This morning my feelings are big again. Not screaming big. I want to cry again. I’m having trouble with keeping my emotions where they “should” be.
A few days ago Noah commented to me that everything in our family is centered around me. There are ways that I can perceive this where I kind of nod and say, “Yeah that’s true” and I’m also struggling with how score keeping I am in my head around, “Well I do A and B and C and D and E and F and G and H and none of that is for me…”
I am struggling with this word “everything” because if everything centered around me I would have had Thanksgiving at home. Instead of getting into a situation where I got to spend my day entertaining a friend’s mother. She is a nice lady. I’m not saying that talking to her is the end of the world. But I said before the event that I didn’t really want to spend my Thanksgiving that way. And that’s what happened.
I feel really guilty that I’m kind of relieved that the RPG was cancelled for this month (I’m very sorry for the reason it was cancelled–one of the hosts having a parent die is really sad) because it means I get to go to one holiday party with people who feel like they might be my friends. Otherwise I just wasn’t going to have a holiday party at all this year that wasn’t about me sitting in a corner trying to look blank instead of pissed off or crying.
I feel like a whiny piece of shit because I did get to talk to friends this weekend. I shouldn’t feel so lonely.
I know Noah didn’t mean “everything” in a hyperbole dramatic sort of way. And a really fucking lot of our whole life really does revolve around me. That’s a fact. That’s not hyperbole in the slightest. I have more limits than most of the people in my family and that does impact everything we do from driving to how long we stay places. It’s not a mean thing to point out.
But I’m feeling petty and small and bad because it also feels like it erases how much of our life is not about me.
Do you know how many hours a week I spend listening to conversations about video games? I really struggle with the idea that “everything” in our life revolves around me. If it were up to me do you know how many hours a week I would have to hear about video games? Less than one. But instead it’s probably upwards of thirty hours a week. I’m not fucking kidding.
And I’m not sure if what I’m whining about is really what is bothering me. But I’m not sure I know/can talk about what is actually bothering me.
A friend brought us something yesterday that is for Noah to go have an experience. The friend was shocked that I would let Noah go do that without me. I had a thought similar to how I perceived comments about the road trip, “You act like we ask each other permission….” There’s a thing Noah wants to do. Why would he ask me if it was ok? He consulted me about timing because disappearing on the family is a thing we negotiate in terms of when but not if. Not rather we can or not. We don’t do that.
But I think that the persons reaction fed into my wonkiness about “everything is about me”. We all have our separate stuff. We are all centered at times. We are all fawned over and we all get to add things into the calendar. I’m scared shitless I’m going to do this balance badly and hurt my kids because I am a narcissistic piece of crap.
I resent the fact that the kids can do academic work for hours and it doesn’t “count” for the school unless they do it in a particular workbook format. And yet I also feel malicious glee that my children are experiencing externally imposed bullshit formatting for the first time. And they can’t say it is my fault.
It was pointed out to me that I should probably start thinking about packing a hospital bag. Oh. Yeah. I uhhh have never done that before. Or maybe I did? I don’t remember. Ha. It certainly wasn’t something I took seriously. Me and my hubris. I’m looking at online lists. I have no idea how this birth will go. I wish I didn’t feel so scared and empty and incapable.
I feel scared I crossed some lines with a friend yesterday. They want to be a parent and they were asking me about some of my judgey opinions about parenting and I may have run off at the mouth more than I should have. I did include a disclaimer about “I know I sound completely convinced that my opinions are right and all other opinions are wrong but I know that I’m wrong about a lot of things. I just don’t know which things. I sound certain of my perception for my reality… but I do understand that other people don’t live in my reality so what is true for them may be different.”
I was asked how many hours a parent must spend with a child in order to be a good parent. I said I don’t think it’s about how many hours a parent spends. I know impoverished families where both parents work multiple jobs and the kids don’t see them a lot. Those kids know they are loved. Those kids know their parents are out earning a living in order to make them be ok and safe. I know rich families where the parents don’t see the kids a lot and the kids know that their parents would rather hang out with friends having fun than see them.
It’s not about the hours spent. It’s about the priorities demonstrated.
I feel like if I have an overarching guiding principle to my parenting it is a mix of attachment theory, harm reduction methodology, behaviorism, and unschooling/child led learning.
I believe there is no one right way to parent. Every child needs something different.
Every parent has different things to offer. This is good.
But your kids see how you set your priorities. They see how you spend your time and money and energy.
They learn what you do.
Families don’t have to look a certain way to be “good”. But… I do judge a lot of what I see. Because I am a judgmental asshole.
Now I need to take off my nice warm pajamas (that are warmer than any two layers of other clothes) and get dressed to take the kids in for flu shots. Yes we are late in the season. Normally I am not a huge fan of the flu shot. We get it some years. Mostly we don’t. But I’m having a newborn in February.
Flu shots for everyone! Yay! I’m making Noah go in for a general check up too since it has been years.
Control freak bitch.