It’s friday and I am beyond grateful. Truthfully tho, even the coming weekend has me stressed. Yesterday, I got into a huge argument with my daughter. It started out ok, we were working through everything and I was holding my patience fairly well. But after dealing with a stubborn tween for a few hours… I lost it. I yelled. I cried. I’m not proud of myself. Yes, everything I said needed to be said, but I hate that my own child could push me to a point where I was THAT upset.
I think what I hate about fighting with my own child is that in the end… both of us are hurting. I know she’s shaken off yesterday, she’s been bouncing around this morning, her usual chipper self. She even made me coffee while I started my workday. And I know that I need to do the same thing… but I’m struggling with it. After we got home yesterday, after the huge blow out, I sat outside thinking about how maybe I’m not qualified to do this. That maybe my own mental health is too shaky to try and handle guiding a pre-teen who’s having some very serious mental health issues herself? I don’t know… I know I do a good job. I know that my kids know that they are loved and that their mom is their biggest advocate for their happiness and overall success… BUT… I also know that I’m the queen at putting on a mask and sticking my head in the sand. I’ve never had a healthy relationship. The coping skills that I have and use on a regular basis aren’t working for my teenage girl… maybe that means they aren’t the best.
I’ve also been thinking about the fact that I will no longer get breaks. Before all of this happened, I’d get 3 weekends a month to myself, where I could plan outtings with friends, dates, and take care of projects that work more smoothly when little one aren’t around. Now, those plans and schedules are all changed. I’m now 100% mom – all the time. And I don’t mind… but there is a part of me that is sad to lose those breaks and the “me” time. And while I realize that having time for me is important, and that ultimately, I should probably find a way to still get at least a couple hours a week to myself… for my own health and well-being… I’m just not sure how to go about it. It feels selfish.
I think something that really hit home yesterday for me, was that this wasn’t the dream.
Don’t misunderstand… I’m over the ex. Completely. But I think I’m still mourning the dream of what was to be. If that makes any sense. When we got married, I had visions of our family. I dreamed of the children we’d have, the life we’d create. Of course, NONE of those dreams could be a reality while he was lost in his own world of alcohol addiction… but I can say, I never dreamed of raising my children essentially by myself.
On Tuesday, we all went to an award ceremony for an art competition my daughter had entered at school. It was across many schools in the district. She won 2nd place. I’d called the grandparents and the ex a week ago to let them know when the ceremony would be and how much it would mean to my daughter if they came out and showed their support. I was surprised when grandma and grandpa showed up .. as it’s a long drive for them, in some of the worst rush hour traffic. But the ex… he didn’t show. He called me the next morning apologizing and saying how he felt like garbage that he completely forgot about it. I told him not to fret.. it is what it is… but after I hung up, I couldn’t help but feel very sad about it all. My daughter needs her village right now… she needs the strong loving support of family and friends to show her that she’s not alone. That we are all here for her, and rooting for her, and that she has absolutely no reason to harm herself or feel lost. But I think what’s hit me pretty hard in the last couple of days… maybe it’s not just my daughter who needs that. Maybe I do too.
Between bills, work, my daughter’s safety and happiness, the house… I’ve got a lot of pressure to measure up on my shoulders. And damn it but I’m going to figure out the right way to take care of my responsibilities and do what I need to do to make it in this big bad world… but sometimes, I close my eyes and feel disappointed and heart broken that it all ended up this way. And I’m not entirely sure how to go about it all without falling down myself. I guess… if I trip… I just have to get back up. Keep plugging along. I’ll get there.
Off to get on with my day – much love to you Neverland. Smile today.
One thought on “Parenting is tough business”
Huge hugs. Parenting is hard when you have a team, even harder on your own. But despite the fact that we think our children are living in their own worlds, they see everything. They catch the differences between what we say and what we do. And even though they don’t say it right now, and trust me one day they will, they are grateful for all that you do and all that you give up to take care of them.
I understand the mourning of the plans lost. I did too for a long time. It is hard not to. But it is gone and all we can do is look forward. Be the best mom you can and find those small moments to do for yourself. Even if it is just a hot bath at midnight when they are asleep. Call a friend and share a cup of coffee while you talk. No it is not the same as fully escaping for the weekend, but every little moment adds up for you and for them.