that they would be on time only to arrive to school late the next morning. The lone car in the drop off line. I threatened to take phones. I stopped cooking dinner because no one would wash dishes. I did all of this in secret. One day, I confided in my then beautician/now friend that my son was out of control. I went on to detail the saga of the moment and instead of being met with judgment, I was met with understanding. She, too, had an imperfect child. And she was willing to share.
I began to open to up to other mothers about what I was going through. Not only that, I started to talk to mothers with young sons about mistakes I had made with The Biggest Joe when he was struggling. These things in the past may have embarrassed me but now I see that they may help another mother to be a better parent than I was. I talk to my sister almost daily about my household. Sometimes The Joes drive me crazy and it benefits them that I speak with a sane person before addressing concerns with them. She is usually very calm and logical and gives great insight. The Biggest Joe may still be living because of his aunt’s interventions. I talk to my Aunt Debbie, who is the most patient person I know, because she always shares words of wisdom and encouragement and love. I have so many friends who are moms. Each one has something to offer. Every mom I come in contact with teaches me something. I am ever grateful for all of the moms in my life. I am developing countless skills that help to foster greater relationships with The Joes because it’s never too late to be a better parent.