Anyone that follows my blog or fan page and doesn't know me might mistakenly believe that I'm pure snark and venom; a real "in your face" type of broad. Those who DO know me know that I'm a snuggly, flaky, conflict fearing, spaz who doesn't like to be angry and easily forgives in exchange for a belly rub. I can't help it. I HATE CONFLICT.
I know that conflict can be a positive thing. It isn't whether or not people argue that's important but how a conflict is resolved that makes all the difference in a relationship. Just like a clumsy puppy, I often roll over and let others play alpha when the verbal and physical sparring begins. I was not raised in a home with yelling or hitting so I am still getting used to the big bad world of nastiness. Years as a therapist hearing horrifying stories of abuse and rage have not de-sensitized me. I HATE CONFLICT.
Now that I have children I see just how much I want them to be different. I want them to stand up for themselves and be comfortable with receiving negative feedback. I want both of them to feel shitty sometimes because screwing up and feeling bad is a great way to learn. Life isn't going to think either one of my kids is as special or unique as I do. This is very difficult for me. I struggle with being the tough love mom. Why do I have to be the one to lay down the smack? I want to be shelter from the storm. I don't want to be both (STOMPS FEET). I HATE CONFLICT.
Having been a family therapist and being surrounded by family and friends with children I've observed different parenting styles. Admitting that discipline is an area that I struggle with feels like a weakness. I share it with you because it is truly a perfect example of how our own personal baggage and issues can affect our children if we aren't aware of it (and even if we are).
The boy gives me reason to be angry with him daily with his tween attitude and the girl has become so adept at badgering me into submission that I've come to realize her style is quite bullish. The conflict avoider in me struggles to respond and consequence. In my head I know better but my heart is full of fear. I am not doing my kids any favors by worrying so much about their feelings that I don't hold them accountable for bad decisions and thoughtless behavior. The world isn't going to spare their feelings so in earnest I am actually doing them harm by being a door mat. Each day is a struggle, especially when I'm overwhelmed and distracted by all the things in life not related to parenting my mini manipulators.
Being a parent is so much about learning. I assumed otherwise before I popped out these humans. In some ways it's a relief, not having to know everything. It's a relief to have friends and family who love me and my kids enough to kick us all in the nuts when we need it. I'm hoping that both my kids don't find out what an inept and clueless person I am until they are at least old enough not to be upset by the reality. I'm pretty sure I have about 3 more years with the boy but I think the girl is onto me.
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