I actually don’t like to “Air my Grievances”.
I love my life: I really do. I am also ultra sensitive about the fact that there are others who desperately want what I have (children–a life partner). When I complain about any of those things there is always a little part of my soul that is protesting what my mouth is doing.
But I have grievances. Today my daughter told me that I’m a bad parent.
I once married a man that I never should have married. In the past I have told the story of his emotional and verbal abuse of me as if I had no idea that he was capable of that until *after* we were married. But that’s not the truth.
The truth is; I knew I was supposed to leave him the day that I hung out with my childhood friend for an hour longer than I said I was going to. His response to the change in timeline and the anger that came with it sparked a familiarity in me: I remember that day like it was yesterday. That’s the day that I recognized his pattern of control. That was shortly after we started dating–long before we were married.
Another thing that I’m ultra sensitive about: I still treasure a lot of my ex husbands family. I self sensor a lot of what I share in this space because I don’t want to offend. So let’s get real for a hot second: if he wanted everything I say about him to be nice–than he should have been nice. This is my space. My happy place. My therapy. So I have to speak my truth.
Yes: I married a man I never should have married. It seems like a lifetime ago. I wasn’t me back then–I didn’t know who “me” was yet.
What I DO know is that I was there for my step son–and he is still a huge part of my heart. And I DO know that my Violet is my masterpiece. Things came from that marriage that I would never want to live without. So when I “grieve” about marrying the wrong person–I’m not regretting anything. (Just to be clear).
Let’s get back to that part where today: my daughter told me that I’m a bad parent.
What. The. Ef. You guys?
I’m airing this grievance. It was a really freaking hard lesson in practicing what I preach.
Violet wanted to make a craft with balloons. MeMaw told her that we have balloons. We don’t have balloons. Violet asked me to go to the store for balloons. One December 23rd. I said no. Violet cried. I told Violet–in so many words–that it’s ok to be disappointed, but that I am not getting balloons today.
She went into her bedroom–slammed the door–and drew a picture. She explained that in her picture, Violet is sad and Mommy is happy–because Mommy is happy when Violet is sad. You know, because I won’t go buy her balloons.
I tried to reason with a 6 year old and explain that, in life, we get what we need and want by working hard–not by just wanting it. I tried to tell her that disappointment is a part of life that we have to learn to deal with.
Violet replies with “Don’t you think it’s bad parenting that you are refusing to make me happy?”
In that moment: I felt attacked. By a six year old. By my six year old–the one who has been my side kick through the thick of it.
Some other grievances from today: Luca likes to drink toilet water. It’s nasty. He also likes to drink the dogs water. Just gross. It is IMPOSSIBLE to have a clean house when you live with my family. I feel like I’ve been cleaning for a hundred years. Can y’all tell I’m having a challenging day?
So yeah: because of my history…the whole section of my life where I dealt with gaslighting and loneliness and a contestant feeling of inadequacy…this thing with Vi today was a bit of a trigger.
So here I am. Airing my grievances. I don’t respond to these parenting challenges with violence. And I really try hard to respond with understanding and kindness. I’m not always successful. Hell, maybe I wasn’t successful today. But I’m still claiming this as a feat of strength.
Parenting is hard. And Festivus isn’t over until the head of the household is pinned. So it was a rough day.
All of the things that we go through in our lives, play a part in who we become. I wouldn’t change a thing. I wouldn’t change who I married. I wouldn’t change the sass I am raising my daughter to have (I just hope that the kindness and bravery will end up being stronger than the sass). I wouldn’t change the constant mess that is my home (it means that my kids are healthy enough to play–even after they drink toilet water). Some days are harder than others. I’m just glad that I can take some time for me, write a blog post, play my guitar, and feel better.
Happy Festivus, Friends.
Thanks for reading. ❤️