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Jennifer's Wish                                                                        June 2009
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Jennifer's Wish

 
 

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Dear Friend,
 
Welcome to the Parent Portal.  We want you to know about some new support groups that we recently started in New Bedford, Randolph, Framingham, and Jamaica Plain.  The JP group is Spanish-speaking.  Next month we will have new groups opening in Medford and Dorchester.  If you would like to know the day and time that groups meet, please click here.  For specific locations, parent should call us at 1-800-632-8188 or send an email to info@parentshelpingparents.org.

We hope you enjoy reading "Jennifer's Wish".  Jennifer is the Parent Leader of our Marlboro group and Vice-President of our board.  We are very proud that Jennifer is willing to share her reflections with you about some of the challenges she faces as a parent.
 
Sincerely,
 

 
Randall Block
Executive Director
Jennifer's Wish
 
I wish I was a parent that found the quiet nice way to get kids to do what they need to do.  I wish I had time to spend some quiet moment with each one before bed.  I wish I found a way to keep this house at least tidy, if not clean, and hundreds of other good parenting things.  But the truth is, I'm not.  I yell at the kids to clean up their dishes after they ignore my several polite attempts.  I retreat to playing computer games instead of cleaning up when I feel overwhelmed.  I usually shout at them to stop fighting rather then gently getting them settled into bed.
 
Yet I do not feel that I'm a horrible mom, nor am I a failure at parenting.  It's a really tough job. My oldest child has developmental issues and my husband suffers from mental issues.  My house is a mess and I don't really like it, but keeping it clean just does not rate up there with being available for my kids.  And while I play games on the computer, I am also listening to what the kids are doing so I can step in if the oldest is getting out of hand.
 
Although I am not proud of the fact I lose my temper and yell at my kids, I do manage to keep it to a quiet roar.  I stop myself quickly and I let my kids know why I yelled and that I still really love them.  I know I'm not a bad parent because when all is said and done, the kids still want me to hug and kiss them at night (even the 13 year old), they eventually tell the truth when they've done something wrong; and they do shower me with random act of kindness every now and then.  I can truly look at my kids and say they're pretty good kids -- they're independent, they can cook a meal, do a laundry.  They care about the earth and other people that are less fortunate then we are.  Yep, I think I'm doing an OK job at parenting.
 
Are there things I think I need to work on? Sure.  I spend more time playing games and avoiding life than I really should.  I always feel better as a person when I tackle and solve problems, even if it is washing the dishes.  But I'm realistic too.  I don't have limitless energy, and I have way too few supports, especially since my spouse is unable to be the support he once was.  So I need the breaks from reality, and an online game sure is cheaper then going to the movies.
 
So there you have it - I'm definitely not the parent I wish I was and that makes me a bit sad.  But I keep trying to do my best and that makes me proud.  I will keep working to be a better parent and get closer to that ideal parent I wish I was.  And some day, I will even look back and be proud of all I managed to do.


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Website: http://www.parentshelpingparents.org