Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Parenting Fail??

You know when I started this blog I started it because I felt I had a way to connect with other moms.  We all have something in common, no matter where we live or what we believe or how many kids we have.  There is a common thread. 

We are moms.

We have kids.

We stress.

I feel like I may have drifted from that or maybe not.  Maybe I just went in the direction I needed to go in.  Either way, I do feel like I haven't spoken about my kids much.  And there are reasons.  But they won't be revealed right now.

But I will talk about my kids.

There are days when my kids and their actions make me feel like the worst parent in the world.  More often than not it's because of my reactions to their actions.  But sometimes it is just because of the way they act.  And how I think that reflects on me as a parent.

Take, for instance, my daughter.  She is, as they say, a piece of work. (To put it mildly.)  The child is the most independent and fiercely daring individual I think I have ever encountered.  She is not yet 3.  All of this put together makes my life somewhat difficult.  And, at points, embarrassing.

I do not want to crush my daughter's independence.  I think it's wonderful. But if she is not the most stubborn little thing I have ever met, I don't know who is!  Seriously, the child pushes every button I have and I think she has even installed a few new ones that are specifically just for her.

Potty training? Oh, we were almost done.  Almost being the key word there.  I think she got wind of the fact that I was thrilled to have her out of diapers before 2.5 years and said to herself, "Screw mom, I am NOT crapping on a toilet!  And you know what? I'm going BACK to peeing in my pull-ups!  THAT'S RIGHT LADY, NO BIG GIRL UNDERPANTS FOR ME!"

And you think she doesn't talk like that?

Have you seen her??


There are days when I'm afraid to go into her room to wake her up because I'm fairly certain that she's building some sort of torture device meant especially for me.
Good thing she sleeps in our bed.

Yeah, I said it.

Yeah, it sucks.

Yeah, it frustrates the crap out of me.

Yeah, you can judge me for it.  

I don't give a shit.

It's survival of the fittest around here sometimes.

But seriously, I really question my ability as a parent sometimes.  My kids' teachers think that my two children are AWESOME.  No joke.  Then we come home.  My parents see my children clean up the entire playroom better than cleaning people could do.  Then we come home.  My friends see my children listen and go to the potty on their own and play nicely.  Then we come home.

I've never done this before.  This parenting thing.  And there are a lot of days that I really wonder if I'm not screwing my kids up completely.  Or at least screwing all of the people who might have to deal with them as they get older. 

I mean seriously. 

Sometimes, my kids do not listen.  They don't clean up after themselves.  Bedtime can be a real bitch.  And let's not revisit potty training 101 with my daughter.  My 5 year old is starting to talk back and he said damn last week.  And my almost 3 year old corrected my husband on the correct usage of Jesus Christ.

Seriously, parenting fail on our parts.  And I try.  I really do.

My husband?  Well, he has 'SUCKER' written across his forehead.  Especially for the little red headed girl that we call our daughter.

And so, we step it up.  Our children go to their rooms now when they talk back or misbehave.  We talk about why their behavior is wrong.  We scold.  But there are the moments when they break me and my voice and my persona go to that place that I don't want to go to.  And I become angry mommy.

And that's when I question if I'm really being a good parent. 

And I worry.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Open Door

Growing up my grandparents lived in a home where the door was always open.  Always. (Except to the Sunday morning Jehovah Witness)

It didn't matter if it was a weeknight or a Saturday mid-afternoon or a holiday.  As a matter fact, on the holidays I think their door was more open- if that's even possible.

This quality of my grandparents' family life is something that I know that my parents have tried to pass on and it is something that I feel I have completely absorbed.

When we finally moved into our current house I sent out 'We've moved' announcements (they were really cute- I used paint chips and the saying 'The paint has finally dried....') and at the bottom of each announcement I put that our door was always open.  And it is.

My house is not always clean.  Actually, considering our schedules right now, it's more often messy than it is clean!  I do not always have a ton of food in the fridge or the cabinets.  And we're not always equipped with out friends and family members' favorite beer.  But our door is always open.

For a very long time I struggled with the idea that maybe people didn't realize that.  Maybe people didn't see that they really could just show up at our house- especially if they had a bottle of wine with them! ;)  I worried that people felt it was too far to visit- and I still worry about that.  I was concerned that our friends felt as if they were intruding or were over too much.  That our invitations were refused because people felt as if they were being invited out of obligation or necessity.

This past weekend was probably the first weekend where I did not have a game or practice or a lesson or something to do.  The kids and I were F-R-E-E.  The husband had to work but that's normal- to us.  And I decided to send out a quick text and in a matter of minutes we had guests coming over for no other reason than they wanted to.  They knew the door was open and were ok with the drive and messy house and minimal food.  They just wanted to be.

And it was great.

And the next day, more guests.  A quick invite.  A simple plan and a dinner with wine and dessert was arranged and the house was filled with laughter.

All weekend.

I vividly remember the people sitting around my grandparents' table and in their living rooms- both sides of my family.  People who were not blood relatives, and some who were.  All family.  And all knowing that the door was always open to them, to everyone.

I carry that with me.  I welcome people to our table regularly.  It's part of why I love throw a party or have people over for dinner.  It's part of what brings me joy and helps me to teach my children about the value of family and love.

Our door is ALWAYS open.  To ANYONE.  And it's in that door being open that I find my connection to family and friends.  That I find my connection to something bigger than me.  That I find comfort.

It is having that door open that creates the memories I hope my children carry with them into their own families and friendships.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


So, I just pulled a very angry post off of here at the urging of a good friend.

It was about my family, my extended family and if you'd really like to read it you can email me or find me on FB.  I saved it.  But in the interest of not starting a family wide war and not wanting to hurt feelings and again, being the bigger person, I felt it best to remove my words.

I hate that.

They were my real feelings.  I am really angry with my extended family.

Not my husband. Not my kids. Not my parents. Not my in-laws.

My EXTENDED family.

If I go any further it will be just as bad as if I had kept the post up.

It does bother me that I have to curb my feelings here because of who reads this.  And really, I don't think any of my extended family even reads this.  I keep feelings and words to myself because I don't want to start anything.  I don't need emails flying and comments raining down on me.  I don't feel like dealing with shit storm that could result  from some things that I have wanted to write.

And now I'm stuck.

I removed a post today and I'm not sure that I've ever done that before.  And I'm not sure how much I like the feeling that comes along that removal.  I've censored my feelings to protect other feelings and ironically enough, that's part of what the post was about.  And I feel like I'm doing that a lot around here.

And I'm tired of that. 

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