Sometimes I am on board and all "Hell yeah! That makes sense to me. Totally gonna do that. " But then some like, The Two Words You Must Never Say Lest Your Child Will Hate You Forever , get an over the top eye-roll and a sigh. Others offer that I must have even. more. structure. While some suggest that if I just try hard enough I can change my kids on a molecular level with my mind magic - I just need to want it bad enough.
Often times there is a muffled "tsk-tsk" in the subtext and I think for just a minute something like "Julia H. Macy, how many farking times did I screw up my kids today? You know...according to the <air quotes> experts </air quotes>?" But then I shrug my shoulders, chuck it in the bucket and keep on forgetting to wipe the spaghetti sauce from Plum's face.
Each day, I would venture a guess that I say something that I am not supposed to say or I handle a parenting issue in a less then ideal way. Sometimes I catch it and sometimes I don't. But I don't hang onto guilt about it for too long. Because if I did, I would have ripped out all of my hair by now and that would hurt.
Soooooo, I thought it would be a fun exercise to, according to what I have read just this week, list my recent transgressions...
"I interrupted you, dude. I am sorry. I can listen, in a minute, after I find your sister."
Well, let it be known that he did not say "Oh, OK, mama! No problem! I understand! " Nope. He gave me super angry pissy face, pit bull laser beam eyes stance and let me know he was absolutely rage-y. By the end I was sweating and herding 2 unwilling cats to the car. That's how it played out and I'm gonna try hard to remember that for next time because I do think that kids learn through example and if I don't want him to interrupt me, I will try harder not to interrupt him. Makes sense. Not always gonna happen, but it makes sense. Thanks for the reminder, Parenting Blogger!
2. A few days ago I used the word "maybe" 43000 times when the kids were asking me for all the answers. It frustrated them and me so much. But I had nothing else to give that day. That day was a MAYBE day. For the love of Pete, sometimes "maybe" is the only answer. I hear you, Parenting Blogger, I do. But, I mean, c'mon! Throw me a dang bone, man. Sometimes we need a minute to think through and answer. Oh and I say things like "what's that?" or "good job" all.the.time which is also a no-no, I've read. I'm screwed on this one. Farts.
3. Sometimes I don't explain why. Its just no. I do try my best to help my kids understand the "why" but you know? My children consider "it's not safe" a personal challenge to find the loop hole. When they want to jump into a pit of nails and glass, I can only say "It's not safe" about 50 times before my eye starts to twitch and a robust "WE WILL HAVE TO AMPUTATE YOUR FACE WHEN YOU LAND ON IT" comes out. So all I say "No. Just NO." instead of painting a bloody emergency room story for them to have nightmares about. I think this is a good choice on my part.
4. I look at Facebook on my phone while the kids play at the park. I could say that I am reading a book or the world news, but I'm just not. I'm farting around on social media while my kids play unassisted at the park. IT'S OK THAT I DO THIS!!! Sorry I just yelled but if I read one more open letter to a mom on her iPhone I will stub my toe on purpose and then stab a tree. My children do not feel unloved because I am giggling into my phone while they play. Every parent knows that we have an ear open and an extra eye on the side of our heads. If my kids are safe to play without me...I let them. They need the freedom just as much as I do.
5. Last night I yelled at my kids to stop yelling at me. "STOP YELLING AT ME!", I blurted, eyes closed and angry. Logic (and all the parenting articles ever written) tells me that this is not the best way to deal with such things. But there are times when someone is losing their gourd at you and yelling and you are full to the Muno Foofa brim with it. Sometimes those people are your own precious children.
It's during those times that I try and breathe deep and open my mind to all the possibilities and root of the issue and proceed with the calmness of Mother Theresa. This route accounts for approx 79% of the time (solid c+). But there are also times when my eyes want to explode and my urge is to jump up and down, lay on the ground, kick my feet and throw a toy down the stairs. In that order.
The former is my method of choice. The latter would be when I have yelled to stop the yelling. Guilty.
What was I even talking about? I just took a pee with 2 kids and a dog staring at me. Oh, yes! Parenting articles...
Grain of salt, dudes. Grain.Of.Salt.
I am a mother who knows there is just not a cookie's chance in my hand that I can remember all the new things that I am "supposed" to do. And we all know that it will change in 3 weeks anyway. My bandwidth for trying new things (all things really) is limited to one thing at a farking time. I mean, hell, I still don't put my keys in the same place twice though I know I'm supposed to.
Soooo... I just do all that is in my power to not hurt anyone. The rest I build from there.
None of this is to say that I won't keep reading about parenting. It's not lost on me that at this very moment I am, in fact, blogging about parenting. But I have no real conclusion or epiphany to share beyond the age-old keep on trying and the time honored hang in there! < insert kitty in a tree poster here>
Because I am trying. I show my kids love. I listen the majority of the time (It's hard sometimes) . I practice kindness with them, for them and in front of them. That's essentially the whole of my parenting plan. #throwsglitter #balloondrop
I do my best. My best doesn't always look the same and may not be considered the best by anyone else but me. Sometimes my best is laying on the couch and watching Friday Night Lights and telling the kids to play upstairs. Sometimes it looks like a mixture of being right on time and arriving horribly late all at once. But sometimes it looks freeging amazing - there was this ONE day when I was pretty much Clair Huxtable meets Lorelei Gilmore. I loved that day for the one-off that it was.
But most days, I'm moving right along as me, Mama Pants, and pinch hitting here, there and everywhere. Just like most of us do. And I think my kidlets (and yours) are going to be just fine. Even if I do fail to explain WHY it is not a good idea to eat gravel...
While I wrote this post, I paused to read library books, I put a bunch of slop in the crock pot for dinner while crossing my fingers and I let the puppy out 49 times. I played Heavy Metal Rock Band with the kids for exactly 15 minutes and then told them to head on up the stairs to play alone because I had to get some work done. Instead, I watched an episode of Pretty Little Liars (Guilty!) and ended up refereeing a puppy/child wrestling match. I eventually ignored them so I could email people for work. I listened intently many times and stared blankly once or twice (BUT I WANT TO GIVE GWORIA A PIGGY BACK RIDE!!) Basically...
I did just fine today. Truth be told, though, I might tip the scales here in a few minutes when we finally taste dinner. I'm not gonna lie - there is a chance we will end up at McDonald's. I know I know...
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