Given my childhood history I have a whole cascade of feelings when folks say I’m abusive. I experienced abuse. What my children live in is on a whole different planet. But that doesn’t mean I get to say it isn’t abuse. I don’t have the right. My perspective is really irrelevant.
The only people who have the right to say if I am abusing them or just being kinda mean sometimes… are the people I’m interacting with. And my kids feel very fucking empowered to defend their boundaries.
Yeah, I pull their hair sometimes. We’ve talked about it many times. We have brainstormed other, less obnoxious ways of getting their attention I try them for a while and they abjectly fail and I communicate my frustration and the kids say, “Ok I can see why you pull my hair. Keep it gentle.”
My kids get really fucking absorbed in things. They’ve been allowed to develop the ability to concentrate so fiercely they don’t have much awareness of what is happening around them. Especially in loud and/or crowded situations. It can be really fucking hard to get their attention. So I pinch a little hair between my index finger and my thumb. I don’t do it hard. I’m not trying to hurt nor punish them. That’s not the point.
When I’m too rough they turn around and smack my hand and say, “That was too rough. More gentle.”
So you know what… I find it kind of hard to believe that pulling their hair is going to be high on the list of things I’m going to hell over.
Frankly I’m kind of disgusted that the hens weren’t getting angry at me for slapping my daughter. Why in the hell wasn’t that brought up as far more objectionable?! Jesus you people have the weirdest god damn perspectives.
Yes. I’m mean. Yes. I’m kind of a bully sometimes. This is a well known and published fact.
And you know what? I tell my children, “I am sorry I am kind of a bully sometimes. I am trying to change the behavior I was socialized to have and it is really really hard and sometimes I fuck up. That’s because of me failing to have the control I am supposed to have and it is never because of you. You are not capable of forcing me to lose control. Only I am responsible for me losing control.”
And you know what? That’s the best I god damn have.
Yes. I am a bully sometimes. I know.
They know too. And they feel free to tell me that my tone of voice is too harsh, that my hands are too rough and that I need to be more loving because their bucket is feeling empty.
I can’t do more to prepare them for life. There will be mean bastards in the world. I’m trying to hand them as many tools for coping as I can.
Given how many times I was paddled in public school and dragged around by a whole handful of hair…
You know. I have a hard time believing that what my kids have is so god damn bad.
I’m not saying I think I’m nice. I’m not even saying I think I’m a good mother. I’m saying that (as my Eldest Child likes to tell me) generationally we are improving massively but as a family we aren’t yet where we want to be. We are working on it though.
When I walk through the door back into the house I need to shake this off. I need to act like I am a perky, happy person who can make mistakes and move on. I have to act like that because I have to model it. Right now I don’t just have my kids. I have my awesome Bonus Kids. And their mom. Frankly, it is really important to me that I nail these interactions.
Sorry I don’t live up to your standards.
I don’t need to live up to your standards.
Why did I send a break up card? I sent an acknowledgment that I will stop putting effort towards you. I don’t do slow fades. I call it like I see it. I understand that it makes me weird.
I’m really really really really happy to be weird like me instead of normal like you.
I’ll keep doing me.