Today has been mostly awful. My heart is truly hurt, it’s pain loud enough to hear. It’s not the first time I’ve felt so inadequate as a parent nor will it be the last I am sure of that. It’s hard to lay my head and sleep when right at this moment I have a panic in my chest, my heart feels heavy with sadness and my mind tortures itself worrying…
I guess I just don’t understand what I am doing wrong. I fear that my lack of parenting skills will cause my family more harm than help. I always thought that if we provided a loving, supportive and safe home for them that they wouldn’t have to struggle. I came from such turmoil from the day I was created even while in my moms womb that I thought if I did everything possible to ensure my children would never experience any moment of that. I was going to break all that shit – break our families cycle of violence, addiction, abuse & crime. More importantly to let them grow up without feeling afraid of their parents. To never hit.
I was under some false allusion that if I respected my children they would respect me. I know my kids are not afraid of me, they know mom will never hurt them – but that I’ll most definitely hurt anyone who does hurt my child. But I could not have imagined that my kid would fight me on every single thing throughout every single day. UNLESS – I am willing to just say “yes” to their every request. The moment I have to say “no” to them they feel the need or burning desire to either get angry and volitile or cry and shut down.
Tonight’s melt-down led to my kid physically and verbally attacking me. My son called me a “fucking loser” and told me to “shut the fuck up”… this after we had spent the last ten minutes arguing over him simply taking the dirty dishes that were all over his room downstairs, and for him to get off the gaming/internet as it was time to get ready for bed. His argument was that we weren’t being fair, he didn’t want to stop gaming/internet. At first he was crying and defiant – but when we explained our expectations he flat out said he wouldn’t be cleaning anything. He didn’t like our tone – we weren’t listening to his point. I’ll tell you this though; we were listening – we just didn’t agree. Which to him means we are just being mean..I am not trying to mean. It’s my job to parent and set limits. My kids don’t have to like everything we decide but I wasn’t prepared for the deep cuts they would make sometimes.
It’s hard enough that he has been physically aggressive with me, but the words – the words really hurt. “Your just like your mother and father – your a fucking loser too!” Whoa… Like a punch in the gut taking the wind right out of me – it was painful to hear that. I don’t ever want to be anything like my mom or dad. I don’t want my child to feel comfortable spewing awful things at me. It’s totally overwhelming because how do I respond? Where do you find a bandaid – or antiseptic strong enough to cover up your pain?
I sit here terrified I have already done something really wrong as a Mom. I have tried to do everything the “right” way. I know I can’t be perfect but I better always being trying to be better for them and myself. But I am at a loss with this. I don’t know which way is up or down, I don’t really know that everything will be alright. It hurts to think of any of my kids hating me or hurting me, especially when that is not what we are teaching them. When I really think about what is happening I feel like maybe I fucked up.
Yes, I wanted to break all those awful cycles that have tormented my family for generations. But now I wonder if that’s even really enough? With absolutly zero experience being around a healthy family with children – I don’t know what is the right thing to do most times. I know what NOT to do… I got that, but I am missing something. I’m failing.
I bet my mother is laughing at me from – ugh, I don’t actually know where she is. You want to say she is laughing at me from heaven, but if all this religion is even a bit true she should be in hell. But wherever she is I can be assured she is say “I told you so.” When I was younger and would talk about having a family one day – and making sure they were always safe and felt unconditional love every moment of their lives. My mom would laugh at me. She would remind me that I was no better than them, I would end up being just like them. “Trust me” she would say; “the day will come and you will back hand your kid.” And that one day my kids will hate my guts too and I will finally understand what she has been talking about.
Then throughout the dozens of foster homes, counselors and teachers I would hear those same sentiments over and over. They would tell me that more than likely I would follow in my parents footsteps. It was inevitable that I would wind up in jail, drug addiction or become an abuser myself. How could I ever be different when that was all I ever knew. The stats where against me for sure, and no one felt sure I was going to make it.
I don’t know what the fuck I am doing, but want so badly to do better. My mom may be right about my kids hating me – but I will NEVER lay a harmful hand on them. I can’t imagine I could live in my own skin if I ever did. However, it may not matter at all in the end. I could break all those fucking awful cycles and still end up fucking up my kids. I was smug to think I was any better.
So yes, today I go to sleep with this sadness residing in my heart – but I’m going to wake up tomorrow and keep trying to move us forward. I am going to continue loving my husband and children with each moment that passes. I will pray daily that God has this…