Sunday, February 5, 2012

It's Hard to Be His Mom Sometimes

I went to the parenting class at church today that is being held during the Sunday School hour.  I offered advice like I knew what I was talking about.  I thought I did.  When things go well, it's hard to remember what it's like when things don't go so well.  Then I am reminded of how hard it is to be a parent when I get home. 

To parent a child who has intense feelings and opinions, who explodes with anger and sadness when the world doesn't fit what he believes it to be, is not easy.  I have learned how to handle these displays of intense negative emotion a little better over the years, but not sure I did it gracefully today.  I so want to convince him in the moment that life is not as bad as he makes it out to be.  That people are inherently not evil and the whole world is not out to get him.  I want to assure him that it all will be alright.  And I want to say, "get a grip" because what he is emoting about is not realistic.  Part of me is sad for him and part of me gets annoyed and part of me is angry.  I feel powerless in these moments.  That's probably the bottom line for why these events are so very hard for me.

And then suddenly the event is over and he is fine - humming, whistling, happy.  I'm still holding on to it, though.  I can't let go.  How will he make it in this world?  How can I prepare him?  How can he be fine now, when just a little while ago he was shouting and calling us stupid and crying and screaming and saying he just wants to go live in the woods by himself?  It is maddening if I let it be.  If I bring the subject back up, he'll likely go back into shouting and crying mode.  I hate this walking on eggshells feeling.  I want to talk things out, and that is usually not an option for me.  I don't understand boys.  I feel frustrated and mad.  Right now he is chipper and talking with his dad and I am still over here stewing in the blue upholstered chair with this laptop in  my lap and my thoughts coming out of me through my fingertips.  I WANT TO SCREAM!

How can he be over it now?  Now he's singing.  All is well.  I am still frustrated.  This is not over because we will have to bring up the subject that started it all again.  And we will have to deal with an explosion again.  So far when we have brought up the subject recently we are 2 out of 2 for emotional outbursts.  I just want it to go away.

I sure do love him, and I am so proud of him and what he has accomplished in his young life and the neat young man he is turning out to be.  I continue to pray that I will have enough patience and wisdom to guide him into learning life skills such as being wrong, getting along with others who have different opinions, and being open to hearing other viewpoints. 

I love that he is sensitive, and I hope he can find a balance between being highly emotional and controlling his reactions when the situation calls for restraint.  Lord, help me be the best mother to him that I can be.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Making Myself Have a Better Attitude

I'm sick.  Literally.  And I'm frustrated that my week's plans are all screwed up as a result.  I started to post all about that but I soon realized that was going to be another negative post.  Who wants to read negative posts over and over again?  Not me. 

So, this one will not be negative.

In college I used to say to my friends in most situations, "It's all in the attitude." Now I don't imagine that I was the first to have such a motto.  I don't claim to be.  But I did think it up all by myself, without someone I knew telling it to me first.  I found that if I pretended to be in a good mood, I usually ended up in one for real.  If I went into a situation expecting it to be positive, it usually was.

I am therefore applying the same principle here.  I am feeling better.  I will be able to clean up the dirty dishes in the kitchen with a good attitude and it will feel really good to get that done.  I will re-wash the load of dark clothes that's been sitting in the washer for over 48 hours to get out the sour smell.  Then I will dry them right away and be happy that I don't have to go to the laundromat to get them clean and dry.  Of course this does mean I have to get the wrinkled, but dry and clean white clothes out of the dryer first.  But I can do that too.

I will take a shower and wash my hair and I will start gathering my things for work tomorrow, because I know I will feel better then. 

I will love my kids when their attitudes are less than positive.

Here I go.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Need a new goal

I feel like I'm floundering today.  That word is one I've said a lot but rarely if ever written down.  It looks funny.  Anyway, I digress.  Or perhaps I should say I flounder.  Today I simply got stuck.  Several times.  I would be able to pick myself up and start something, but then find myself stuck again.  It seems like as usual there is way too much going on in my mind.  Too many ideas, and no motivation to get any of them done.  I actually have some time to get a few things done, if I would just do it.  Of course I'm looking at all the things I'm not doing through my perfectionist glasses.  I do actually get some things done.

I want someone to talk to during the day.  Maybe it's the extrovert in me.  Maybe it's an excuse.  I sit and visualize how much more fun it would be if I had someone with me while I do what I need to do.  Even if they didn't lift a finger, and just kept me company while I worked.  After I do that, I get stuck.

So if I set a new goal for myself, maybe that will help.  How do pick what to focus on?  A friend told me recently that I am really good at a lot of things naturally.  That presents a problem in setting priorities for my time and money.  There's too much to do so I don't do much of anything.

And then when I get around to blogging, it's negative again.  Ugh.  Blah.

