Trying not to suck

Work-wise, November is slower that I thought it would be.  I was first choice for that role I hoped to get, but they couldn’t make the schedule work.  Figures, once a year I go away, and that’s when somebody wants me for a good role.  Sigh.  I wouldn’t have made enough to warrant cancelling the trip, so… moving on.  I have a couple days of typing coming up so that’s something.  And of course, my little boy’s 3rd birthday.  He’s excited to have a party and invite his friends.  I’ve arranged to rent a place for his party as we don’t have the room to host one at home.

Hubby and are I getting along better, we’re both making more efforts to be gentler with one another.  I’m reaching out more, it’s tough, but I’m trying. One night I was freezing so I actually slept snuggled up next to him and he was absolutely delighted.  Such a simple thing but it meant so much to him.

I’m still dealing with a lot of anxiety when it comes to things like visiting my mum and staying at home all day with the Precious.  Seems like my little guy could spend all our rainy days just watching the Lion King and The Wild and playing with his cars.  I have to practically drag him out of the house on non preschool days.  Correction, I have to chase, yell, threaten to call dad, joke, negotiate, bribe him to get him to put on his boots and coat.  This can take anywhere from 10 – 20 minutes.  This means I’m supremely aggravated before 9 am in the morning.  Sigh. This child is designed to teach my patience apparently.  On occasion, I just pick him up like a sack of potatoes and put him in the car without shoes or a coat.  At least, he knows I’m not kidding around when I say we have to go.  He does not do this with his dad or his grandparents,oh, yes he saves this delightful game for mum.  It’s just routine he wants.    I kiss and hug him more and tell him how much I love him and I remind myself to lower my expectations of what I’d like to get done during the day (and in the order I’d like them done).

I  read a post the other day about a mother experiencing difficulty with her child wanting constant interaction with her.  Heck, I once even googled “my kid won’t leave me alone”  and found dozens of women who were desperate for answers.    I could understand, it can be overwhelming, parenting 24/7 can be mentally and physically taxing.   I  learned the importance of structure and routine and different ways of interacting.  For example,  I let my son help me make scrambled eggs, as long as I don’t micromanage the way he does it and accept that it will be messy.  I would prefer a brisk  1 hr walk through the woods with the dog with music in my ears, but that’s not going to happen, so we meander a couple of blocks and walk through a local boardwalk through a bog.  I have also let my son know that everyone (including the dog) needs quiet time.  Most people find it quite distressing to be physically tugged on most of the day.  I haven’t met a mum yet who has not admitted eagerly anticipating naptime or bed time or to clock watching, waiting for hubby to come home.

Then I remind myself that  no matter how depressed or miserable I feel on any given day, I am still responsible for loving the heck out that little boy, and not just in the way that it is easy for me to do, but in the way that he needs.  In my core, I can recall my childhood need for unconditional love, and suddenly it is crystal clear to me that  hormonal mood swings, fatigue or anxiety can make my days seem like I’m walking through water so I need to take care of myself as well.   Still considering meds and when I get more money, I’ll go back to counselling.

My sisters or I did not grow up in a loving, peaceful atmosphere.  We were not encouraged to show our true feelings, we were to be seen and not heard for the most part.  My parents did the best they could, but they were busy working and trying not to get crushed by the man.  But my mother fought to give her girls the best she could.  She was a fighter.  Oh, yes, I witnessed her degradation and her breakdowns, but I also saw her get up every time.  She kept all my crappy artwork and threw me birthday parties.  Right up until the time she had a stroke, she would call me on my birthday and sing me happy birthday.

So I owe it to myself and to my kid to try and do better every day.  I kinda hate being smooched and hugged as my husband’s family can attest.  It drives me nuts that they gotta give cheery good mornings and hugs and kisses before bed time or when they walk out of the door.  My family barely touches each other even when we say goodbye at airports.  But I smile when Boo walks in the room and I hold his hand when we cozy up together and I kiss him even after he’s stepped on my last nerve.  As a matter of fact, this has also been related to me as Buddhist guidance for my husband.  Mmmm. I’m not going to lie, I’m no Suzy Homemaker.  I don’t find creativity in all things domestic, unless it’s a domestic red if you know what I mean.  I am however, finding creative ways to be present in my parenting, staying true to my word and cutting myself some slack.

