I went to school for many years. I was a master procrastinator. I rarely completed assignments early. Many nights were spent pulling articles off online databases, reading, sleeping and writing, with no clear difference between any of them. I always got good grades and I always knew how much I could handle.
Did I stress out and have major anxiety? Yes, of course, but it was all within MY control. I knew the expectations. I knew the teachers personalities. I knew myself – how long it would take me, my ability, where I could cut corners and where I couldn’t.
With Zach in school, I’ve struggled with a different, and for me more severe, anxiety. I’ve never quite understood it until this week. Zach is important to me…half of me. I know he does good work, but there have been times when he didn’t apply himself, but that was so long ago, it shouldn’t matter. What I’ve decided is my anxiety is due to the fact that I have NO control. Yes, I can pester, provide quiet time, and keep up with the house stuff to allow Zach to do his work, but that isn’t control.
I have no clue the quality of the assignments, the difficulty of the reading or the personality of the instructor. I’ve been trying to control, but it doesn’t do me or Zach any good. If we were to ask Zach he might agree that my pestering keeps him accountable, so he doesn’t let things slip. He might say my pestering of how much time he needs or does he want quiet time is annoying, but helpful. So maybe a bit of interest is important, but I think I need to learn how to let go, relinquish control and have faith in the man I married.
I think this is a problem parents face everyday – letting go of control and allowing their children to be responsible for themselves – their ideas, the work and actions. Maybe having Zach in school is giving me a little bit of practice so I won’t be the crazy mom defending my child’s every action and doing his homework – not that I would have anyway! Children (and spouses and siblings too!) need direction and guidance, but still need to be in control over their own lives – decisions and actions. God gave us freewill, now, I just need to learn how to let those I love exercise theirs.