I just don't feel satisfied.  But what is missing?  I don't know.  What should be my goal?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Music to My Ears

Jay's birthday yesterday was one of the highlights of my life.  No kidding.  The whole day was a great success.  I've posted pictures here from the day.  Grandma and Grandma joined us for Jay's birthday supper - lasagna and ceasar salad and birthday cake.  I gave him a guitar for his birthday.  He and I have talked about how we can both see him as a guitarist.  I had some help picking it out from our priest Greg.  Since he vacations in Maine for the entire month of August, I asked him to help me before he left.  The guitar stayed hidden in Greg's office for over a month until I was ready for Jay to see it.  Jay is capable of some pretty negative reactions to things he doesn't expect, so I braced myself for the worst.  He was nothing but happy to receive it and has thanked me often since he opened it.  He even composed and sang a "Thank You, Mommy" song to me this morning.  The first thing he said after good morning today was "Thanks again for my guitar." It fills my heart and entire being with joy to see him so happy.  This morning he and MC started a jam session in the family room.  A small video of that is here.  After I took the video, they asked me to join them on the piano and MC switched to the harmonica.  Watch out Von Trapp family!  No matter what happens with the guitar from now on, I couldn't be happier. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Home Alone 2

This morning I find myself home alone in my house again after dropping off both kids at Lacy Elementary School.  Today is MC's first day of Kindergarten.  It's her assessment day, which doesn't last quite as long as a full school day.  They "stagger" the assessment days of the new kindergarteners according to their last names.  After completing all the assessments they will assign the children to the teachers for the year.  We will know who MC has for a teacher next Tuesday, and her first full day of school in her new class will be next Wednesday (Sept. 1st).  It was a little strange sending her off down the hallway, but she and I were both ready.  Hard to believe my little girl is in "real" school now.  As for the rest of my day, I will go to work for three hours, and then it will be time to pick her up again.  Then we go back 90 minutes later to pick up her big 5th-grader-brother from his second day of school. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Home Alone

For the very first time since we moved into this house almost exactly 9 years ago, I will be spending the night alone here.  James is out of town on business and the kids are in the mountains with my parents.  It is a bit strange, but good.  I called two different friends to see if I could arrange an evening out, but neither was available tonight.  After the second said no, I decided I should just stay at home and make the most of the experience. 

I arrived home by myself around 3:00 this afternoon.  I met M&D at the Farmer's Market in Greensboro to hand over the kids, their packed belongings, and a few items requested by my parents for me to bring from Raleigh.  I had a meeting with a fellow vestry member to discuss some timely church things from 4 to 5 and then came back home.  I got to talk with James on the phone briefly, and then ate the leftover pizza in the fridge.  It was way more than I needed, so my plan is to not eat any more tonight.  I debated about taking myself to Taekwondo, but decided against it.  I sat in the recliner to catch up on some reading and found myself taking a nap.  After about 30 minutes, I woke up and was ready to read some more.  I've been walking around, making a list of things to do tomorrow, drinking water and digesting my pizza.

I've checked in on Facebook, read my dad's blog, and sat down to blog a little myself.  I saw where my Uncle Bill quoted someone on FB as saying, "You have nothing to prove and no one to impress."  He said he had heard it recently and thought he'd pass it on in hopes it would provide encouragement to someone today.  If no one else was encouraged, I certainly was. 

I do spend a bunch of time thinking more about trying to impress other people than having something to prove, but sometimes that too.  I like to think that I am above trying to impress others, but I'm really not.  I guess it's okay if someone is impressed with something I say or do, as long as my intention for saying/doing it was genuine.  Trying to impress someone else is not the reason I should be doing something.

What I was reading tonight was the book of James in the New Testament.  "Be ye doers of the word and not just hearers..."  That's the main point James tries to make, I believe.  So tonight I am trying to figure out what I want to do with my time alone.  What I do should not be to prove anything or to impress anyone.  I am happy to have this unique opportunity tonight.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Traveling with Technology

Tomorrow we leave for Huntsville to pick up Jay from Space Camp, where he's been this week.  It will be the first time in a long time that we will have made the trip with only one kid in tow.  I remember how much easier the trip was with Jay when we first borrowed a friend's combo TV/VCR.  We plugged it in and set up that big ol' thing on the floor of the back seat of my Honda Accord, with two or three video cassettes in our traveling media library.  We later invested in a portable DVD player with a case that could be strapped to the back of the front seat.  Our media player and units had become much more compact.

For this trip I will take along my laptop to play one or two DVD's.  (Our portable DVD player literally burned out.)  I have also just downloaded a new app on my iPhone based on the PBS Kids show SuperWhy.  It's for early reading skills development.  I've just now shown it to MC so she can try it out and she's having a hard time putting it down.  I think it will be a big hit for the ride.

Of course when Sarah and I were little our travels consisted of playing games like travel Bingo and the license plate game and the alphabet game and even Bonk (I think) where we tried to be the first to spot VW bugs and buses.  And of course the singing of our entire Girl Scout Camp songs library!  But that's the key.  There were two kids in the car for those trips.  With our two kids in the car, it's easier to pass the time without techno-gadgets because they have each other to talk to.  MC is particularly full of questions that she likes to ask over and over again at this stage of her life.  I am taking advantage of all the technology we have available to make this trip easier on my sanity.