Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I wonder whether finding the roots of our grown-up behaviours helps us overcome them?

I've been challenged lately about two things that seem to be hard-wired into me: procrastination and inability to get down to doing the hard work involved with achieving.
(Soul baring stuff this!)
The fact that I hate being like this, and have tried for e-v-e-r to change, is a no-brainer.
But recently I have recollected (anew) how I was as a small girl.

I learnt very early that if I left my school projects, be they sewing, knitting, geography - until it was too late to finish them - my dear mom would sit up till late at night doing the hard work for me.

So everything I didn't like doing, I left.
(I still remember, verbatim, a teacher's comment on a school report in primary school: "Alison has the unfortunate belief that she need not try in any subject she doesn't like." How early it all happened!)

My mother, kindly but unwisely, repeatedly came to my rescue.
I loved it.
But later, even till now, I struggle with what this has made me.

I am NOT blaming my mother - this is what I did.
My choice. My behaviour.
I'm sure she did everything she knew to motivate me, remind me, encourage me to do it myself
But at the last, when it would have counted, she could not bring herself to let me pay the price for my lazy irresponsible behaviour.
And so, the patterns were set, and grew.
And today, decades down the line, I am still trying to free myself of their destructive power.

The battle is especially fierce at the moment because, I believe, of the decision I made 2 posts back.
And the battle takes the form of these sneaky thoughts:
"Why bother?"
"Why not just not write or paint? "
"It'll take so much hard work!"
"Think how much extra time you'll have for other stuff; other people if you're not messing around with that junk?" 

I nearly bought it -
Until I realised what was happening.
So - game on.
I will win, eventually
Because I do not fight alone

Here's the reason I'm posting this:
Deep, devastating and long lasting the bad habits can be formed in kids by parents (especially moms) birthed out of their desire to help their children
By their not wanting them to get into trouble . . .

Maybe some youngster, somewhere, will grow up not having to fight the chains of procrastination, and work-shirking beacuse of this post.
I like to think so.

They say the power of sin is in its hiddenness
If that is so, a whole lot of its power is gone right now - :-)!


Gill said...

Wow, what a thought provoking post! I am definitely guilty of wanting to make the paths easy for my girls. BUT I try really hard to let them see the consequences of their actions. It's a very fine line I tread between the desire to be a "nice" mom and the desire to be a "good" mom. Thanks for sharing Allie, you've definitely given me something to chew over today :-)

cat said...

Oh you will and thanks for reminding me that from the word go in grade 1 I need to stick with this with the kids.

Lynette Jacobs said...

This is deep...and just realizing where our bad habits are formed at such a young age. Now I better go and find out why I am also a procrastinator of note...some soul searching is needed.

clare said...

this makes me think of Mom/Mums that carry their childrens school bags - at the end of the year who will have the muscle? x