Posts Tagged With: blended familes

managing expectations

Y’all ever get pissy about something and know you’re in the wrong but for whatever reason you can’t let it go and get more and more pissy?

No?
So it’s just me then?
Yeah, that’s what I figured.

I got all bent out of shape because YBW told Thing G he’d make him a different dinner than the one we were having. (same food, just prepared differently)
This did not sit well with me.
Maybe it’s because I grew up poor, or didn’t have much when my girls were kids, but the idea of making more than one meal makes no sense to me.
It turns out that loads of people do it.
And though that’s the thing that set me off, it’s not actually the point.

The point is that if I had known Thing G wouldn’t eat what I suggested, I would have made something else. The kid is only home for dinner two nights a week, I want to feed him what he likes.

So I just got more and more frustrated.
YBW kept saying I thought he was an idiot.
Which infuriated me.
And there we are in the kitchen shouting at each other because I’m mad and he feels stupid.

He said something that truly shocked me.
He suggested that we go through life and I simply tolerate him. That he’s something I have to endure.

I don’t know if it was just that something was triggered in him or he really believes that.
I don’t believe that.

We function differently. That’s cool.
I need more information before executing plans.
He doesn’t want feel like I think he’s an idiot.

I absolutely overreacted.
I can be irritated by something and not become a screaming shrew. I’m not exactly sure how, but I’m all for figuring it out.

But when I’m frustrated or angry about something it makes me even more frustrated or angry when he starts telling me I think he’s stupid. That I think he’s a failure.
That was honestly the last thing in my mind.

The first thing was I’m so sick of our lives revolving around a young man who refuses to take responsibility for his own life.
The second thing was that I would never offer to make a second meal for literally anyone. That level of accommodation exceeds my level of tolerance.
The third and most important thought was if I had known he didn’t like this food prepared this way, I would have made something else. Why serve someone something they don’t like?

The food situation had been solved previously by having the boys decide the menus when they were here. That way they ate what they wanted. I was happy to prepare the meals as long as I didn’t have to plan them.
That went out the window when Thing C moved out.
Thing G can’t be bothered.
YBW expressed that he doesn’t think it matters all that much.

Y’all, it’s not about food.
It’s about family members functioning together to run a household.
It’s about people who can’t care enough to engage in their own lives creating a black hole in a household.
It’s about blending two families that function in completely different ways.

It isn’t YBW that I can’t endure.
It’s his kid.

And the worst part is that I actually love that kid!
I love the stuffing out of him and want every wonderful thing for him and his life.

I know I’m ridiculous for being angry about what I can’t do anything about. But I am.
I know I should apologize for being ridiculous. But I didn’t.

I made a commitment to YBW and his kid. To get him through college.
I will honor that commitment.
I will do my best not to become angry or irrational.

I shouldn’t make YBW miserable just because I’m frustrated.
I shouldn’t be miserable just because I’m frustrated.

The reality is it’s a no win situation.
Because Thing G frustrates me I’ll be miserable.
Because I’m miserable I’ll be angry.
Because I’m angry, YBW will be miserable.

I need to get over myself.
Truly, it is the simplest solution.

I’m not really sure what set me off.
I just know I’m so sick of it.
The feeling this way, I mean. It’s exhausting. But more than that, it’s not good for me to be so frustrated what the kid does and does not do. The kid doesn’t give any f**ks, why do I?
Um…because someone has to?
(le sigh, le really big sigh)

As long as Thing G is comfortable, YBW is willing to sacrifice his own comfort.
I’m not willing to sacrifice comfort. Mine or YBW’s.
So I act like a dick and cause more discomfort…?

It’s my life too!
I have to live in this house too!
Why does the comfort of the kid matter more than anyone else’s?
What does that teach the kid?
What does that teach other family members?

Why does what I expect or want or need get trumped by those of the kid?

What I really want is a little peace.
When the kid is in the house there isn’t any. It’s not because he actively breaks the peace. It’s that everything about him matters more than everything about everyone else. I have a hard time finding the peace in that. And not because I think I should matter more. But because as a family unit or humans in a shared household, there should be more balance in who and what matters.

What I really want is a little peace. (I know I already said it)
I want to be myself.
That is not to say I want to always get what I want. Just to be me. Without fear of upsetting the kid. Without fear of upsetting my husband.
I’m equal parts lovely and wretched.
I’m opinionated.
I’m impatient.
I’m quick tempered.
But I’m also kind.
I’m loyal.
And I’m the most fiercely loving person you’re likely to come across.
I understand that being in a relationship with me isn’t always sunshine and lollipops.
I am actively working on being a better me.
I have a willingness to become more.
I have a willingness to embrace change. What I do not have a willingness to do is change who I am to fit into a life someone else built. Neither do I expect that of the people I love.

