This blog is sponsored by Right from the Start.
RAISING A SCOUT
BY MONICA COBIS
Being kicked out of Girl Scouts at age 10 led to 10 years as a Boy Scout Mom
Who would have thought that being a single Mom I would have had Boy Scouts as my all-time longest extra-curricular activity? I did not see that one coming. When my son began at age 6, I had no idea that almost ten years later we (and yes, I said we) would be headed for the homestretch. As we finagle our way through the Eagle Scout project, it reminds me of the values of scouting and how those can apply to myself as a single parent.
Scouting is about leadership and so much more. The scout oath reads:
On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
First off, on my honor deals with honesty to myself. Duty means work and sacrifice. Since I am a Christian, God is God in my book but god can be called by many other names. That higher power means that I am doing the work honestly. Helping others means service to others.
As single parents, we may not have a lot of time for this but it can be as easy as switching up playdates or cooking an extra batch of cookies for the parent who is struggling. It can be having a manicure/pedicure party at your house and sipping your favorite beverage as you lament about the ups & downs of single parenthood. Helping others also means helping yourself by reminding yourself that you are doing the best that you can at the moment. Get off the guilt wheel – it serves no one.
The rest of the oath stems on three very important issues. One is to exercise and eat right so that you can be the best for all. Like babies, we need to nurture ourselves with healthy food and even just daily walks so that we are better equipped to deal with the stressors of life. When I am tired and hungry at night, I tell my son to hold on before he speaks because I just might blow over the simplest thing. If he follows that rule, he is in a better position to get what he wants.
The second issue is to be mentally awake. This one may be the most difficult. How can we succeed at our jobs, homes, be sexy AND keep it all together? I remember a commercial from the 70s that said “She can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never, never, never let you forget you’re the man. Cuz she’s a woman!” Lies, I tell you. I’m just calling it like it is. That advertisement was just wrong. Without assistance, we cannot do all of that with 100% effort. Can I have a witness??? You know what I mean. Exhausted is the word in the dictionary next to the picture of the single parent.
Yet, we must get help in this area. Professionally, you may need to get a similar job that has more flexibility. Talk to your boss about working from home or on a staggered schedule. At home, get help from family, friends, and neighbors. Healthy people know how to ask for what they need. You are not a failure for getting help – even from counseling.
At Right from the Start, Inc. we provide relationship coaching and classes to give you skills for healthy relationships – and that even means the number one earthly relationship – with yourself.
Also, you need to relax and rejuvenate. This R & R is essential. I remember going through the divorce and someone asked me, “When was the last time you have experienced joy?” I was dumbfounded – I thought, “What does that have to do with anything, I am just trying to survive here!!!!” Yet, this counselor was right on the money. Joy is the full moon when I went for my walk this morning, it is listening to the chirping sounds of birds and the awakenings of human life through the laminated windows. Joy is inside. Your job is to find it.
Lastly, the scouting oath states that one is to be morally straight. In today’s society, apparently, morality is up for interpretation. The dictionary states that morality is the principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior. How we function in the world determines if we are living the moral lives we claim to uphold. This is not easy and I believe that I fail at this daily….but we must persevere. We have little ones that will learn more from our examples than from our words.
So if you are feeling lonely and want company to stay over for the night, stop and think about this. Or if you are grabbing your unhealthy addiction (food, TV, etc.) to deal with the loneliness and loss, I challenge you to look around you and to see the bigger picture. You are more than this life circumstance. You are more than this one time period. YOU are worthy of the best and to get this, you must BE the best. All scouts know that one is to do his best at all times.
In conclusion and with full authenticity, you must know that I was actually kicked out of Girl Scouts when I was young for not really fitting the mold. (It’s actually a hilarious story!) Being domestic is NOT my calling; climbing and hugging trees is. In afterthought, maybe being involved with boy scouting was my divine purpose after all. Seek love, be love, do love….until next time!