It has been a tough week-end. I am ashamed to admit my throat is sore from yelling at my kids so much. No-one wants to admit that they have bad days as parents, especially not single parents. We are all matyrs when we have our kids, aren't we? And our time with them is supposed to be special and protected. When my son said tonight that he was going to miss me tomorrow - I said "really - even after all that scolding?" and he said "yes, I am going to miss you because I love you". I can't think of a better now statement than that. Because between us and our children, it has always been "I love you", it is "I love you" and it will always be "I love you".
After he said this, the guilt starting rising in my throat. And in these cases I always think of those awful but powerful monkey love experiments done by Harlow, and wondered whether I was the emotional equivalent of the bare mesh and not the terry cloth mother they deserve.
Normally I would say I am a patient person. Am I? Honestly my daughter was not even here most of the time, and maybe that was the problem. The short time we did have togethered somehow got marred by my need to fit everything in and there just wasn't enough left in me, except to argue. And I was mad at myself for allowing her to not be here, in the now, with her single-parented family.
So, I am in this constant internal debate about living in the now versus thinking about the future. I want to let her live in the now, which means sleeping over at friends' houses, going to movies, relaxing in the moment with a good magazine. Hey - I want to have my live in the moment time too and not have to think of the consequences of procrastination. Of course, the key to all of this is what it usually comes down to: Everything in moderation. Think a little bit "now", and a pinch of "tomorrow".
Finding that karmic balance means you have to let some things go, but acknowledge the consequence, and embrace the decision. Right now I have to accept that my living room looks like trolls had an all night party here, and not get angry that I am tired and writing my blog and tomorrow it will still look a mess. So what - I will get to it tomorrow. I made the decision to write my blog - right now.
Today I went roller-skating with my son. We left late, a last minute turn-around after I had already said this is not a good idea, and then caved. It took us 45 minutes to get there; I got lost on the way, and was kvetching the whole time about how we should be outside. My son then said you will like it when we get there. A prediction of a now moment that came true. All that wasted energy, angry energy, because I could have just accepted my decision. We had a blast. Turns out going to an indoor rink on a beautiful, sunny day also meant that it wasn't crowded. We almost had the place to ourselves. And I got to dance on wheels!
I had a relapse later on when I yelled at my daughter to empty the dishwasher (5X asking). The last ask I related it to watching our Sunday night program together - dishes not done, no TV. She still didn't jump to it and again I had to demand. Only now I see what the problem was - I was balancing the now and the later for her, but based on my own scale. My challenge now is to figure out how to help her measure her own "here and now" against the next hour, next day, next week, without it seeming like it is all for me. Just saying "it's your choice" is wearing thin.
I don't have an answer yet. Maybe next-time I hit the rink I will be able to dance and think of one at the same time :)