the asshole that Charlie was today, I am super proud of myself that
when she ran directly into the cupboard that I had just opened, I did
not point at her and go "HA HA! Serves you right, jerk!"--My actual Facebook status yesterday.
I had more comments on this post than I thought I would, both private and public. It surprised me, to tell the truth. I was a little harried, a little flustered, a little frustrated, when I dashed off those words. I was letting off steam. I had no idea people would be so shocked. I figured people would know enough about my warped sense of humor to know that I was exaggerating slightly.
I was wrong.
I don't know if people thought I would actually call my child an asshole. I don't know if people thought that I would ignore my child after she just got injured. I don't know if people saw an opportunity to make them selves feel better about their shortcomings as a parent or a person and grabbed it with both hands to give it a big ol' French kiss while dry humping its leg. I do know that I got a heaping dose of judgment. It surprised me.
Any parent that says that they never get frustrated with their child is, as I retorted on my comments, "a damn liar or a saint". People are not perfect. Charlie can be an asshole. Elizabeth can be an asshole. Alexis can be an asshole. I can be an asshole. Charles can be an asshole. Every single person, on this planet, has had a bad day at some point and been an asshole. In fact, probably the only people who can't claim to have been assholes are babies that are pretty brand spanking new.
I fully understand that my daughter is a toddler. She is unable to reason. Unable to regulate her emotions like a sane person. Unable to put her pain, hurt, fears, and wants fully into words yet. I get that.
That does not mean that her behavior is acceptable. That does not mean that I am not going to give her a consequence when she acts on her aggressive impulses. That does not mean that I won't give her a consequence when she throws a fit. It does not mean that after a particularly trying day I won't look at her and not like her very much.
Like. I said like, not love. I will always love my children. The implication that I got from someone, that my children will ever question my love...that is extremely offensive to me. I would take a bullet for my kids, no questions asked. I will not eat lunch for a week so they can get new shoes when money is tight. I will make them ridiculously elaborate cakes for their birthdays because the days that they were born were among the happiest of my life. Each of my children is a miracle in their own right. The fact that they are even here is a miracle, and more so than children even are. They should not exist because the odds were stacked against each one of them. And yet here they are.
I will always love my children unconditionally. And yet, when they are being jerks, I might not like them. I might not want to deal with more of their bullshit. I might want to sell them to the gypsies. But I can guarantee you, I would be running after that caravan not 5 minutes later, ready to sell my soul to get them back.
What I did not say on the post, what I did after she ran into the door, was what was appropriate. I picked her up, gave her a hug, kissed the boo-boo, and set her back down on the floor to redirect her. I tried not to show her my impatience at yet another distraction from making dinner. I was successful that time. I am not always. I am human. I make mistakes. I snap at my kids, even yell. I hurt their feelings. I am not perfect.
The so-called "Mommy wars" drive me nuts. I really don't have any commentary about that subject that is new, so I won't bore you. People will probably say, well, don't put it out there for the public to comment on.
My response to that is: What about all the people out there who feel guilty as hell because they feel the exact same way on occasion, but are too afraid to voice it? I don't lie to myself and pretend that I have some huge audience or something...but a lot of my friends are parents. And parents sometimes struggle. And sometimes, knowing that you are not alone makes a world of difference, even if it is just to one person. And that makes it worth all of the bullshit that I have to take...because I know both what it feels like to feel that you are alone, andthat you are horrible because of your feelings.
If I can help it, my kids will know they are loved. If I can help it, someone out there will know that parenting sucks monkey balls sometimes, and that is OK. So all the haters out there can suck it. We don't always have to agree...but that does not give you license to try to make me feel like shit to make yourself feel better.