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16 thoughts on “Trying not to suck

  1. In my most recent therapy session, my therapist told me that the more attached a child is to a parent, the more they unload all their b.s. on that person. As in, the child knows you aren’t going anywhere and that you’ll still love them (even if you don’t like them right now) no matter what. Not that it helps when they are kicking and screaming up a storm…but food for thought!

    • Yeah, I know, I have to remind myself that all the time while I’m gritting my teeth. Case in point, hubby stayed home cause I’m under the weather and the kid got dressed, ate breakfast and was ready for preschool in less than 10 minutes, no problem. Grrrrr.

  2. Long before I became a parent, I watched an episode of Oprah with Toni Morrison where she asked of all parents, “when your child walks into the room, does your face light up?”. It made such a profound impression on me because that was not the case for me as a child and I made a silent promise that it would be that way with my child. Thankfully, even at 5 1/2, it is still the case with my son. Whether he’s coming into our room too early in the morning or I am picking him up from kindergarten, my face lights up. I know it affects who he is.

    We can only be called upon to do our best and you are doing that. You are far more forgiving of you parents than I have been with mine because I am not so sure that they did do their best. Not that it matters a hill of beans now.

  3. woman, some days it’s all I can do to just try so hard NOT to suck.
    I too have a very energetic child and little support. this shit can be HARD, no doubt.

    it’s especially challenging when you have no good role models. I learned a lot from my mom but it was about what kind of parent NOT to be: i.e., don’t be too critical, controlling, manipulative. DO express love, every chance you get. demonstrate compassion and empathy, even in the tough moments.
    most importantly, remember that you are only HUMAN and bound to fall short of your own expectations at times. sometimes admitting when we’re wrong can actually be empowering. (note my mother did NONE of these things.)

    sending love. (loved this post, btw. bravo!)

  4. I feared my parents too much to ever feel comfortable enough, even as a small child, to act out like that. I remember at a really young age seeing a girl throw a hissy fit with her mom and thinking not how ridiculous she was acting, but amazed at how confident she was in her parents unconditional love for her. I never had that feeling. Granted, my parents had a lot of crap going on with my older brother who had 13 surgeries before he was 8, a miscarriage before I was born, 6 demanding kids, financial troubles, and marital troubles, but I never felt love from them as a child. As I got older, left home and entered adulthood, that’s a different story – my mom and I are very close now.
    Anyway, I’m sure your little guy feels your love for him every day, and he’s confident enough in that love to test those boundaries on a daily basis. You are doing a great job as a mom!

    • I think all my efforts have paid off – I feel so much closer to him and I realize just how much he’s attached to me. I was taking his acting out as a problem instead of changing my attitude. Now I just wish he wasn’t so LOUD about it.

  5. This is how I feel with my lil boy. I LOVE to be touched. But sometimes I just want my son to stop touching me! HAHAHA

    I also remember, like another commenter, of being to scared to act crazy! HEHEHE.

    I havnt found that balance between taking care of my son and myself

  6. I’m reading this after having flown half way across the country with “infant in arms.” After five hours of a one-year old tap dancing on my lap, I told my husband never again. I thought I was going to lose it.

  7. Aw…. I solo parented for 10 days (with some help) when I was away, and I spent 50% of the time yelling. I even swore in public I was so frazzled. Three-year-olds are so demanding. One thing I find works for us generally speaking (in terms of leaving the house) is to take a looooooong time to do it. So we prepare to leave the house for over an hour sometimes. And then if needed I wave a little Halloween chocolate around (HA HA). Will I see you guys Weds?

    • Congratulations on surviving. When is your next vacation? haha. Ah, candy, the ultimate carrot! If you’re referring to the Sunrise tree trimming there, well, there’s no chance in hell I can convince hubby to cross the bridge at rush hour.

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