***Please excuse my mistakes. I needed to release this and proofreading and correcting my mistakes (I’m sure there are many) would only add to my current frustration. In a couple of days I will read it and those mistakes will make me cringe. Today, I’m like screw it.
It is incredibly difficult for me to find balance. How can you be kind, caring, and genuinely nice without being a pushover: without being someone everyone thinks they can say whatever they feel to and not care how it makes me feel. The balance of being strong and being an honest, good, person doesn’t seem reachable. To stand my ground on issues important to me, without allowing anyone to insert or force their opinions on me like demands, I feel like I have to be bitchy ALL THE TIME. Bitchy is not easy for me; kind and good is. How do I balance this.
Recently some family members have angrily inserted their opinions on me about how I am raising my children. I have been through hell and back protecting them from all kind of ridiculous people and situations my ex was carelessly involved in. I’ve managed food allergies and adhd and all that comes along with advocating for both of them. I’ve research the best way and talk to many professionals to do my best to try minimize the chaos of their family falling apart, while my parents were dying, one right after the other. Yet their opinion on how I discipline my children I know better than anyone is their business!
I’ve had two family members, one I have been very close to, yell at me and my children over absolutely nothing. My 8 year old son picked up a piece of food with his hand to eat instead of using his fork, a fork he was using but having a hard time picking up this one food. This was something I didn’t care about AT ALL. We were with family and not out at a restaurant. We were at the beach on vacation. This was suppose to be easy and relaxing but no, the last two beach weekends have been the same, yelling at me because I do not want you to disapline my children. The same children you know nothing else about: not what grade they’re in, not how they do in school, not their favorite colors, favorite pets, not what makes them happy and what makes them sad. NOTHING. Yet I’m suppose to allow you to yell at and aggressively yank up and close face yell at them because you feel they’re being disrespectful. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME. Since I wouldn’t allow it and ask you to back up you decide to insult my 8 year old child and tell him he messes up everything and we can’t do anything fun because of him. It isn’t even remotely true, unless eating one noodle with your fingers is so unbearable. No, no it isn’t that YOU have secretly been drinking all day and are losing your mind. No it’s me and my child who has the audacity to eat a noodle with his hand. One.
Maybe it’s too hard for the two of you to sacrifice your love of peanut butter and peanuts for 3 freaking days because my daughter is so allergic to it it could actually take her life away. It’s too much of an inconvenience for you to not be able to make your child a peanut butter sandwich so you do it anyway and then wipe his hands with a wet paper towel and think we are being difficult. Water doesn’t kill the protein and when he wipes his hands all over everything including her, she could have a serious, life threatening reaction. Maybe you were irritated when I started the weekend mentioning that she and I were on high alert regarding her allergy because one of her friends just had a really close anaphylactic reaction to an accidental ingestion less than a month ago. Her mother and I are friends and she talked to me about how afraid she was and how it was out of her control. It was a raging poison attacking her child. Making her skin bubble as it came threw her nose as she vomited, then she watched as the hives crawled across her stomach up and down her limbs, up her throat and started closing her airway; one epipen, then two with both only helping for a couple of minutes before her airway began closing again. She told me they luckily made it to the emergency room before the small spaces lettting air through closed completely. She told me how she hadn’t realized how epinephrine itself could cause her child to go into cardiac arrest so now she had to be hooked up to a heart monitor to monitor it closely so hopefully, if it occurred, they would be prepared. She told me the number the pulse oxometer read and that she couldn’t allow herself to process what that meant until the crisis was over and her child’s life wasn’t in the balance. All because of a food she was told, by an adult, was safe. How rude of me to think the peanut butter alternative, in the cabinet would suffice for 3 days, if the craving got too big to handle . I can’t believe I asked so much of you to mess up your routine, your food cravings, and something your child wanted and had to have. I’m sure it was hard on you to do without it for…idk, was it 18 hours maybe? 8-10 of which we were all asleep at night. I’m sorry we are such a problem. I am sorry we mess up all the peanut butter fun. Gosh, how could I be so inconsiderate of your needs. What a bitch I am.
Yet when I was yelled at and disrespected I didn’t do the same to you. I am an adult and even thought you’re 2 years older than I am, you still are not. I tried to walk away but you followed me. I tried to not react and asked you repeatedly to stop which made you push harder. You didn’t like it when I told you I didn’t know what you were even talking about so you got in my face and acted like an angry teenager, not in control of their emotions due to increased hormone spike. I walked away and told you you weren’t allowed to speak to me like that. I walked away and you followed me into my room, where my son was waiting for me, and look at him but said to me, At least my son doesn’t ruin everything. We can’t ever do anything because of him. Which made my little boy cry so hard that he couldn’t breath. The look of satisfaction on your face was disturbing and when I picked him up, grabbed my keys, and told you that you crossed the line and that I was done with you, you said, whatever to me. Who does that?!? Who feels satisfied and proud of hurting a child over a freaking noodle that I put on his plate so he could feel like a part of the family at dinner, as we all ate spaghetti. He doesn’t like spaghetti sauce but will sometimes eat a plan noodle. I can barely get him to eat anything. He has a problem with some textures and he has a difficult time eating meat at all (tender hearted and can’t eat an animal). He doesn’t like beans either so I have a hard time getting the correct amount of protein as well as other needed nutrients into him. So to me the fact that he’d eat anything was enough for me, utensils or not. No worries, they choose not to know this about him; when I’ve tried to explain it before I was met with rolled eyes and stories about how in your day all children were raised the same. That’s bullshit but if that is what you stubbornly choose to believe, great. It isn’t what I believe. You still insist on telling me I’m wrong and feel strongly that you are right. Who are you? What gives you the right to talk to me like you are some expert when your own child’s adult life is so turned upside down that you support her 100%. Thee adult child that has been screaming at me and acting completely irrational. You want me to follow your guidance on raising children? Ummm, no thank you.
Me being empathetic and caring makes me a target. People think they can dominate me because I keep my cool and care about people. I don’t need to act like a buffoon and yell, scream, and hit my children to discipline them. That’s not who I am. So you tell me I coddle them. Over and over this phrase is used ad nauseam to try to push my buttons but it doesn’t work. I surprise you by not disagreeing. Yes, I love and treat my children tenderly because I am their safe place to land everyday after dealing with people like you. Breaking them down and making them fear you isn’t something that should bring you pride. Maybe your anger comes from the fact that even during all of your screaming I calmly told you I didn’t agree, didn’t know what you were even talking about, and tried repeatedly remove myself. Maybe the fact that you couldn’t make me doubt myself and do as you instructed me to do infuriated you. Guess what, when it comes to my children, no one can push me around. What gives you the right. I’m not trying to criticize your parenting even if I disagree with some things you do, because it’s not my business.
I am a solid force, quiet and strong. I am sure of my beliefs and I am willing to walk away to keep them from seeing your ridiculous behavior that I never had to witness, not even once, as a child. I won’t allow it. It isn’t normal and as their mother I refuse to allow them to witness it again so they start believing it is. Push me I won’t fall. You can’t knock me down. I’ll stand alone without support and still be stronger than you’ll ever be.