Why bother?

I certainly do not have many answers and I am very much on a journey trying to find how best to grow my family. I have to wonder if it is at all important what happened to me as a child? Am I just making myself more miserable remembering the harder parts? My parents cetainly followed that route. If something difficult is happening emotionally, just pretend it isn’t and distract self with activity and positive thoughts. And this is many ways is how I expected myself to live as an adult. Until I became a mother. But why bother wading through all those hard memories?

I think it does have significance. When my child will not sleep and I am at my wits ends I long for that illusion of control that would come if only I could intimidate him into going to sleep. After all that is how I treat myself…. I intimidate myself to ‘not go there’. It is the way I know.

Does that mean that I am making a better parenting choice when I try to look at why it is so important for me not to intimidate, shame or manipulate my son to do what I need him to do in that moment in order to cope? I think so. If I had more tools at my disposal to deal with frustration, I think I would be a better mother/better me.

Today I did stamp my foot and raise my voice after the umpteenth time that DS giggled and slid down off the bed when moments before he had been definitly falling asleep.  And he got scared. And I knew that in no way would I achieve anything good with this approach. I do not want my child to be scared of me.

I am sure there are those who would argue that it is not that bad if they are a little scared, as at least he would do things when it suited me. I am not yet ready to instill fear in my child for lack of my own coping skills. I do not know if I ever will be ready, but it does not feel right.

I am his world, and together with his father, his everything. It seems too cruel to take that away. And yet it seems such a daunting task to find the tools to deal with those moments of frustration and surrender to them. I keep relearning this lesson of surrender.

I am so aware in the moment of my frustration that I need a ‘fix’ and need to bring the situation back under my control. I know it is an illusion that by stamping my foot and shouting it’s all better. I know that it is a quick fix and one that I cannot rely on.

DS, I am so sorry you saw your mummy shouting and stamping her foot. I was having a very rough morning and am stressing out about all the family coming for a birthday meal and I want it to be perfect. It is not your fault that I got angry.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Why bother?

  1. There are a lot of different threads in this post, and in the previous one. I don’t know whether to say anything or not, or what to say something about.

    But I know one thing, and I am very sure of it — not bothering is a cover for cowardice. I know, I know, strong words, but it is. Of all the things that happen inside us, it is the ones we are not conscious of that end up ruling our lives. It’s simple as that. If you want to be free, you have to do the work of wading (and wading and wading and wading) through the hard memories. You have to examine what effect they had on you then, what effect they are still having on you. And then comes the fun bit — because once you know what’s wrong, you can set out to fix it. This part is generally easier than you ever thought it would be, I have found. It is getting there that is the problem. Really, once you know what happened / is happening to you, things are pretty simple, because what appeared unfixable, or irreversible generally isn’t that bad. And the feeling of being able to set things right is a great gift in itself.

    Although, and I’m speaking from experience here, first you have to get over the ‘I don’t want to be the one to fix it for myself, I want someone else to do it for me’ bit. Until you get to a point where it doesn’t matter who does what, as long as it gets done already! Every time I get to this ‘I don’t get who started it, I don’t care whose fault it is, I just want to get this over and done with’ I know I’m nearly done with whatever it is I am grappling with.

    But I digress. As usual.

    The point is that not only is there a reason to bother, there is an obligation to, in my book, anyway. If you have any aspirations to become a more mature, independent, happier, freer human being, anyway. So, well done for bothering, and don’t listen to people who say it’s pointless!

  2. Wow – as usual you are pretty much spot on! I know that I *should* bother, I do. It challenges so much in how I was brought up…. I just need to winge about it from time to time. I’m getting better and better at not listening to people who think I care too much or just don’t get it.

    Thanks for such an honest reply Xx

  3. Whinging is good for the soul, there’s no doubt about that 🙂

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