Sunday, January 29, 2012

Parenting a success when you're a failure...

In the terms of society, I am a failure. Anything I try to do doesn't work. A few business ventures I have attempted in the past didn't work out. Too soon, too late, whatever. I was clueless as a child- as an example, I never heard of soccer until I was in university. I didn't know people with kids could live in apartments. I lived in a rural place and  seriously this was before satellite TV and internet, it was before computers even.For a rural kid, there was not another way to get information really. I didn't even know that moms could work full time. Unless they were divorced. All the moms I knew pretty much worked p/t if at all, because who has time to work when you are running a farm and raising 4 kids? My dad used to get back from the city around 6:30 at night , often later. His attentions were not focused on teaching me the ways of the world. There is always stuff to be done on a farm, and once my brother started hockey, my dad coached that in the winter and baseball in the summer.
As a whole, I am not a successful adult. I got pregnant in University, where I only ended up by chance and I didn't even really understand the options available to me. It's hard to believe, but I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only kid out there in my generation who had no idea the plethora of educational opportunities available at university. I met someone taking B-Ed and I remember the slow dawning in my brain, like wow,you go to University to become a teacher? I felt so stupid.  But ...anyway, I have a BA, Honours at that, in a program that only accepted 25 or so kids so I guess that's pretty alright. Impractical, but better than nothing.
I worked two jobs while pregnant and finishing school, for as long as I could , but quit the one when I realized around  that the chemicals might not be great for the baby. (again, no internet existed, there were not a lot of ways to look up information outside of what was provided by the Dr or the library.).
Luckily I was an avid reader from age 5 on, and have learned a lot from books, otherwise I wouldn't even be a functioning adult I'm sure of that.
How will I be able to raise my kids to be able to be adults, with jobs and friends and a happy life?.
I have done my best to encourage them toward real jobs in the real world. Starting early discussing possibilities, pointing out different jobs as we encounter them, or even those we don't- marine biologist, genetic engineer, teacher, manager, so many job possibilities out there. Things I never dreamed existed.
I am smart, don't get me wrong- Testing wise anyway.I left high school with a very solid A average (nearing an A+ if it weren't for math dragging my average down.) I am well read. Classics, new stuff, whatever, I read it all, always have. Ok, so I haven't read Stephen Hawkings -brief history of time, nor the Briefer history of time, because I just haven't yet. Have you?
My concerns are many for my children. The world has changed so rapidly in the last 20 short years. It's hard to believe, but 30-31 years ago we didn't even own a VCR, and a non 8track tape deck was a big deal still. Prices have skyrocketed out of control, compared to incomes.
How can I prepare the kids for life in this world that spins and changes with such speed that I can barely hold onto it myself? What will their lives be like in 5-10 years ? Am I preparing them for jobs that will be of no value? Right now my son wants to pursue computer science as a University major, or a math related opportunity. My daughter is toying with environmental sciences, planning, etc. (Even now I don't truly understand the opportunities I am attempting to position my kids for! )  We can't afford expensive music lessons or camps. Most days we can barely afford milk to be honest. I just don't know how I can make my kids a success in life -and by this I don't mean a CEO, I just mean successfully happy, and able to be self sufficient and have a treat  like a trip or new shoes now and then.
If I could go back and do it again, I would. I'd have to go pretty far back, but I think to give my kids a stronger chance for a good future, I'd do it.  

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