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Realising stuff...

I'm starting to realise a few things - they may seem like "duh" things to all of you out there in cyberland, but to me they're kind of just sinking in...

As Dr Phil says, do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?

I've been measuring myself up against other parents, in a bad way... That is, I've been trying to tell myself, if X with 5 or 7 kids and no car and no external support can be a homeschooling parent, then I sure as hell can! This isn't true. Same as with any parenting practice really... I say, if Y can cloth nappy all those kids without a dryer, then I should be able to to... Again, not true... If Z can have a homebirth with kids in the room, then I should be able to as well...

Why do I beleive these things? Why is it I will ignore the blantantly obvious (my own unhappiness, the children's unhappiness, Dave's unhappiness) just because I feel I "should" be able to do what someone else is doing, based on the variables I can "see"...

Let's not steal the "other person's" thunder here, let's say another parent, who's dh works more than my dh (so she has less daily help at home), who has more kids than me, who also doesn't drive, who seems to be a great, empathetic, cheerful, COPING parent, and who is homeschooling, REALLY is all that she seems to be, isn't that great?! So why do I feel like I HAVE to be all of that too? Why do I feel like if that person can do it, I should have no excuse because my dh is home more than half the week, and I have fewer kids - even though my own anecdotal evidence is screaming that I actually AM NOT coping that well, and my relationships at home are suffering because of it?

Makes no sense.

I'm trying so hard to be "right" that I'm forgoing everyone's happiness, including my own...

Which only leads straight back to my life lesson - that I must learn to LET GO! I must not cling to an ideal that isn't even working out to be particulary idyllic.

Less is sometimes more.

Sorry for the ramble guys, I'm just sorting stuff out in my head. Trying to get real about a few things... I totally admire people who can do things I want to be able to do and can do them well. What I have to come to erms with is that if I'm not doing them as well as the people I admire, I need to be realistic and see if my continuing to try and do tham on other people's terms sin't actually costing my family more than I'm hoping it will gain us...

For example. my ideal is to homeschool all my kids, be a wonderful loving, caring, fun mum and supportive partner of my dh. In the past couple of years I've been doing the first of those three things, but slipping badly on the second and faltering a bit on the third (by slipping badly on the second because he is left to pick up the slack and it's more than he can handle - which he has been very honest and upfront about each time I've pitched for another child, can't fault him there)... So, taking on more than I can obviously chew and chewing like hell has basically seen me end up with a hefty case of lock jaw...

Ok, so what if I don't homeschool, but I do go get some counselling to deal with my rage and I do work on being a better mother, more compassionate, more loving, more fun... The kids will likely encounter lots of things at school that will upset them. Are those things worse than the things that are upsetting them at home? Well, I don't know that yet, of course... what I do know is, that I want my kids to feel safe and loved at home and I'm not sure they do - I'm not sure Erik does, well not as much as I'd want him to.

I don't have the support I need to do the things I want to do. I don't have an extended family, I don't have the means to get out with the kids, without it being more work than fun. To be very honest, I don't hve the internal resources to do it either - I'm basically a very wounded person still, I'm sooooo much better than I was a few years ago, I know that, but really I haven't scratched the surface of the stuff I need to heal from. On these limited resources I'm trying to be someone who can give and give and give.

Dave is very good to me, he gives me a lot, both in practical and emotional support, but he has his own issues as well, so he gets drained too.

So, basically I'm trying to sail a very holey boat, keeping five people afloat and relaxed and enjoying themselves while screaming at everyone to bail water as fast as they can, and refusing to allow the other boats passing us by and offering to take some of our load to help out...

Comments

Rae said…
You'd think your honesty would make me feel better but in this circumstance i found myself thinking "She worries she's not good enough??? Man I need to pull my finger out I have ONE kid." LOL

Would you describe yourself as being a perfectionist? I definately suffer from it and it's a horrible disease at times. It's so destructive in the way it undervalues every positive step you make. I like the philosophy of treating yourself as kindly as you would a friend. I would never be as judgemental of someone else as i am of myself. Stupid isn't it? :)

Yet again I'm m.e..andering towards my point! You express yourself very well. LOL
Sif said…
I have some perfectionist traits, but wouldn't classify myself as a perfectionist (my mum and my brother are perfectionists, and compared to them I'm waaaaay laid back)...

What I am is an idealist... I want to believe thing can be just right and good, no matter the obstacles...

I'm als a person who tends to want it all, or not want it at all...

And I'm embarrassed to admit this (but how else can I overcome it), I am a matyr to admiration - I'll bend over backwards for the admiration of others, and go out of my way to do/be something that other KNOW doesn't come easily... Like how I couldn't just do a Masters, I had to do a Masters while having two babies BETWEEN semesters no less, and NOT accepting any favours for my vision impairment... Because the harder I made it for myself the greater I'd be admired by others, I thought (not consciously, but I knew that it was there in the background)...

When I get to the heart of WHY I'm this way inclined, perhaps I'll be able to stop doing this...
casso said…
What an insight, Sif you must feel so relieved to have explored this aspect of yourself and to put it out there...well, now you know everyone 'knows' so you have the freedom to discuss and share with others. I admire you...but maybe I shouldn't given your last comment, LOL! :o)

I understand the admiration thing, although I don't ascribe to it anywhere near as forcefully as you do, but I can definitely understand the seductive pull of that type of martyrdom, it's very deep and strong and for some reason very feminine to my mind as well. *phew* Put a damn full stop in there, Cass!

I have moments where I am so very deeply ashamed of how I *don't* cope with Harry and that's just one baby! I honestly can't see myself every being able to deal with three, let alone thinking about a fourth. I'm sure your counsellor will have to say, at some stage though, that you (and Dave) deserve a break from the boys just so that you can define yourself in a manner beyond the 'home Sif'.

Am I making sense?
Love, Cass

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