Lately, I've been feeling like a bad mom that lets her kids watch way too much television so I can either make wall hangings, or work on the computer, or make dinner, or sit on the toilet and shit by myself in peace. I often find myself annoyed by Luella in particular. Mealtimes are incredibly frustrating. She's a very picky eater and it's usually a battle to get her to eat the foods she does like and a waste of time to get her to try anything new. I know I shouldn't compare but I feel like I scroll through Instagram and kids her age are eating freaking radishes they've grown in their gardens and I'm over here trying to force feed my 4 year old eggs for breakfast. The other night, I took Luella out of the tub and she said "you don't even play with me." She's right. I don't. I hugged her and started crying. What happened to my imagination? I'm so focused on going through the motions of daily life, and responsibility, and frustration over that full plate of food in front of her that I'm no longer the carefree, playful girl I once was. I told Luella I was going to try harder to be better. To be a mom that plays and is more fun. She smiled.
Most days when Walt's home I'm frustrated. I have this dream in my head that the minute he walks in the door, he's going to make a pot of coffee and bring a cup of it to me in bed. He doesn't. But what he does do is helps me out a lot by taking Luella to school in the mornings on the days he's not working. Then he comes back home and most of the time he wants to sleep. I hate that. I know he's tired and deserves to nap but I hate it. I find myself resenting his job more times than I'd like to admit. I hate that he's totally sleep deprived and grumpy because of it. But I also don't want him to nap for 3 hours during the day and not spend time with us. He can't win. I can't win.
Something I haven't really talked about in detail is my friendship ending with Randee, who was also my former business partner. That's because it's hard for me to go there. Especially when I'm still so angry and hurt. I haven't been burned like that in a really long time and it's making me question my poor judgement in the friendships I make. I feel like everyone else sees red flags and either I don't or I choose to ignore them. Walt got a weird vibe from her a long time ago and throughout the course of our friendship, but every time he would bring it up to me I would make excuses for her. I wanted to protect her. Why do I do that? I want everyone to love the people I love, that's why. What bothers me the most is she acted like she was my friend when she was actually building up all of this resentment toward me and taking inventory of all the things she felt I was doing wrong. I understand she was hurt I chose to shut down the business but she never once told me how she was really feeling until it was too late. I'm the type of person that is open to criticism. Sure it never feels good to be criticized but if I've done something to upset you then I'd like for you to tell me. I'm a co-dependent. A people pleaser. I don't like conflict so if there's a problem I want to solve it. And if I've hurt you then give me the chance to apologize. She didn't give me that chance. Honestly, I feel used by her. She knows damn well I would have given her the shirt off my back and thrown in a couple more for her kids. She's become someone else. Someone I don't know anymore. I really feel she's trying to be something she's not. I even noticed it a while back but again, chose to ignore it so I could remain loyal in our friendship. She's lost herself. And she's kind of made me lose my hope in people. I often make the mistake of thinking everyone is coming from a good place. You give, give, give and people like her take it and run.
Ohhhh that felt good to get out. Fuck.
It may seem like all I'm doing is complaining about the people in my life and you're exactly right. I am. I need to see it in words so I can figure out how to change from here on out. I obviously can't control what my ex-friend did, or always expect a hot cup of coffee at my bedside, or even what my kid eats or doesn't eat. I CAN'T CONTROL ANYONE BUT MYSELF AND MY REACTIONS. I am the common denominator. I need to be better.
Here are the ways I'm going to do that:
- Be more spontaneous and playful with my daughter. Yesterday we went to the playground and ran around. We played tag, and hide-and-seek, and pirates. It was really nice to let my imagination run wild again. And even better to see the look on Luella's face. The look of pure innocence smiling from ear to ear because I was completely immersed in her world.
- Do more nice things for my husband. I think it's easy for stay-at-home moms like me to always complain about all they do and what their husbands (or partners) don't. I'm guilty of it. It's just not a good headspace to be in and it's really not fair to Walt. This morning, I went downstairs before anyone got up and started the coffee and made these banana crumb muffins my husband loves. When he came into the kitchen, he smiled and told me how appreciative he was. I think the lesson here was I don't always have to be on the receiving end to feel loved. I can do something nice for someone and get the same feeling in return. The feeling I've been craving all along.
- Choose my friends wisely. I've always preferred quality over quantity in my friendships but if they're not meaningful ones then it defeats the whole purpose. They have to meet me halfway. It's not fair to always be the supportive one, the cheerleader, the listener. If something good happens in my life I deserve a friend who is just as happy for me as I would be for her. I have to stop making excuses for people just because I care about them. Passive aggressive behavior is just as abusive as yelling or name calling. When I see or hear a friend being passive aggressive towards me, I have to address it right then and there. If it still continues then I need to remove them from my life. It's not healthy and most definitely not a true friendship.
That was probably a lot to take in. This post wasn't about airing my dirty laundry so much as it was facing the facts. It's not always about pretty scenes you might see on Instagram but sometimes it's about the real stuff we can all relate to. I used to keep everything to myself. I was afraid to have a voice. Fearful of rejection mostly. It got to the point where I would shut down so much that I began to feel numb. That's never a good place to be in. It's taken years and years of therapy to get me to the place where I am now. I'm an open book. If you ask me something, I'm going to tell you. Even if it's embarrassing for me. I've worked really hard to be my most honest self. And I'm going continue to work at being better.