Thursday, March 18, 2010

Getting Real

It's time to step up and get honest. I am not a horrible mother, but I have been behaving horribly for far too long. The Lizard King has been away for almost 9 months and it has been hard...much harder than I imagined it to be. I feel silly complaining. I mean, after all, he is the one who is in Afghanistan. Princess is without her Daddy and she's only six. Still, this is hard for me. And rather than make things easier for Princess I am making it harder.

I am absolutely convinced, especially after our time in Mexico, that Princess' eczema is emotionally triggered. The thing that I didn't realize was that it isn't only the absence of LK that is causing her stress. It is the absence of her Yes, I am here, but I am not the mother I always was. I am not a patient person, I never have been,but with Princess I always had heaps of patience. I believe that children have value and deserve to be treated with respect. For entirely too long, I have not been living that.

For far too long I have been speaking to Princess like she is a worthless piece of garbage. I have created this sad, empty little girl. I am destroying her spirit and her soul. And I'm not sure how to stop. It is not only me who sees this. Freckle called me on it the other day. I need to figure out how to stop this. I need to figure out how to build my sweet little girl back up.

There are many things that I have to change. First I need to cut back on the amount of time I spend online because it feels like she is bothering me and disturbing me whenever she tries to interact with me. I chose to have this child. I chose to homeschool. I need to be there for her. It is about her, it is not about how much time I can spend online and believe me, it is a lot. My laptop is always open. I am always searching for something.

I need to spend more focused time on Princess...things like the art museum that will happen next week, but also during our time at home. I need to find my patience again. I'm not sure how to do that. Freckle has offered to help. I am grateful for her honesty. I know I can do this. I know I can find my way back to me. Yes, having LK gone is hard but I need to build my daughter up in the process, not tear her down.

I know that this bloggy community is so supportive, but telling me that it isn't that bad just isn't true. It is that bad. I even asked Princess about it and she told me that it is half and half. Half is good and half is bad. It killed me to hear that, even though I know it to be true. I am not striving for perfection. I just want to be the mom that I used to be.


rachel... said...

I struggle so much with being patient, too. Patience is not something that comes naturally to me. I think it's awesome that you're blogging about this and being so honest. I really can't wait to read about your progress and the changes that you're making, Shady Lady. Good luck!

Shady Lady said...

Thank you Rachel. This is something that was really difficult for me to put out there for the world to see, but I thought it might help me. It has only been a few days since I started to embrace the change, but I feel a shift. I just have to hold on to it and keep progressing. Thanks for your support and encouragement. I will try to post updates every so often.

sheila said...

Wow, I think we as moms go through this, every one of us. Somewhere around our kids age 12 it hit me. It was almost like I reached the limit of my mental threashold.

I became snappy and annoyed. There were times when I told my husband...I don't know if I want to do this anymore. Knowing full well I didn't mean it but it just came out.

The thing is, HE picked up my slack til I got back on track. See, you don't have this luxury. So that sucks. Good thing Freckle is around.

And being that you're homeschooling I would suppose that the break of them being at school doesn't apply. I think it all boils down to having some time JUST for yourself. So Freckle then is close in location I assume. Maybe something could be worked out with the school day where you two could teach the others kids for a day giving the other a break?

I wish you the best! My laptop was always open too. I was always 'searching' as well. Although I didn't think of it at the time...when the laptop died suddenly :o( it was probably a good thing. Then again, my kids were all older and in their teens. They were glad I was

Sheri said...

I look at patience as a commodity more than a character trait. Some people may naturally have more than others but it's something that can and does run out.

By the same token, it's also something that can be replenished. How that's accomplished is different for everyone and I'm sure you'll find your source.


Frau said...

It's hard being the single parent right now. The fact you are being so honest about it is the first step. You are better than this and you know it. Don't let it define you, you can be the Mom you once were. Hell we all slip up and need improvement. Hang in there I know it's tough.(((HUgs))

Shady Lady said...

Sheila, you hit the nail on the head. The fact that LK isn't around to pick up the slack for me and the fact that we homeschool so we're together just about 24/7 adds to the challenge. I am finding ways to take better care of myself so that I can be a better mom. It has only been a few days, but I feel like things are getting just a bit better.

Sheri, patience is a commodity...I like that. It is so very accurate. I am working on finding my source or sources to replenish or fill my cup. In fact, at this very moment Princess is at the dog park with my sister, my future brother-in-law, their dog and our dog. And I'm sitting her trying to figure out what to do with myself. LOL. Honestly, I'm just enjoying the quiet. :)

Frau, thanks for the encouragement. Yes, we all slip up, it's true. I need to get past the slipping up because man am I drowning in it. Things are getting better. They really are. It is a struggle and I have to watch every word I say and every reaction I have so that I don't slide back down. It's hard work this motherhood is, but it is work every second.

Fragrant Liar said...

I'm not patient these days. I don't have little ones anymore though. Being a single parent is hard. If you really feel you're not being fair to your daughter, screw the blog. Spend your quality time with your most precious girl on the planet. She's worth it.

But also, get out and refill your own well so that you have enough positive resources from within you to share with your girl. Seek counseling, attend retreats, do things you enjoy and do some things together with your daughter that you both would. Best advice I ever got was to live as much as possible in the moment. Enjoy each moment, each hour, each day as a gift. You only have this one life.

You'll love yourself more and find your way back to being that mom you once were.


Fragrant Liar said...

P.S. Your honesty was very refreshing. We all feel like this sometimes. Good self-care. That's the key.

5orangepotatoes said...

B, I'm proud of you for stopping and looking at yourself and not being afraid to admit this. To me that makes the best kind of mother. To see your faults, then stopping and fixing them.

Freckle is such a good friend to talk to you about this. The eczema really does seem to be related to the Lizard King's absence, I wondered about the timing that the eczema showed up, right after he left.

Take care and I wish you the very best Shady. My love to you and that sweet girl of yours. You'll get through this.


Shady Lady said...

Kimber, thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for commenting...especially on such a difficult subject.

Things have been going better. I am taking the time for myself so that I'm filled up and ready for my daughter. I am also spending more quality time with her and less time online. Most importantly, I have been speaking in much kinder tones and with much nicer words. It is hard, but I know that I can do this.

Lisa, yes, it was a hard thing to completely admit. I've mentioned it to people before and often receive the standard response. I finally had to say that I'm not being hard on myself or setting my expectations too high. It helped that Freckle was completely honest with me. I'm just being honest and it needs to change or I will destroy Princess.

I have thought that Princess' eczema was related to LK's absence for a while now. I know that seeing him helped a lot. I also think that the NAET treatment has played an important role as well. I think also that it isn't just his absence, but stress caused by his absence. I am part of that stress. It is a vicious cycle.

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Thanks for being so honest. I struggle with my patience with the kids too. You will get through this. It is great to have a friend like Freckle to help support you. Take care.

Shady Lady said...

Thanks, SMT. I am very lucky!! And things really are getting better. :)