Tag Archives: Acceptance

The Family We Choose

6 Dec

I have a truly great group of girlfriends. They are beautiful, smart and funny women. They each possess characteristics I strive for and they inspire me to be better. There are four in particular who I consider my closest friends. I can talk to all of them about anything. I trust them completely. My relationship with each of them is such that I know they will always be there for me and I am always here for them. I wasn’t always in a place in my life when I knew for sure where I stood with people. I am so happy that I have friends whom I love and who I know love me back, it’s a great thing to have.
My oldest and closest friend truly is my rock. She has been there through all of the biggest moments in my life. When I’m feeling panicked or uncertain about something she is always my first call, and each time she gets me back to sanity and calms me. She always knows just what to say to help me gain much needed perspective. She is smart and caring and never asks for anything. The distance and time that keep us apart seem to grow every year yet each time we speak or get together our relationship remains the same, I’m very lucky to have her in my life.
The next I always first think of as the fun one. The one who I can always call when what I need is a night on the town with drinks and dancing. But she is much more than this. She is quick witted and has a fantastic sense of humor. She’s strong and always fights for what she believes in. No matter what we do together I know we will have fun, just having her there makes anything a great time. Whether it be a girls night out or sitting and talking for hours, I love having her in my life.
Now for the one who my relationship with started out very differently than it has ended up. When we met we were perhaps too similar to really become close. On the outside she is tough, she knows what needs to be done and she takes care of it. She’s very organized and her home is always perfect. I wish I was that woman, the one who’s home is spotless even if you stop by unannounced. I don’t know how she does it. But the part of her I love the most is the part that took time for me to get to know. Considerate and sweet she never lets me feel bad when I screw up. When I’m kicking myself and loosing sleep over something, particularly in my mothering role, she knows exactly what to tell me to get me out of it. She is wise and thoughtful, I honestly do not know what I would do without her.
Finally the one who has inspired me to be more appreciative and kind. She always sees the good in people. Full of energy she lights up any room she walks into. Always thinking of others and going out of her way to brighten up someone’s day. The newest addition to those I hold dearest I am so thankful to have found a great friend in her.

My Big Plan – Part 3

10 Nov

Goal: Stop being a judging judgey-faced judger.

It’s a bad habit. And I’m pretty sure just about everyone does it. Having a reaction is normal, I’m not sure I can change that. However, once I have my reaction I am going to stop and remind myself that I am only seeing a small portion of someones story. There is a lot I don’t know and whatever snippet I am a witness too is really none of my business to judge.

I use it as a means of small talk. When I meet someone and find that I have nothing to talk about I often rely on criticizing people and events around me as a means of filling the awkward silence.  It’s bad I know. What’s really bad is that quite often my dry and sarcastic humor is probably coming across as just plain evil. I hope that making people laugh will mean they like me when in all likelihood they’re like whoa this chick’s a b*tch!

This realization has been largely due to all the criticism and judgement I have received in response to various parenting choices.  Not for anything crazy. Just about everything people have condemned me for is somewhere in another post here. Things that I tend to fight a little too hard for even when no one is asking such as breastfeeding – especially into toddler-hood, co-sleeping with both of my kids, letting my kids lead the way, not having our son circumcised, heck even what school I plan on sending my kids too. People have mocked, questioned my rationale and flat out told me I’m wrong. This can really hurt. And one thing I never want to do is make another parent feel bad for the choices they make for their kids. It is so confusing and maddening and tough to navigate your way through raising your kids. And people are mean. I think a lot of it comes from the fact that other parents might be having a hard time with the choices they have made, or simply don’t have the information. Unfortunately though there are those out there who really do mean to harm, and who cannot fathom the possibility that they themselves may be the ones who are wrong. That’s frustrating, but those ones do it to themselves, it would be nice if someday those who believe they can do no wrong recognize the harm they are doing to others. I have learned, I recognize the hurt I can cause other people by scoffing, raising an eyebrow or muttering something under my breath. I know that hurts, and really serves no purpose.

So from now on every time I think “OMG! Look at those shoes!” or” WTF? Why is that woman doing that to her child” I am going to stop myself and realize there’s a lot more going on than what I am seeing. That we are all just finding our way through. We have good moments and bad. Quite often the bad come when we have an audience. You should try it too. Join me on my mission of not being a judging judgey-faced judger.  Unless the shoes are really bad…

My Big Plan – Part 1

7 Nov

I have a plan. That’s right I have been thinking about it for a while and have finally decided to put it out there. If I tell all kinds of random people I’m going to do it I simply have to follow through.

This needing a plan business came from the recognition that I am not being the best parent or wife that I can be. Not even the best friend I can be for that matter. In fact the friend thing is kind of a center to the other two. In the past couple years I have started to see the flaws in my friendship skills and have thought about them and made an effort here and there to be better at it but it’s time I try harder, try all the way.

