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From the mouth of babes…to my couch for therapy

I got towards the end of this entry and laughed because I always call my blog my “therapy” but this entry really is on SO MANY LEVELS. As I started hashing it out I realized that, if I had a therapist, this is probably what a session would sound like so OH MY GOD – y’all should totally skip this one because it’s boring as crap. Maybe just read the last paragraph for a summary.

But good for me! Free therapy!

I tend to carry annoyances around with me a little longer than I should. You know, annoyance at the tiny trivialities of life. Like an inability to find a baby sitter so you could go to a gathering of friends, or a child having an emotional weekend and crying every 3 seconds, or a husband choosing to sleep in instead of working out early meaning you COULD have worked out early after all, or the rain squashing plans to gather with the cousins at the pool. All of those things happened this weekend and none of them are catastrophic but they all annoyed me which made me…how do I say it…a bitch.

I just get short and grumpy when those little things happen. I become the sort of person that rolls her eyes a lot. I lose all patience with everyone, adult OR child, I just kinda let those stupid little complications in my schedule or life taint my interactions for several hours and it’s really stupid.

On the way home from the family gathering that did EVENTUALLY end up at the pool (thank GOD, my kids were HEARTBROKEN when it started storming right as we were leaving) Wes and I were talking about “Why should you be good?” which is one of the many questions I feel like would be easier if we believed in God or Heaven/Hell.

“Because then you are doing your part to make the world better. And if you are nice/kind/good then people around you are more likely to be nice/kind good. It’s how we spread joy, remember?”

As we were talking Nikki noticed we were taking back roads home and she kinda interrupted me and said, “Where are we going?” since she didn’t recognize the route. I ignored her and finished my sentence talking to Wesley. Donnie said something also to Wesley to echo what I had been saying and she asked again to which I said, “Jeezus, we’re going home, where do you think?!” And of course she started crying because I snapped at her and Wesley says quietly, “That’s not really spreading joy…”

Now…it was tainted with a little bit of snark but for the most part it was a very sincere statement and QUITE TRUE. So true it almost made me laugh, except I was still annoyed by all of the issues I had mentioned previously. And do you remember one of the annoyance triggers was my daughter’s fragile emotions? So her crying of me snapping didn’t help much.

I acknowledged how VERY TRUE what he said was and I apologized to Nikki profusely. I know that’s something we all do, we tend to just carry our frustrations with us and sometimes get grumpy. But having your 7-year old son point it out to you is a bit embarrassing.

My Dad used to talk about that a lot, about carrying those frustrations around with you and how they just make you grumpy. I think that’s when he would usually go for a run and as the kids get older, that will be something I could consider, but right now “Just going for a run” is easier said than done.

What do you do to shake off a funk?

I also read this article late last night about self loving and while I hate the literary device lately of “What X Person Does That You’re Not Doing” – I did enjoy the article. If you had asked me yesterday if I loved myself I would have said, “Nah, I’m really hard on myself…” – and how bad I felt being a crappy Mom last night would be a prime example. But I read the article and I do everything in the article! A LOT!

So then I was thinking, I am definitely more self-loving than I was 10 years ago. All of the things I do in that article are kinda new in the last 10 years, but am still very hard on myself, so maybe that is still a manifestation of self love? What if I just have learned how much I can do, how much I can change, how powerful I am and strong and so now I get really disappointed in myself because I just feel like I’m capable of SO MUCH MORE.

So that was a strange revelation last night…that maybe my newly growing self love is causing me to be really hard on myself at times?

When something negative happens, self-loving people will look for a way to take responsibility, rather than searching for someone to blame. They know that placing blame doesn’t solve the problem — it only cultivates anxiety and helplessness. By choosing to take responsibility, self-loving people do themselves the favor of encouraging change and acceptance rather than stewing in stagnation and suffering.

I basically think I take that step too far. So, after last night I say to myself, “Dude. He’s right. That was ALL ME. And if I can run 52 miles in 12 hours then I can learn to not snap at my kids just because my schedule got complicated.”

Sidenote: I just stopped an wrote the preface you saw before because I suddenly felt like I needed a couch to sit on while I hash this out for a person writing notes in a notepad.

ANYWAY. So! When I do stupid stuff like carry around annoyances from stupid complications in my life, and THEN take it out on the people I love, I’m going to be really hard on myself because I love myself so much I know I’m capable of better. Is that a thing? Loving yourself so much you’re actually quite hard on yourself?

Because I think it’s a thing. I think maybe we can love ourselves so much we set up too high of expectations?

Whatever the thing, I have a lot to think about today. I need to work on shaking off stupid frustrations that happen in life (the schedule complications are always the worst because when you think you’re doing one thing – like a party with friends – and then suddenly you can’t, it just puts me in the worst mood) so that they don’t linger in my behavior for hours. And I need to love myself REASONABLY. I don’t expect perfection from my kids, I praise them for effort all the time, so maybe I need to do that for myself. And maybe that same “expectation of perfection” is what causes me to be so grumpy when small things complicate my life. Maybe I just need to set more realistic expectations for LIFE, not just for myself.

Well, that may be the most boring entry I’ve ever written in the 12 years I’ve been blogging. Thanks for sticking with me if you made it to the end! JEEPERS.

2 thoughts on “From the mouth of babes…to my couch for therapy”

  1. Long time reader, possibly first-time commenter? Anyway, this really spoke to me on several therapeutic levels. I had a wonderful and also horrible weekend with my three kids, and my late-night, can’t sleep thought loop was along the lines of how different my kids are, how parenting things I thought I was bad at because kid #1 is not much like me? Are a complete joke, because kid #2 is exactly like me in the most infuriating ways, and I utterly fail at parenting through those experiences as well. I think I’m finally grasping that the parenting stuff you get better at is the block and tackle, change diapers/pack lunches/manage schedules stuff, and the hard stuff just keeps evolving, and all we can do is act in good faith and ask for help when we need it and love the heck out of our kids. To answer your question, to get out of a parenting or any funk (which I initially typed f*ck LOL), I try to tell my husband and kids that I’m in a funk, so fair warning, and then I do typical things like eat junk food, read, drink bourbon, go shopping. Meh. It usually works soon enough. 🙂

  2. My husband and I get frustrated at very different things. When I’m frustrated, he is pretty good about helping me identify what’s going on, and either figure it out or give me space until I process and get over it on my own. However, when he gets frustrated it makes me frustrated, and he tends to hang on to things, which makes me even more frustrated, and then he magically just moves on and I’m still stuck wondering why he let abcxyz bother him in the first place. *sigh* It’s a process.

    And in a completely random and creepy confession, though we have never met I had a dream about you the other night. Long story short, I was starting a mountain bike ride (um, I haven’t been on a bike in about six months, and never actually a mountain bike!) and had a flat tire, and you and a friend saw and came over to help me out. You were ever so nice and friendly and said that you just hoped someone would help you out that way if you had a flat. And you very expertly took off the wheel, popped off the tire part, and went around the tube until you discovered a nail. And then you gave me a spare tube that you just happened to have on you because you were so well prepared. So if it makes you feel better, you do spread joy, in my dreams. Which, I know, is creepy, but I woke up thinking how nice it is to know there are good people in the world.

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