Thursday, June 14, 2007

"No Success Can Compensate . . .

...For failure in the home." So the quote goes and so my SIL reminded me when I recounted to her a conversation Tyler and I had the night before. Bless my husband's heart; I mean really bless him all over the place, but he was very generous to let me have a huge whine fest the other night when he opened it by saying, "You seem kinda burned out." Oh baby, let me count the ways. So, of course, for the billioneth time I had to belabor the laundry list of issues I am having. Y'all know I got a lotta issues. And primary among them is I can't let much slide off my back. SOOO much drives me nutso. The touching and poking and pushing and tagging and running and shouting and whining and NOISE. And I imagine it's fairly normal for siblings to be all over each other, but I tend to try and intervene, cuz, well, that's what I do. Anyway, Brevin and Brock are all rough and tumble and then someone is crying and that gets old all day long and Caylee constantly tells me about the injustices of their world and that drags on me after hearing about it forever. I have read enough to know I should be sugary sweet and ignore it all, but I forget all that when I am losing it and end up ranting and raving like a lunatic. No, really, it's that bad. I look forward to the day when my kids are old enough to see the warning signs and just back away. Like, "Oh. When Mom tells us she's losing her patience it probably wouldn't BEHOOVE me to tell her I don't like what she's making for dinner even though I have never tried it" or "Gosh, since Mom just said she's had a really long day and she's tired I am going to save the tattling about Caylee having a wet washcloth for another time since it's really not life threatening." Because, again, they tell me and I react. Oh, I have tried ignoring it, but that doesn't seem to work well either. So, when, at the finish of my unleashing Tyler asked, "So, what should we do?" (So typical. Problem + solution = no more onry wife) I suggested (kinda half joking) "Daycare? Really, they're the professionals. And then if our kids are screwed up as adults we have somebody to blame. Right now if they grow up all screwed up it's MY FAULT!" So, it recapping that story Lexi reminded me that "No other success in the world can compensate for failure in the home." My response to that? It's not going to be success if there's failure in the home! Shrug. I dunno. Seriously, this weighs heavily on my shoulders. I am raising people who will be out in the world one day and I have high expectations. I don't think I can not teach them to be the best because, despite all our best efforts, nobody is perfect. And I expect for them to be like me in that if I strive (or expect a lot of myself) for a lot in my parenting obligations, hopefully I'll fall short still in the "good" category. However sometimes I feel like I am shooting for the all-star parent and landing in the hopefully-they-won't-have-to-pay-too-much-in-therapy zone. I do have to say, I think for the most part my kids are good in public situations (especially if you don't count Caylee's floosey reputation at preschool, Brevin's defiance in primary, and Mackenzie's need to take her teacher's spotlight), but at home, where we are ALL THE TIME, we need to be better . . .or mutes. We could be mutes and be completely successful, right?!

We didn't make it to kids camp today cuz Brevin had a case of the pukes last night. Isn't it funny how you try and trace your kids' illnesses and then it becomes the fault of someone else? Like that makes you feel better or something. Well, Brevin is sick because he was around Seth who was sick, like four days ago. Or, Mackenzie and Caylee had something similar that they got from Courtney when we were at Jared and Mindie's last night. So, as I am scrubbing the carpet of tossed watermelon and fish tacos-a-la-regurgetate I am thinking how it's all Seth and Courtney's fault. Which, it's not, but they're the closest relatives most recently sick. He seems fine today, but it was a long night when you factor in Tyler's band practice (solo bedtime duties, violin practice, baths, barf duty, etc.) with Brevin's repeat performances (in the toilet this time) and Caylee's bad dreams. We ended up with two beds on our floor and many trips across the house (which I don't say to sound like we have a large house, but it seems a far ways away at 1:15am and 3:43am and 5:20am) a few times. Again, the joys of parenthood. Now that I mention it, though, with Brevin kindof puny there's been less bickering as a whole. Maybe that's the ticket . . . sick kids. Munch-hausen anybody? JUST KIDDING, gosh!

Alright. Now let me qualify and reiterate, I love my kids. They make me laugh as much (well, probably more) than I scream. How can I not love it when my three year old says to me the other night when I was changing his clothes (and I am kneeling in front of him) "Mom, why do your boobs go down sometimes?" At first I thought he meant the underside of my bra being against my body, but then Brevin clarified, "No, when you take your shirt off your boobs go down." "Oh," I say, trying not to be sad for the plain truth, "it's cuz mom has big boobs and if I don't have a bra to keep them up they'll go down." Still playing Captain Obvious he keeps going, "They move a lot. Dad's boobs don't move so much as yours move." Me, "Nope, cuz Dad's got small boobs, well he doesn't have boobs he has a chest. Boobs move." Him, "Yeah, I got small boobs too." Yep. And so how can I not love those tender moments of education and honesty between a mom and child!? I do. I really do. Success or not!

8 comments:

Beth said...