Square peg – round hole is a realistic situation.
Neither the peg nor the hole should be expected to make all the changes. This is a delicate situation in which it takes time, and patience, and practice working together to change the environment so it’s a better fit for everyone equally.

Expectations.
Am I expected to do all the compromise? All the changing?
Do I expect YBW to do all the compromise? All the changing?
Do I expect Thing G to do all the compromise? All the changing?
Any one of those expectations is unrealistic. The expectation that every person can compromise a little, can change a little will create an environment in which each member is more comfortable.
I’d like to better manage my expectations.

I just want to be comfortable in my environment.
I want the others to also be comfortable in the environment.

Thing is, I believe I’m the only one that’s uncomfortable.
So is it a me problem as opposed to a we problem?

I honestly don’t know.
What I do know is that I need to stop being a dick.
I need to pay attention to how what I say and do impacts the people around me.
I need to have courage and be kind.
I need to do everything in love.

I’m tired of this same old song.
I think I’m the only one singing it.
I must stop singing it.
It’s the only way I’ll find peace.

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Categories: me, peace and wellbeing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

a week in the life…may I please have a “do-over”?

So preschool still seems to fit me ill…

This frustrates me to no end! I am struggling to bring structure into the classroom, I’m struggling with two year olds who just haven’t experienced the type of routine and expectations I’m bringing with me.
I met with the director again today to voice my concerns…she pointed out the drastic changes in that room since my arrival…she is willing to provide everything on my “wish list”…she needs me and continues to champion what I bring not only to the classroom, but the twos program at large.
And while this is nice…I honestly know what I’m bringing and I can tell you I bring it like a boss! I learned from some pretty amazing teachers. (I’m not bragging, I’m being honest.)

YBW suggested after an almost 10 year break in teaching two year olds, perhaps that ship has sailed…that maybe, just maybe that’s not where I “am” anymore. That even though my heart loves that age, I may be in a different place and it just might not fit me anymore.
I’ve been considering this…my degree is secondary education…this means middle and high school…perhaps it’s time to embrace the teenagers of the world and leave the two year olds to those more currently equipped?
Perhaps I need to give it a little more time. I can feel it easing up…I’m just not on target…of course school only started three weeks ago. I need to cut myself some slack. They’re going to get it as I teach and model it…I need to remember to be kind to myself.
Preschool will be fun once we get our groove on.

And then:

Thing 2 dropped the biggest baddest bomb on me Thursday. “I’m just so done, Mom!”
This means she has decided to no longer consider me as her mother…she isn’t coming to her home here…she doesn’t want me to contact her…she doesn’t want me to “try and take care of” her.

Tears.
Confusion.
Pain.
Anguish.
Tears.
Anger.
Heartbreak.

She says it’s because she “has spent (her) whole life taking care of (me). That (she) has been responsible for (my) happiness and has never been able to do anything, (she) always had to be too perfect and a good kid to please (me). Because (I) told her she was my favorite person in the world, that put too much pressure on (her) and (she) has decided (she’s) unwilling to do it any more.”

WTF?
So much for 16 years of positive relationship…so much for making sure I’ve spent my entire adult life working to do what was best for her (and her sister) .
I am hurt and confused and want to understand how this came about.

My “sister” Sundance told me her Girlie Thing said, “Is Thing 2 mad Aunt Roby moved to YBW’s house? I think I would be if you did that.”
Sundance asked, “Enough to make you not want me to be your mommy?”
Girlie Thing said, “I that what Thing 2 said? No Mommy, that’s not Thing 2, someone else said that first.”

My friend and mentor said, “For the first time in my life, I am literally speechless.” (If y’all knew her you’d understand the seriousness of that statement.) She agrees with my niece, that Thing 2 is “seeing through someone else’s lenses”.

YBW cried with me and said, “I’m not as sad as you are, but I am so very sad.”
He holds my hand quite a little bit more lately because the sadness comes and goes suddenly and without warning. Today he was snuggling with his own Thing 2 and I had to leave the room because I couldn’t watch it…I was already feeling so sad.

The theory is she’ll sort her shit (pardon my French) and come back to me.
My thinking brain understands and mostly agrees, my feeling brain (heart?) can’t seem to go there.

My friend and mentor says, “You raised her well, she’s going to figure out how to see through her own lenses again and she will come back to you. And there you will be with open arms.”

Yes, my arms will be open…will my broken heart ever be able to trust my baby again?
If wishing makes it so…

Categories: education, loss, love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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