Do I even know where to start? No, I guess I don’t. One of the moms today said to me that she has a stiff neck. She’s feeling the pressure of her life on her shoulders. The stress of her job, dealing with the kids, taking them to activities and being ready for the birthday party of her partner, a man who finally makes her happy after her ex has basically wrecked her trust in relationships.
I saw my friend today. My friend who is fighting for her life while knowing she can’t win. I saw her smile and laugh and have small talk. I saw her leave because she was too exhausted to stay and watch the girls till the end of their game.
Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton are singing “Say something” and something about “can’t help myself”, “caught in the middle” and “looking for something I can’t have”, while I read the message of a new found friend of mine who is telling me about the heartache the separation of her parents cause to her. While we don’t share as much just yet, I can feel a frustration with her mother and the sadness she feels for her dad.
And I? I don’t even know where to start. I’m shaken. I haven’t felt like this for a very long time. Can I look my kids in the eyes? What can I tell them?
I don’t know. One in five in Australia. Me too. Words that sound so innocent if you split them up in single words. Together they do not paint a nice picture.
“I was telling my daughter…” was how the message started. It was a message that was sent to me by one of the couple of people I consider my “inner circle” here in Australia. I know her for a couple of years now, all thanks to our daughters. She is one of those women that fill the room with warmth. But she is also a tough nut. She is honest and straight forward. And I guess that’s why people just simply love and trust her. She is also one of the few who know who the Momma behind this blog actually is. So after I posted my “Sleepovers” post she reached out to me. Because that’s who she is. She tells you… and don’t you like it when one of your posts provokes a reaction? So here is what she had to say:
Last year I wrote a post about an interaction of a mom I overheard. I shared my feelings about her harsh words and what it might do to her kids. And now, 12 months on more or less I’ve met her. Had a chat with her while she was outside playing with the kids, being loving, encouraging, soft. It was so beautiful to watch. Maybe she knew that there was a chance I might have overheard this specific moment back then, maybe it was just a coincidence but while the kids were giggling and playing she looked at them and got quiet. She said: “Sometimes it’s so overwhelming to be a mom and I hate it when I lose my temper.”
We’ve all been there. We’ve all lost it. And we’ve all had regrets. We’ve all said things in the heat of the moment we regretted later. And maybe while in some cases they might stick, sometimes they might disappear because all the other moments take over. The moments in which we are who we want to be. The quiet, calm, loving and supporting parent who always is in control of every situation. The super human we so want to be.
Here is the post from back then. I personally read it in another way today than I did after writing it.
Every time my kids get approached for a sleepover invite I already know their answers. I know them not because I drilled them to answer in a specific way but because I know deep inside why they will give that specific answer. My kids don’t like to go to sleepovers and neither did I when I was a child. In fact, it stressed me out. To the point where I actually got sick and my parents had to pick me up in the middle of the night.
I tried. I gave it a shot. Over and over again. On one side because I loved my friends and the idea of spending so much time with them seemed a great one. On the other side because I realized that I became “that one”. The one who didn’t wanted to sleepover. The one that was a baby. The one who couldn’t cope with not being around her parents. I felt the pressure.
It’s been a year since I wrote about the slightly disturbing fact that my son was only 4cm shorter than me. I agree, I’m not tall. But back then it seemed quite mind buggling that he had already almost reached my height.
While I preach to my husband and the kids that it’s better to arrive early than late, early doesn’t necessarily always means better…
You know what, Eric, you just inspired me to write this post. Not because of the post I link to but because of your comment in regards to parenting. Parenting is NOT easy. It’s not easy because there is no manual. It’s not easy because there is mother’s and father’s guilt…
Definitely makes you think. Or not?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it’s totally radical to send your kids to school. But it’s also not that radical to decide to homeschool. The crazy thing is that people consider it a “far out” way of education.
It does take a village to raise a child. Different influences are important. Different people in their lives are important. Adjusting to different situations and group dynamics are important for them. But that doesn’t mean that everything has to be “outsources”…