I started this post in April and never finished it. It’s been that way with a lot of things lately.
I am still reading a book from each letter of the alphabet and have finally made it to the letter “R”, but today, instead of reading the book or working or doing any of the other things I should do….I am procrastinating.
the books i’ve read so far
I liked each of them for different reasons, but was disappointed to find out that Olive Again was a sequel to a book that I had skipped. I was also a little thrown by Q is for Quarry because Sue Grafton has a whole series of books that came before that one and it made it a little difficult to connect to a character that other readers might have known more about. I felt that Kinsey’s character was not quite finished when I finished the book and that’s because there were more in the series to come….
Now I am on to Raising Good Humans…..which technically I have been trying to do for over 10 years now. I don’t remember where I saw this book, but it was recent and since I knew I was needing an “R” title soon, I snatched it up. It is pertinent to things going on in my life right now. I am having a bit of a crisis of personality on multiple fronts.
Let’s start with parenting. I have always wanted to be a good mom; a great mom even, but what does that even mean? I picked up this book because one of the reasons I feel I need it is that I yell. My kids and I have had multiple conversations about my yelling. Not because it’s a regular thing like certain people would lead you to believe, but because it’s something I don’t like to do and they don’t like either.
Our discussions usually follow the same pattern. First I tell them that I understand that they don’t like that I yell and that I also don’t like that I yell. Then I ask them if I yell a lot and they tell me no. I also ask them if I yell the first time I ask them to do something and they again tell me no. We talk about how I usually yell when it’s the fourth or fifth time I’ve asked them to do something and now I am out of patience and feel like I’m not being heard. We talk about how we can all do better to prevent the yelling.
But I am still left feeling not quite satisfied at the end of that conversation. Am I blaming them too much for my actions? Should I be better about this and able to control it more at this point in my life? Is yelling inevitable as a parent? Is it realistic to expect them to do things the first several times I ask? Crisis of personality…..am I actually a good parent?
That brings me to the next point. I am not even supposed to write about this, so I’m not sure if I will actually publish this post at all, but my relationship is always a rollercoaster. I get lectured about my yelling and how terrible of a parent it makes me. My yelling is a problem for many reasons. The first being that I am giving my kids anxiety (not necessarily true, but opinions aren’t fact) and that I am wrong to yell (because everyone says so). The second being that yelling brings my kids into things that aren’t their problem (probably true, but also not always yelling…sometimes just speaking with emotion that gets called yelling). And finally, the yelling is a problem because people who grew up in houses with yelling don’t want to live in houses with yelling…..but some people just don’t listen to others and that makes them feel the need to yell to be heard.
Being heard is a problem of mine. I don’t feel heard in many settings in my life and I think that’s where the yelling comes into play the most. The Raising Good Humans book has many exercises in it. I have been avoiding the first one because I am afraid that I already know the answers to my reactive parenting and that I don’t need a book to tell me this. I am afraid of what more mindfulness in my life will reveal about myself and my insecurities.
In all honesty, I feel very mindful and aware of some things that hurt. One is that I have not lived the life I truly wanted to live. This one hurts not because of what I have missed out on…..life is not over, I still have time…..but because this is a sentiment that my dad expressed before he left us. I don’t ever intend on walking out on my family, but I do struggle to balance what I want with what they need from me. I can’t eat what I want, act how I want, do things I want because I am constantly being judged…..and the judgement is that I am unworthy and not enough.
So, that brings me to my last area of discontent. I am not finding love in my job at this time. I don’t know how to best describe it. I want very much to reach my students and to engage them in a way that makes them leave my class feeling strong and inspired. However, I also want them to meet the standard of taking my work seriously and understanding that what I teach is college level….not high school. I have said many times that I hope that they never have someone come into their place of employment and tell them that their job is pointless or worthless.
I don’t yell at my students, but I feel like many of my communications with them are like lectures of what they’re not doing instead of praise for what they are. I want them to follow the rules and to enjoy it. I struggle with how to make that happen. Flexibility is not my strong suit….Libras like fairness and balance.
procrastination no more
So, here I am many paragraphs and words later still procrastinating and not reading or doing the writing exercise. No new decisions made, no new growth of character created. But, looking at the prompts in the book it looks like I’ve already started….
- How do you feel about your parenting now?
- What are your frustrations?
- What do you want to feel instead?
- What would you like to change about your behaviors?
The big question is….how do I make the me that I think I am be the me that is relayed to the outside world? How do I stand up for being the best me that I know I can be and want to be? I guess I’ll just have to finish this and try to find the answers to those questions and more.
What are your parenting mistakes and how do they translate to other areas of your life?