After you have spent years trying to be the best parent possible, reading everything you felt was relevant, keeping your patience in check with all your strength, consulted experts, cried your heart out more times than you can remember, called your parents, siblings and friends for advise, gone grey for trying to remain sane, applied every philosophy you discover and your child turns out below your expectations....

Look at your expectations.

If after a serious, level headed, objective examination, you still feel you child is not what you tried to produce, you have to let go.

Sane, decent, logical, good people end up with tyrant, evil, nasty children.

Some decent, logical, good people come from tyrant, evil, nasty parents.

As my sweet Denise puts it, Lady Luck truly has a strong hand in how our children end up.

It might still be hard to accept, but your heart and your life will be better for it. It's called survival. The sooner you are able to realize that you DID do your best, but other influences prevailed, the sooner you can move on. We don't abandon our children when they reach adulthood, we will love them, worry about them, and have our hearts joyful or broken because of them the rest of our days. We do, once the nest is empty, have separate lives to lead again.

Guilt is wasted energy on the past, worry is wasted energy on the future.

Letting go. You can replay a situation that resulted in what you consider unsatisfactory over and over until the cows come home. I should have done this, what if I had done this? You recall conversations, smother yourself in the anguish of the memory of what you did say or do, re-live the moment like a video. So much effort on what you cannot change!

Viewed as a lesson learned, we can hope that next time (which never occurs exactly as it did before) we will do or say something different. I will not do this or that with my next child! This can become a productive mulling. Then, let it go.

A girl friend and I easily recognized in each other the uncanny ability to moan and groan about a faux pas forever and ever. We made a deal that we would start to simply shrug the event off and verbally say, "Oh, well!" knowing this might appear cold hearted to others, but this was of a lesser concern. We knew our attitudes were not as light as they might seem, but it did work. Both of us started to accept a past event as exactly that, more quickly and with a great deal more ease as time passed. Take heed of a lesson if there was one, make a mental note to not do what ever again, then move on.

I recently heard an argument that an "Oh well" attititude reflects a giving up, a lack of responsibility. While I agree that it can be read in this manner, it is used here strictly as a method of letting go. Rather a "Shit Happens" attitude without displaying undesirable words for my children and visitors to my home to see.

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