Laying in bed awake is a part of my usual routine. I lay there and quite often think of things I might like to blog about, I’m really excited about it at the time and think I’m going to be all gung-ho the next morning. But I’m not, I wake up and look at all the things I need to get done and the kids need my attention through the day (a part of the plan is giving it to them) so I never get to the actual writing part. So when I sat down today I decided that rather then trying to organize my whole thought process and the plan in one post I would break it up. This post being the explanation of where this while plan thing has come from (see what I have been writing thus far) and the first part of said plan. PLAN PLAN PLAN. I’m going to be saying it a lot more so get used to it.

Part 1

The reality is I can’t just be a better friend/wife/parent like POOF. I could probably fake it for a while but what good is that really? I think what I need to do is be a better me first. I have a feeling the rest will kind of fall into place a bit more easily if I’m, you know, a good PERSON to start the whole process.

So my first step is to forgive and accept MYSELF. Right now this sounds really self absorbed to me…that might be something I need to work on.

Problem : I tend to be pretty hard on myself. I have pretty high expectations and I rarely live up to them, let alone exceed. And truthfully I prefer to exceed. I have a picture of the friend/wife/parent I would like to be and each time I miss the mark I get frustrated. Mad at myself ultimately. This often makes me want to give up and I spiral a little bit. A common issue for me is keeping my house clean. I really don’t mind house work I just struggle to keep myself motivated and moving forward with it, especially with the constant kid interruptions. And then I plan on doing it while the kids are sleeping or busy with their Dad or something but then I find myself wanting to indulge in those moments and just shut down for a while. I think being a good wife involves keeping up the house, being a good parent means keeping the house clean for my babies and I am not too comfortable having friends over when the house is a mess so it’s a part of the friend thing for me too. I start out with good intentions. I make plans and lists. Then something gets me off course. I don’t get things done the way I want to and I get annoyed. Then I procrastinate because the job keeps growing and I don’t want to deal with it. After a while I get overwhelmed and feel that I can’t handle it on my own at all. At this point is often where I start telling myself that I don’t even care about the mess and it’s just a part of life and blah blah blah. The truth though, is that it makes me crazy and I really just need to get on it and keep up with the place. I mean it’s not that hard.

I have a habit of being quite selfish. With friends I see it each time I cut them off or turn the focus of just about any conversation into something about me. I try to convince myself that I am just relating but I’m pretty sure I’m just being selfish. With Scott I expect much more from him in our relationship than I expect of myself. Selfish. I feel that he should be thinking of me and how his actions impact me at all times. But I don’t really think that way about him. I go on my own way and just assume he will follow along with whatever choices I make and I really am surprised each time he doesn’t just agree with me. With the kids I have a big problem with myself. I hate that I do it but quite often when I am trying to do something and they want my attention I tend to feel annoyed. I’m mad and tell them to leave me alone while I do whatever it is. Lately I have tried harder to take a step back and recognize that whatever I am doing can probably wait and that what they need from me is to be in tune and responsive to their needs.

Goal as far as friendships are concerned: Be a better listener. Really focus on the person while they speak and empathize without constantly talking over them. I really want to be the friend that people think of when they need someone to talk to. Someone they feel they can really open up to and feel safe with. I want to be a loving and thoughtful person. I would also like to be fun, hilarious, give the best advice and have an awesome sense of fashion but I am going for realistic in this plan.

Goal in the wife category: Give as much as or even more than I expect. I keep wanting from him but I give him no reason to try aside from my demands. For all the things I ask of them I need to be accountable myself. Each time I am mad because I haven’t heard from him when he’s late I should stop and realize he is probably busy and I can easily loose track of time so I should allow him the courtesy of recognizing that he can do it too. Each time I am annoyed that he hasn’t put more effort into helping me around the house I must see that I am mostly mad at myself for not trying harder and cut him some slack because he’s exhausted too. Most importantly when I feel that he is not putting the effort into the relationship I would like him too I need to be finding a way to contribute in a way that is meaningful to him. Communication and the sharing of thoughts and feelings is how I feel connected. He is not me. He has is own way of feeling connected, and since I have spent the past nearly 8 years focused mostly on myself I don’t really know what that is but I will figure it out.

Goal with my kidlets : Give them what they need from me without resenting it. Show them I love them not only when I say it or hug them because I am feeling it in that moment but by being loving with them even when I wanted to be focusing on something else. I need to let them feel how important they are by putting their needs above the silly little tasks I perform on a regular basis.

Ultimately to accomplish these things I need to stop thinking I am a failure for not already doing them. Not be mad at myself each time I get mad. Forgive myself for the mistakes I have made and really use them as a learning experience, not just tell myself that I will. After I have my little fit I will look back at the situation and seek out better ways for me to handle it. I aim to spend more time in the moment and less worrying about the next step. I want to enjoy each day, with all the good and bad that comes.

I can so do this.

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