I'm beginning to worry that if you don't lighten up on yourself and your kids you are going to have a breakdown. I don't know if it would make any difference to know that most good mothers care a lot and feel a huge responsibility for how their kids turn out. Perfect isn't even in the equation and never was supposed to be. There ARE going to be trials in the form of rebellious kids or whatever the case, because we're here to be TESTED. Accept that. In the moment. I don't know how your kids are compared to other kids, because I don't live with your kids or other kids. But, I imagine that they are pretty normal. Seems the key is in your not being so bugged by it all. I don't have the answer as to how that is supposed to happen, but that would help a lot. And who says you have to be all "sugary"? Unrealistic expectation! For every person touting sugar, there's another touting spanking. You really can't listen to too many voices. And complaining about dinner before they even get it? Maybe a couple of weeks straight of nothing but pbj would encourage them to give something else a try. Who knows? Think of the time you'd save making dinner. You could make something just for you and Tyler or whoever hasn't complained the day before. Don't I just have ALL the answers! Ha! You know how ludicrous that is; that's why I say it!

Kourtney said...

I have to say reading your blog makes me feel more normal. Because I ask myself all the time whether I'm going crazy? Or Am I the only mom who feels like this? I don't want my kids spending all their money at the psychiatrist on "mommy issues". But when they do and say those funny things it absolutely makes up for the times you just want to yell,"Shut Up!!!" I think we do try to be the "perfect" mom. But really perfection is totally overrated and when someone seems to be, it's a little annoying anyway.

chris jenkins said...

you and i are more alike than i thought. i have had many many days like the kind you describe and when you factor in kids that aren't even mine to the equation, yeah well. "no success can compensate for failure i the home." well, i think you, like me, have this vision in your head of how family life should be and set the bar a bit too high. who is to define what is failure or success? i think we get down on our ourselves way too much. i know for 100% fact that if you don't lighten up, it can or will lead to a breakdown. i've been to that point a few times and it hurts and is hard to come back from.

i think the best thing to do is to count all the good things each day and focus on those. i am not a good follower of my own advice but i share it anyway.

i also agree with the not cooking tactic. there has been many days i've told my family then fend for yourselves. at first, they think it's great but then after awhile they start to miss the home cooking. i have cooked maybe 2-3 days in the last 3 weeks. i've been fed up for awhile.

and the boob thing? take it as an opportunity to teach about gravity. well, next time you are at sam's, have Brevin hold a cantelope in each had. after a few seconds, he will get tired and almost drop them. And then you say "Mom's boobs are a lot like those cantelope. They are big and heavy and after awhile gravity brings them down because it is too hard to hold them up without a little help."

anyway, sorry for the novel. i have had kind of a crappy day and your post kind of made me think about my day.

The Fatman said...

OK Sarah I think seriously we should go have a drink. I will have a large Tokyo Tea and you can have a huge Coke. We will recap some of the horro storeys of people I know and how they have turned out and then we will recap the fact that you are doing a great mom job and that you are just really a worry wart. And then we will Dance and not care who sees it and then when we are done you cane drive me home LOL

slave said...

Now Sarah--we all go through this but I can't say I have had the boob conversation. How do babies get out? Can I see? I have boobs but they never watched me take my shirt off. Joe doesn't get to either. Do you believe that? ha Be thankful you have small children. Don't I repeat don't push them to grow to be teenagers. They half way listen as children. lol Good luck saggy boobs! lol I just had a thought I am older than you, nursed 6 kids and a couple xtras now and again. I don't think mine "fall" as much as your describe yours doing. lol

Jen Rose said...

I added you to my links. Is that ok? :) Nice that I asked first right?

Tyler said...

Ok, so I know this is a little late, but I had a busy week last week. Anyway, since I have been a parent for one whole week, let me tell you how to fix your situation.....HA!!! Just kidding! I have no idea what the hell I am doing! I am just glad Kiersten is quiet for the most part!!! Sounds pretty normal to me! Our parents didn't screw us up too bad, I don't think! I mean my therapy bills haven't REALLY been too expensive!! About the same a an average student loan!! That isn't too much, is it?!?! heheheh!! Anyway, all I know is ya do the best you can, and your kids are gonna screw up, and they will probably hate you in verious degrees for a number of years. I think we all go through that, and I think our kids will. The trick is that they still turn out to be good people, and at some point they at least learn to tolerate you. That's my dose of wisdom, I guess, from my vast experience. That, and when boys come over to see your daughter, be cleaning all of your guns at the same time. Then beging talking to the young man about what a hollow-poing .45 round does to the human body! I am hoping that will keep Kiersten single until she is at least 25!!!!! Later!

Chanel said...

oh my gosh, do you know how FUNNY you are?? I don't mean to take away from teh severity of your situation, but my land, this is liek Best Seller stuff. Your honesty and frankness is soooooooooo WONDERFUL!!
And can I just say as another woman with boobs that MOVE and hang low, oh so low, I can't find a bathing suit to keep them still and it BUGS!
I LOVE YOU!