Thursday, April 28, 2016

Rough Patch

Let's face it.  We're going through a rough spot.  I'm not completely blaming you...I take my share of the responsibility for the frustrations in our relationship but without the tie that holds us together legally, spiritually, ethically, and otherwise we probably would have kicked each other to our respective curbs by now.  

You'd have tired of my constant and relentless righting of wrongs and I'd have exhausted all of my methods to do so without excessive dissatisfaction and we'd have thrown in the towel, amicably parting ways but relieved to be done with the struggle.

But we will survive this rocky period, and the many more we will face, not only because of the deep and unfaltering love we feel for one another but because we've vowed to remain committed, through  highs and lows, as long as we draw breath.  I am steadfast in that commitment and there is no one I love more than you...

But we have work some work to do.

Communication is a challenge for us.  Sometimes I think when I speak you hear the words I am saying, but you don't really listen to me.  And worse yet, sometimes I feel like you don't even hear me at all, like you're just in your own world over there and we're not even sharing the same solar system.

I feel a little bored in our day to day and I think you do, too.  It's time to stretch our wings and pursue interests outside of each other with new people and passions.  We grow together but we also grow when apart.  I think it's time to be apart just a bit more.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?

It wouldn't hurt for us to create some boundaries either.  We all need privacy and space.  There are days when I just feel like you are in my face all the time and it's stifling.  Not all the time, but enough of the time that I think we should work on giving each other some room.  Bathroom time may be a good place to start.

Despite the popular saying regarding words and sticks and stones, words do matter.  When you tell me you hate me or never want to see me again, it stings.  Even though I know you don't mean it, I'd like to work on word choice and how it impacts the person on the receiving end.  Volume matters, too.  Your point isn't made any clearer by making it in your absolute loudest voice.   I'd like to make it through one day without an ibuprofen required headache.

Finally, and this may seem petty in comparison, but we've got to pare down your stuff.  It's just tossed all over the house taking over the place.  There's no surface left uncluttered and no corner left uncrammed.   I know you'd have me believe otherwise, but I just don't buy that one person needs all of that crap to be happy.  If you don't really use it, it's got to go.

But you know what's not going anywhere?  This girl! And neither are you.  We have a love that lasts more than a lifetime.  I am committed to you until the very end of mine.  You bring me immeasurable joy, satisfaction, and happiness.  You push me to my limits, which helps me grow and learn and change alongside you as we navigate this thing called life.  I even appreciate your stubbornness and selfishness and anger.  They show me your strength and drive and tenacity.

But I do think a little space and a little work would do wonders in pushing us through this little rough patch in our road.  But I'm not worried.  We'll get through just fine, you and me.

After all, I am your mommy. And you're only four.

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Shameless Parenting

I love my boys with all my heart.  I give them all I’ve got, day in and day out, in an effort to raise healthy, productive, happy members of society.  I’m not afraid to admit, however, that sometimes all I’ve got is not that much.  

I’ve slipped into some shameless parenting habits that, although very necessary for my own happiness and sanity at times, are not necessarily what one would consider primo parenting.  Since I make no qualms about it (I mean shameless in the literal sense here) I will share them with you in an effort to make you feel better about your own human raising.  

Yelling/Screaming/Acting Like a Crazy Person:  I’m a yeller.  Always have been.  It hit home that I do this all too frequently when I heard my 18 month old screaming incoherently at the dogs when they were barking at the mail lady.  You know, just like I do. 

Under the Breath Cussing:  It is not at all uncommon for me to let loose a profanity laced outpouring of anger, disappointment, frustration, whatever the emotion of the minute is under my breath as I walk away from whatever has caused me to loose the tenuous grip I have on my shit.  Okay, fine.  Sometimes, this happens right out there in the open.

Giant Yeti Tumblers Full of Vodka Drank:  I don’t always fill my Yeti up with vodka and sparkling water, but when I do I am poolside with friends or at the zoo with small people.  You see that smiling parent over there with a death grip on his insulated adult sippy cup?  He and I are in on the same secret.

Having an Extremely Laissez-Faire Attitude Regarding Safety:  When my first was younger, I’d hover over his every move ensuring that any fall was broken by my own body and every bruise was minimized.  These days, I let the toddler go upstairs with only his brother looking out for him and let him roam free in the backyard as long as the dogs are out there, too. 

Giving In, Giving Up:  After removing your child from the top of the play table, the barstool, the stairs, the swing set and having him climb right back up over and over again or telling your eldest no and stop and don’t for the 37th time, occasionally one must thrown in the towel and let it ride.  Resistance is futile.  Let the natives run wild.  

Resting my Eyes:  My own mother, after having exhausted herself entirely from our antics, would sometimes lay on the couch and “rest her eyes” for a period of time.  We’d ask her if she was sleeping and she’d say no, she was only resting her eyes.  I succumb to this siren’s call myself at times but I have the technological advantages not enjoyed by parents of the past.  I can let Netflix auto stream and get some real rest this way, despite the occasional elbow to the stomach, chubby finger to the face, or denied snack requests.

Laying in a Puddle of Self Pity on the Bathroom Floor while Sending a “Please Help Me” Text to My Working Husband: Okay, this has only happened twice in our entire parenting lives and on both occasions I was genuinely and violently ill.  This is not a euphemism for a hangover; this is a legitimate illness of viral origin spread to you from those petri dishes you call your children.  Legitimate need aside, it still somehow felt like I was taking the easy way out.  Full time parenting can create distorted views of guilt and responsibility.  

So stand tall.  Stand proud.  Have no shame when it comes to doing what you must to get through this hectic and often stressful parenting gig.  Your children will not suffer in the long run for your temporary lapse in parenting perfection.  At least, I hope not…

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