Thursday, December 20, 2007

And then there are days like today

This picture looks like Ella is trying to get a good punch in. And that is what today felt like. All day.
Having children is not all puppy dogs and rainbows and I'm not one to pretend it is. I'm also not one to ignore the bad days and try to just forget them. They are part of my life as a mommy too and deserve their place in this blog.

I don't know how "normal" it is, but I like to preserve the bad times too. I look back at photos of my brothers and sisters and see only smiling faces. Happy times and special occasions. But life isn't made up of all these happy moments. There are a lot of tears, anger, frustration, puke and poop too. I'm the mom who takes pictures of my kids crying. I have videos of my kids in full on tantrum mode. I have audio of my baby screaming in the car whenever we had to stop for a red light.

And I would like to note that although I will take a picture of my child in the midst of a horrible crying jag, I don't think it's right to make children cry. I mention this because I see pictures of crying children with Santa and I think it's cruel to make your child go through a few seconds of being so scared that they scream and cry, just to have a picture that year. Some people even think it's funny and share their "scared of santa" pictures. I personally think that's mean and I would never intentionally terrorize my children. I've gotten into discussions about this before and the moms who don't mind letting this happen to their children always say it's Santa, it's not terrorizing them, but let's just leave it at that is where I disagree. Do what you want with your children, I'll do what I want with mine.

Back to today.

I have the kids home with me while I am working from home this week. I initially wanted them to be able to have a Christmas vacation from school too, but then my foot surgery happened. Although I'm not doing much less than I would have anywho, since I still have to work regardless of the condition my foot is in, it sure is making things tougher. Where I would be able to jump up and make them lunch, I'm having to hobble through it in pain. Nice.

The kids have been simply insane today. The morning was filled with fighting and crying. 3 timeouts when that rarely happens (it's one of the last resorts. My kids are amazingly well behaved and I think it's because they've been disciplined from day one. Not in any kind of harsh way, just in the fact they've never been allowed to get away with anything wrong just because they are children. They didn't get punished for things they didn't understand of course, but I have explained right from wrong since the beginning). A trip to the doctor's at lunchtime. A trip to the grocery store at nap time. Lunch too late. Naptime later. Ella earned a *smack on the butt when I found her playing in her room when she was supposed to be trying to nap.

Nothing huge has happened today, just a lot of little things. And I realize a lot of it was my own fault for getting them off their normal schedule, but life happens. And it's left me frazzled and grumpy.

One thing I will NEVER say to someone struggling with primary IF? "Spend a day with us and you'll be happy you don't have children yet." Even on the worst days, and there has been days like that, I would never ever say that. I do believe children have been, at times, more than I bargained for, but to say that to an IFer is a serious no-no. My god, that used to piss me off more than anything when I was still ttc#1. People bitching about their children when they don't realize I'd give anything to have a life of their "bad days".

Sorry about the lack of substance with a lot of rambling today. Like I said, it's been quite a day.

* note about the smack. I know that spanking is a huge discussion issue between the parenting community. Some don't, some do. We have chosen to use smacks on the butt in certain circumstances - meaning we use it when we mean business. I only mention this because I don't want to get into a debate about spanking. I'm going to go ahead and use the "we'll do what we want with our kids and you do what you want with your kids" thing.


KatieM said...

Did I ever tell you about the lady in Target one day? I had gone in to buy an HPT, and was behind her, her husband, and two kids. Now, in my mind they really weren't being THAT bad, it was later in the evening and they were hungry and cranky. Also, I should also mention that although I don't remember exactly what cycle it was, it was certainly after my one year mark and honestly I was just buying the HPT to prove I wasn't pregnant although AF was being a bitch and refusing to show up on time.

Anyways, the lady looked back and saw what I was buying and looks at me and goes "I bet after standing behind us tonight you are hoping that's negative huh?" Now, of course she was completely joking, and I just smiled and nodded, but I do wonder what makes people think that comment is socially acceptable with infertility at an all time high.

Glennformer said...

