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Nobody wants to argue in front of their kids.
Those couples that don’t have a problem with intense disagreements, violence in the home or financial and personal issues, don’t think it should ever happen and go further to say, if you allow it to happen you are endangering your child’s mental health.
Those couples are right. However, like I said, nobody wants to argue in front of their kids. Nobody wants to make any mistakes at all. But they happen and they happen often. Will you argue in front of your kids at some point no matter what the situation? 99% of the population, yes you in fact will. It then becomes a question of when does it start to affect your child.
I can tell you from everything I’ve researched and read, that this “danger zone” will happen before you notice a difference in your child. It will be slow and gradual. And once it hits that point, it will be extremely difficult to repair.
For all those eternal newlyweds that don’t have any consistent bickering, you will say to those who do, “just stop it” “break up” or even, “why do you need to argue?” Not so easy my friends. The only thing you can really do is watch your child’s face and when they look at you with fear or anger, you turn around, put on your parent hat and say, “I don’t matter right now.” Let your spouse win the fight, lie, give in, walk away. Allow yourself to take the brunt of everything to save your child any pain. From small fights over the meaningless to violent knock down wars, your child is innocent until the day they aren’t and our job as parents is to preserve that innocence for as long as humanly possible. To teach them kindness and cooperation.
Far too many people in the world today struggle because their parents didn’t put them first when they were children. And they saw and heard things they shouldn’t have.
Fairy wings and race car dreams for the children. Not a nightmare real or imaginary should they know.
If the truth of the matter is the only one you can trust are your children, does that create an unfair expectation? Is that too much pressure on them?
It does if you use your children to heal yourself. If you use them to fill your voids. If you use them to provide love you are missing.
Children are not made to take care of you. Remember it is the other way around. You child can never feel your desperation or your need because children are naturally prone to provide comfort and caring, it’s in their innocence.
Part of the sacrifice you make for your children is you must always pretend to be strong, whole and sane. Even when you’re not.
A man sues his wife for giving birth to “ugly” children… and wins! So who’s the bad guy here? Her for having plastic surgery and hiding the fact that she was quite gnarly pre-surgery? Or him… for calling his kids ugly and suing his WIFE about it? I’m on team former uggo myself. Jesus what kind of psychological damage will you go through to find out your dad used your unfortunate physical features as a reason to take your mom to court and the whole world knows about it?… more messed up serial killers in the making, good job.
So when I sit here and think, “ok, what do I know about being a parent that anyone could possibly care about?” I have a dilemma. Do I know a lot of tricks? Yeah. Some child psychology, well yeah. Will I post some of that? Sure, sometimes. But this is the age of instant information and Google is king. Who are you going to ask about teething or potty training? Me or a acclaimed baby website who’s sponsored by every diaper company in existence? You wanna know something about child rearing? Ask me and if I know, I’ll tell you. But there is something I have that Google can’t really help you find. The duality of being extremely blunt and also being a mom. I will tell you all the crap I get angry at that no one tells you before you go through it. There really shouldn’t be anything anymore that is taboo. But there is a difference between being honest and being deliberately offensive.
So my husband made me watch Tosh 2.0 tonight and really not my fave show but I had just made him watch The Project : Guatemala (which is actually a great positive reality show) so I owed him. And some parts were funny but then at the closing of the show he had a little monologue making fun of the videos of soldiers coming home and reuniting with their families. Then continues to show a clip of these videos put to a soundtrack of horror music and screaming. So….. sorry I’m open to all types of humor but watching a little boy seeing his dad return from war and crying to the music from Dracula or something is just plain gross. Way to take a tender moment and shit all over it. Now that, is offensive. At least to me… you never know who you might offend I guess.
So my point is, when I tell you about my thoughts during post partum depression, or embarrassing short cuts of motherhood I’ve used, or tell you mistakes I’ve made along the way, forgive me. I’m not Sally freaking Sunshine all the time and mothers need to not feel like they have to be. Having kids and raising them is hard and brutal work and just like after a day of digging ditches, sometimes you want to crawl into the same ditch with a bottle of booze and sleep for ten years. If one person had told me how it felt relating to your first child after they were born, I mean told me HONESTLY, I would have saved myself a lot of heartache. But all I heard was the whole, “babies are miracles, you will love them all the time” garbage. Not true stop your propaganda. Oh yes they are miracles. And god knows you will love them. But sometimes you will be angry at them, resent them, blame them or ignore them. And that is not wrong and you are not the only one.
Here’s one for the road. My two year old was a monstrosity today, I mean not at all his normal cheery self and just full of whiny misery. So by his bedtime my nerves were shot and I was beyond exhausted. A perfect mother would have done our normal bedtime routine, teeth, potty, face and hands, story, song, tuck in…. etc. Instead, I let him take pizza into the big bed, watch Care Bears and said screw the rest of it, tomorrow is a nice time for that stuff. And then I got to sit down.
Am I recommending this? No…. but I sure as hell am not condemning it. I told him I loved him and made sure he had his doggy. That’s all he really needs to be happy. And I got a few moments of Adult time. You need to just skip things sometimes….. recharge and relax. Because children my friends, can run you ragged and then what kind of parenting can you give them the next day?
Take a moment, be imperfect.
P.S. Google Donna Reed if you don’t get the reference. I realize I am one of the few that watches that stuff anymore.
As a mom there are a lot of struggles. A lot of moments of stress and hardship. Being a mom is tough. I got asked today, what’s the hardest part of being a parent?
I thought about it for a while. Was it the lack of privacy? The increased workload? The extra laundry, dishes, cleaning? The fact that you have to time everything perfectly to prevent tantrums or hunger screams? That going out anywhere is an hour of preparation at least? The disciplining? The lack of sleep? The ruined body, social life or finances? Gee I make it sound glamorous don’t I?
But no. The hardest part for me, is the guilt. It far outweighs everything. I’ve never actually discussed it with other moms so maybe they don’t suffer from it the way I do. Every minute of every day I feel guilty for something even if I’ve done nothing wrong. If I cook a meal without vegetables for Roarke my two year old, I feel guilty for ruining his nutrition. If I leave Nolan my 4 month old in his Fisher-Price swing too long, I feel guilty for neglecting him. If I go out alone, I should’ve taken them. If I can’t buy them something, I’m depriving them. If they watch too much television, I’m letting their brains turn to mush. Every minute I think these things. It’s exhausting.
And you wonder how a mother might get depressed or over emotional? Try feeling like the world’s worst mother all the time. I know I’m not, but I still feel like it a lot of the time. I’ve talked a bit about the pitfalls of motherhood but in all honesty, I think the reason I suffer from this guilt complex stems from a really good place.
Because I love my sons so very much.
They hold the only completely selfless spots in my heart and they occupy my mind 24/7. When you love someone so overwhelmingly and completely, you want them to have everything easy and perfect. You hope they want for naught and never falter or struggle. You never want them to suffer for even the briefest of moments. You hold yourself up to that impossible task and you feel guilt inevitably, when you fail.
It reminds me of my pregnancies. I hated it, I wanted it to be over, I was suffering so much. But seeing what it ended up giving me, I’d do it again. So in my mind, I’ll live with excruciating guilt to be able to live with my sons and remind myself the guilt serves to try and provide them with the stars and the moon and the entire world.