A few months ago I updated a Facebook status asking my friends what advice would they give to their younger selves? I have plenty I would say to younger Tasha Mac. I would warn her of all the heartache and pain she will experience if she takes this path, go this route and get with this person. In reality this is not an option. I understand that all of those experiences and life lessons polished me like sandpaper to be the woman I am today. Yet and still if I could have taken a different route to become the woman I am, no doubt I would have. So instead I try to impart my wisdom, experiences and life lessons on my daughters so they can avoid some of the pitfalls I made and make wiser, smarter choices to become virtuous, phenomenal, young women.
What they don't understand is that I've been there. I've used the excuse "my daddy wasn't there, my mom isn't listening, nobody understands me, I had a messed up childhood." I've used all of these phrases and then some for bad behavior that led to poor decision making, hard knocks, and slow progression. I had issues as a teenager and some of it was low self-esteem and a desire to wanna be loved and understood. As I got older I realized there was no one to blame and hold accountable but myself for the decisions I made regarding my life. However, teenagers today have much more contenders to deal with which makes their focus so much harder. They are living in a world where social media has replaced verbal and written communication, kids are more open and forceful with their sexuality, reality TV stars are the new sheros and heroes and single parent homes are at an all time high. I get all of that. And it makes the job of a parent especially a single parent that much harder because we are trying to get through all of that noise to raise well-productive kids into upstanding citizens who are able and capable of obtaining sustainability for themselves.
People close to me often tell me they are proud of me because "I did it. I made it." I always say thank you, and I appreciate that. But it took me 12 years, 4 kids and 2 failed marriages later to earn my college degree, realize my self-worth and reach my full potential. I am very proud of myself for overcoming adversity, stereotypes and obstacles to achieve all of the successes that I have. I just would have much rather stopped, took heed and listened to what someone tried to tell me a long time ago and stayed the course at a much younger age. That's all I am trying to do as a parent is help my girls stay the course and on the right track. It's scary at times and I pray, and cry, and sometimes shout and maybe kick myself mentally. But I am determined to get through to them because I am their mother no matter what.
I do believe experience is the best teacher and I know sometimes we all have to bump our heads to get it on straight again. It's just difficult as a mother to see your beloved daughters fall off track. All I can do is keep praying, give guidance and discipline where necessary.