I know what you mean--at least to a certain extent. Not having kids myself, I can at least relate to the good and the not so good with my pet, Dusty ;-)

Really, this shows up everywhere--work, personal projects, all relationships. There are things that are so rewarding that it makes everything on the "less desirable to terrible" end of the spectrum worth having been endured. The perpetual challenge for all of us, I think, is to become increasingly skilled at minimizing the frequency, duration, and impact of the downside stuff while we maximize the upside stuff. Maybe an obvious goal, except for seeing what people actually choose for themselves. I know I've been stopped from being effective that way by wanting to look good (or, at least, avoid looking bad), by allowing myself to become resigned in accepting the status quo (so getting what I help to perpetuate by my own inaction), or by becoming self-righteous about something, sometimes along with looking for some pay-off for playing the role of the martyr, so I've taken on not having that be a significant part of who I am any more.

For example, I used to be overly critical of how I behaved towards children as an adult, especially in my role as an uncle, thinking I was probably too harsh and so shouldn't be around children on an day-to-day basis, and certainly shouldn't become a parent. I would do my duty and leave parenting to people who were good at it, in spite of the obvious rewards that came from being a parent. I assumed that my relationship skills were "fixed", based upon whatever came "naturally" for me, and I became resigned to that. Now I'm more likely to acknowledge when I've been really great with kids, even if that didn't look like what I thought it should or was the accepted norm, and I see my relationships with ANYONE as being the same process of being available to them, taking time to see the world from their point of view, and, as much as I have a tendency to jump in with unsolicited advice, increasingly focus on just assisting people with seeing their choices clearly and holding myself up as a mirror for them to see things about themselves.

I think you are on the right track with acknowledging ALL of the facts and NOT glossing over the not so great stuff--without dwelling on the negative except for what can be learned from it. It's best to not take the good stuff for granted and to acknowledge yourself for sticking it out with whatever is tough for YOU (regardless of how it is for others), since there are so many examples of people just opting out when the going gets tough.

Except for the choice of forum--understanding that there are other places to have debates about the relative virtues of spanking vs non-spanking--I invite you to engage in that debate with anyone who disagrees on the matter. People often do things for poor reasons and I'd prefer to have them do things for the best reasons. I'm not against spanking myself, partly on the basis of it's a necessary introduction to life in the real world, where there are consequences to not paying attention or not reaching agreement with people. On the other hand, I know I haven't exhausted the alternatives to getting someone's attention and reaching agreement by other means, so I'm interested in someone instructing me on the matter or at least sharing their opinions.

(Note: No animals were harmed in the course of posting this extended comment.)

nancy said...

Nope, I'm not opening up my parenting style for discussion. I have debated/discussed the spanking issue and many others on my parenting board.

But this is my blog, not a debating forum. Because of the nature of this particular blog, I'm going to talk about things that not all may agree with. Due to the nature of this subject (spanking), I wanted to put in a quick note about it to acknowledge it's a touchy subject and it wasn't up for debate.

I want to be able to speak freely on my blog, without allowing/opening up every subject for discussions. I simply don't have time for that. I'm not ignoring the fact that I may do/say things controversial, but since this is my diary of sorts, I'm allowing people to read and respond to it. But I'm finally out of the back and forth with commentors I've had before. I want it to keep it like that.

I figure a blog is like anything else you do public in front of strangers. Maybe you are wearing something pretty and someone says "I like your outfit!". Maybe someone looks but doesn't say anything. Maybe someone doesn't like it. But it wouldn't be ~okay~ to come up and tell them "man, I really don't like your outfit. It's ugly. Let's discuss the WHY you chose it."

Just because I wanted to give anyone the option to read my blog if they choose, doesn't mean I want to debate any of my decisions. So yes, I DO understand there are places to have debates and I have had them about spanking (although I really don't "spank" using the specific definition), I'm not going to engage in it here.

trisha said...

ROCK ON NANCY! My days like that seem to get more as we get into the "im almost 3, ill do what i want" phase

Nico said...

I recently took a video of Ant in full on screaming mode, for the same reason!

Anonymous said...

Agree with you on the Santa thing!