Leap of Faith - Kerstin Auer February 24 2015, 3 Comments

I met Kerstin Auer through the magic of the internet and social media about two years ago.   Since then, I have enjoyed witnessing her journey as a mother, business owner, and overall risk taker.  Kerstin has taken many leaps of faith, including leaving a secure job to start up her own marketing firm.  In my book, she's one of the bravest women I know. The leap she discusses today, in the kick off to our Leap of Faith series, is personal, and may be the biggest "leap" for many of us:  The "Letting go" when it comes to parenting teenage children.  

***

In the past seven years, I have taken one leap of faith after another. Moving to a different country (from Germany to Canada), quitting my job and starting my own business, and supporting my husband in quitting his job and starting his own business.

You could say I’m somewhat of an expert in taking leaps of faith, definitely an expert in free falling. So far, I’ve always landed on my feet in one way or another, but the leap of faith I have in the works right now has left me reeling. I’m talking about parenting. More specifically, the parenting of teenagers. 

The dog is a teenager, too. Just so you know what I'm dealing with here.

It’s funny (not really): I juggle marketing budgets of several 100K for clients without breaking a sweat, I’m going to give up my German citizenship and become Canadian without giving it a second thought, and I am generally a total hardass all around. But – my inability to bring clarity to blurry lines brings me to tears. My lack of faith that everything will turn out ok makes me nauseous. And just the thought of what the future will hold when the first kid graduates next year sends me into a downward spiral. 

Feelings of being disappointed and being a disappointment. Drawing the line between not telling the whole story because teens have a right to privacy and not being truthful and sneaky (can someone please come up with an official rule for that?!?). There is a certain truth to the saying “my house, my rules”, and while everyone should have the right to live how they want and be who they are – they still have to make a living and pay the bills. So unfair, I know. 

Is my struggle karmic? Supposedly, I was a really difficult child. My mother’s mantra was “I hope your children will be as just as horrible as you are” – so is this my childhood coming back to bite me in the ass? I actually don’t believe that. I don’t know if I would call any child “horrible”. Kids do get a pass for being kids and for growing up and for figuring things out. But during the teenage years? Not so much anymore. Maybe my expectations are too high, maybe my teenager is setting the bar too low… Maybe it’s just life. 

I remember my late teenage years and I can definitely see some parallels. And I think that was just about the time I took my first big leap. A leap I was not ready for and it turned out ok after all. A leap my parents definitely didn’t have faith in. I guess history keeps repeating itself in one way or another, and the first big leap is always hardest for the ones watching.

In the end, I will probably just rely on my track record and take the leap. Maybe free-fall for a bit. Try to remember that it’s probably just the same for my teens. And work on the faith part, because I’m definitely better at leaping than at having faith.