Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I Need A Frappuccino.

Parenting has been particularly difficult lately.

"Let me splain. No, is too much. Let me sum up." (Inigo Montoya of The Princess Bride)

This all has to do with the fact that all the girls have been grounded for 3 days, and Rose and Baby have been grounded for 4. There have been numerous times where Rose has needed to drive somewhere "not fun" in order to accomplish an errand, and I have said no. Because she's grounded. She doesn't understand; apparently she thinks it is my fault that several things in her world have gone wrong on account of the grounding. She can't accomplish an errand. Can the grounding start tomorrow so she can spend the day with The Boyfriend and his mom? (probably to complain about me!). No, sorry, the grounding starts now. It amazes me how they want to gladly accept the consequence, as long as it fits into their idea of how it should. And doesn't complicate their lives at all.

Rose and Baby both had fall-aparts about the grounding, and so they got an extra day added.

And Hunk O Man stepped over the line the other night. After I related the conversation I had with Bunny -- about how it was my fault she was late for music lessons because I grounded them and Rose couldn't drive and she didn't come down to leave until 5:28PM (lesson at 5:30PM) and it's a 5-7 minute walk and it HAD been raining before, so Rose should have been able to drive her, and so it's Mom's fault --

He said "Don't you marvel at how your parents put up with you?"

Something in me rises up and thinks this may be grounds for divorce in some marriages. Hmmph. If only it were untrue.

Just like the time I asked my own Mom to take Bunny and just raise her until she was about 15 or so -- and my own mother said "Oh no, honey, I already did."

SO not fair. What goes around comes around and sometimes it's in the form of a kid who is just like you. My only consolation is that at least it will be passed on to her and she'll get her just desserts as well.

You know, I vascillate frequently between being the parent the kids love -- risking being the parent who later can't stand the kid because they never put their foot down, or being the parent the kids hate now and love later because the parent did put their foot down. It is a losing battle either way. A total no-win. I am convinced there is some kind of happy medium, and I continually search for it. I try to say yes as often as possible without being a pushover. I try and say no and hold my ground when I am making a stand.

And sometimes they're just mad at you and there's not one thing you can do about it.

It wears on me. I like my kids. They are great kids, and usually they behave like people I not only love, but want to be around. I like them. They are great people.

This is not a fun situation. It is a wearing, difficult situation. There is a lump in my throat and I feel burdened. I want my kids to like me, too. I don't want them mad at me. They're not unhappy at all with Hunk O Man. And he's as responsible as I am for the grounding.

But ultimately, I think there have to be consequences for actions. This is how life works. Sometimes we mess up, and along with forgiveness, there are those messy consequences that disrupt your life and make it uncomfortable. We are irritated and mad at ourselves and tend to blame others for the mistake. We bristle under the discomfort and complain that it is too harsh. We whine and cry when things which normally work fine take more time and effort and planning in order to accomplish. We are happy when it all ends and things go back to normal, and we usually continue in our thinking about how the consequence is harsh and unreasonable.

Seldom do we look back and say, "You know, I'll never make that mistake again."

But seldom isn't never. I have hope.

1 Comment:

Linda said...

We were just discussing at staff meeting (work at a church) at how parents struggle with the whole friend vs. authority figure thing. Since two of my three are basically out of the house at college now, I can tell you that they actually THANK me for not "spoiling" them with material things and not allowing them to be brats. (They also tell me what I did wrong.) Yours will thank you, too. So let's toast motherhood; you hold up your Cymbalta; I'll hold up my Wellbutrin!