I have had an internal debate on whether or not I should writing about this, and I finally decided to because I find that writing my thoughts can be something of a catharsis. I've spent almost a week thinking about this and feel I can be somewhat objective. This weekend, it was brought to my attention that people have quit reading my blog because I am perpetually talking about "offloading" my kids. This took me by surprise.
So, I stayed up one night and read this blog from beginning to end and I.AM.PUZZLED. I'm hoping I get some responses simply because I'm missing it. And maybe that's because I am too close and just not seeing it. Now, I will readily admit that I was anxious for the kids to be back in school (as I am every year, for the same reason) because THEY.WERE/ARE.BORED. And when they're bored, they fight. Incessantly. Had I not provided a summer of activity for them, I'd take responsibility for that. But I did. So I won't. I don't think it's fair to include my desire to see the kids back in school and engaged in something other than fighting with their siblings as "offloading" so I chose not to include those posts as I perused this blog.
I found one instance where I commented in a negative way about having my child around and the reality is, they wouldn't understand it unless they had been there. All we wanted was to sit and relax and my youngest expected us to entertain her. On a 19 ft boat. At 9pm at night. She was unhappy that we were unwilling and she made sure we knew it. But by in large, I believe I am fairly complementary about my kids, however I do not write this blog to be a shrine to them. For the most part, they're great kids. But sometimes they're little shits. Yeah...I said it. And I'm not going to apologize because EVERYONE, at some point in their parenting years, will think of their kids in this manner. If you don't, then you're drugged and you just don't care.
Here is the thing: I am with my kids 24/7. If I am not with them, then I am at their beck and call. I don't do things for me because, for the most part, it is too difficult to arrange seeing THEIR needs are met seamlessly. (I was trying to think of the last time I had time away from them that was for no other reason than *I* wanted/needed it; it was about 5 years ago, when my husband and I went to Mexico) Then, it would follow that when they have the opportunity to go someplace, whether it be a friend sleepover, or a church event, I am enthusiastic. I keep track of Sleepover Syndrome and will not allow sleepovers if I see attitude problems arise (which, means *I* double suffer: one their syndrome, and two their anger at being prevented another sleepover) . So, this isn't all about me and my needs. Just having one less child on any given night changes the dynamic of our interactions. For example, one of my girls talks non-stop. If she's not there then we get a chance to hear the other kids. This past week was Fall Retreat with church and my older two girls went. We got to see a dynamic of JUST my son and his little sister and how they interact without interruption of his other sisters butting in (and let's be clear, they DO butt in).
The reality of my situation is that it is NOT their situation. It never will be. I have 4 individual little souls for whom I am responsible for seeing to their welfare. And if you DO read this blog you will see that they are for the most part as different as night and day and normally I celebrate those differences. But, when you put them all together they don't typically act on their similarities, but rather their differences which puts me in referee mode. Constantly. So go ahead and judge me for wanting to remove the stripes for an evening or two.
I asked my oldest daughter, who keeps pretty close tabs on this blog, if there was anything that I had written that she felt was inappropriate or showed her and/or her siblings in a bad light and she responded no. She said that I typically write about our life. The good, the bad and the ugly. That set my mind at ease.
I think, really, it comes down to perspective. They don't walk in my shoes. And don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I happen to love my shoes. They fit me well. But if they're going to make judgements on my shoes, then perhaps they should walk a mile in them. Then get back to me.
And funny enough, this blog is NOT required reading. Anywhere. I do this for ME. I write because I hope to someday print off my blog for my kids to read when THEY have kids and hopefully they will see that, yeah this parenting gig isn't always easy. Sometimes it's tough. Sometimes it's funny. Sometimes I try to make tough situations funny. I want my kids to know that if I can do it (and survive) they can too. I have chosen not to do ANY advertising (except for the blogs that I like reading) so I don't get paid for people coming to read my blog. This is nothing more that a little voyeurism into our family life written from my perspective. But if they can't understand my perspective, don't hesitate to make use of the little "x" in the upper right corner. I promise, I won't be offended.
2 hours ago