It’s a tricky thing, this mom business. There is so much advice on the subject, too.
Ten Ways to Raise the Perfect Child
3 Things Not to Do to Destroy Your Child
Being a Mom is the Best Job in the World
5 Things You Must Say Every Day to Raise Healthy Children
It goes on and on and on and clutters my facebook feed. When did parenting become about the “dos and the don’ts?” When did it become so complicated?
My generally parenting philosophy is this: If I’m not doing something wrong, then I’m not doing anything right.
In order for me to be involved and alive in my kid’s lives, I need to be human. They need to see me have a melt down and then (hopefully) come back around. They need to see that when I lose my temper, I still love them – even if it takes a few beers or a few hours to get to that point. Fact is, I fail my kids. Every day I fail them because I’m flawed and there is no way that saying 5 magical words is going to fix human nature.
Wow. I am certainly not handling this day very well.
I have troubles with a family member who doesn’t seem to care about me or my family. I have a step-daughter who blatantly disregards the simple boundaries I give her on a daily basis. There are people on soap boxes every where I look (yup, I have one of my own).
So, today, my mind and my heart are at an unrest. I am praying. I am reaching out to friends. Now I am writing.
For today, I am going talk about that step-daughter of mine. The who has down syndrome, is going through puberty and doesn’t respect given boundaries.
Disclaimer: I understand that all kids (and people, for that matter) dabble in rebellion and don’t always want to abide by the rules. That is not the point I am making here. Marie is 13 and has down syndrome. She is 13 and can’t (or won’t) follow simple instructions. Please don’t comment comparing her to all the other kids out there who are “normal.”
When you walk into my house, our computer desk is one of the first eye sores in the room. Like any used work space it quickly becomes cluttered with mismatched items who don’t seem to have a home of their own. Every once in a while I spend time de-cluttering and organizing piles of crap. This time I came across one of Marie’s Christmas gifts.
I planned my first surprise birthday party when I was 8 years old. It wasn’t for me. That would be silly. It was for my mom. From what I remember, I did do all the leg-work myself. Since this was in an era before I used computers and before cell phones, inviting people took a lot of effort. A LOT. I made so many phone calls my ear started to hurt. When I left messages I said over and over again, “This is a surprise party. Do not tell my mom. Do not talk about it on my answering machine.” If I didn’t get a call back, well, I called that person again. I was a persistent child. Still am, for that matter (persistent, that is). I planned every single thing about this party. What time. Which day. Who is coming. Where she would be while guests arrived. Decorations. Food. Although my dad did have a hand in paying for everything and he may have been the person keeping her occupied while guests arrived. I don’t remember. All I know is that when time came to yell, “Surprise!” she was surprised. Unless she was faking and never told me…
I could write the typical “welcome” post about the new year and all that.
But I can’t. Because that would feel cliche and that just isn’t me.
However, the other side of this word takes me to a darker place. I’m not sure I can describe what this word makes me think in just 5 minutes. If I were to attempt my thoughts and feelings on this idea, well, it would be an ugly, unfinished piece. Very little would be understood, I’m sure.
Strangely, the concept of welcome, of being welcomed, has been on my mind for days. I have thought about writing about it and that’s as far as I have gotten. Sort of liking working out. I thought about it every day, more and more. And then, last week, I envisioned myself actually sticking the yoga dvd in my player and doing the moves. It didn’t happen. But a few days ago, my alarm went off at 6 saying “WORK OUT!” I don’t know who did that. But I got up. I worked out. Accomplished.
So digging in to write about the concept of being welcomed in and feeling welcomed is something I will continue to think about. Until the day I decided to put pen to paper or words to screen.
That’s actually 4 minutes of writing but I feel like ’nuff said for now.
See what others are writing about on the prompt: Welcome
I have recently found myself in the category of “mom who feels guilty.”
Last night I was feeling particularly agitated about all the kids. I think it may have started when Michael’s teacher talked to me twice this week about his behaviors. Then Denai tends to get clingy towards me in the evenings even though there is another adult around who enjoys kids hanging on his legs while he cooks dinner. And then there is Marie, a constant source of tension for me. All I wanted was to shut out the noise and not think about a child for maybe the duration of sitcom. Yet I didn’t do that. At least, not right away.
For my birthday (which was yesterday) Mr. Sexy sent me to my girl friend’s house for a night of some R&R. (More to come later because I have amazing friends and family.) The visit was much needed and while I got to hang out with her beautiful girls, my kids were nowhere to be found. I missed them – sort of. But then when their baby wouldn’t sleep or their toddler happened to throw a tantrum I remembered what I was getting a break from. This meant Mr. Sexy was home dealing with all that mess. By himself. It was fun for him- I think -sort of. But it also had it’s difficulties as Mr. Sexy saw firsthand many of the difficulties I face with Marie every-day-all-day.