Once in a while I come to the realization that I can be very hard on people. I expect a lot. As a result, I am also disappointed a lot. Clearly this is not a healthy, fair or a productive way to exist. And I cannot say it is really a conscious thing. I think I am so very hard on myself that I naturally just put that on others as well. Now, I am not saying I am some kind of heartless hard ass. That is far from the case. While I am much tougher than I once was…I am still a bleeding heart. I forgive extremely easily. I understand and empathize with the troubles of others and always take that into account when considering their behavior. And there pretty much isn’t anyone I wouldn’t help if I could.
It also depends on the topic at hand. When it comes to parenting, that is where I become most judgmental. If you have read my blog before, this will not be much of a surprise. I have strong beliefs when it comes to parenting, raising children and teaching them. Beliefs which are SO strong that I sometimes block out other perspectives and am very quick to condemn another for doing something I see as very wrong. This is one of the times when Bitch Heather comes out.
And while I do not like this part of myself, I still stand strong in my convictions. I will always believe that feeding your kid McDonald’s on a daily basis is WRONG. I will always believe that booty shorts and eyeliner will never belong on a 10 year old. I will always stand by the fact that I do not think parents should be friends with their kids instead of being parents. There are certain things of which I know I will not waver. And because I am an opinionated loud mouth…I voice my frustration and disappointment in others for doing what I consider to be “wrong, lazy or stupid”.
Yesterday I, without taking a moment to process and perceive, automatically became angry when I was told that my husband’s ex was allowing their daughter to dance to a song I deem as inappropriate for a child in the school talent show. Quickly, I huffed and puffed and penned about my anger. I assumed she knew the song and simply didn’t care as many other parents seem to do these days. My step daughter’s mom has many different views than I do and obviously we clash in our ideologies many times. I was so upset that it had gone that far off from where I so strongly stand.
And many of you may think I am merely the step mom and I have no real right or reason to complain as she is not MY child. Its up to the parents and that’s that. True, I have no rights. And I have tried to step WAY back in regards to my parenting her. But you also should consider that I HAVE been a parent – a very active parent – to her for almost 10 years now and since she was in diapers. Every “step” situation is different and ours seems quite a bit different than many.
Anyway, her mother told me that she was not aware of the song lyrics or the inappropriateness of it being preformed by children. She did take that time to look up the lyrics and agreed to speak with her daughter about changing her talent show plans. I apologized to her for assuming she knew and was simply making a lazy, bad choice. I knew I was wrong to do that.
I then remembered one time as a kid in the car with my mom. The song ‘Walk on the Wild Side‘ by Lou Reed came on the radio. She turned it up and exclaimed how she loved that song and told me to listen to it. Then it gets to the part:
Candy came from out on the island,
In the backroom she was everybody’s darling,
But she never lost her head
Even when she was given head
My mom suddenly turned it down and gasped as she realized the lyrics. “Now that was stupid…I was wrong, don’t listen to the song.” And she had to laugh at herself.
My mom wasn’t a bad mom. She was young when I was born – only 20. She made her mistakes…some small, some large. But she did the best she could. The best she knew how. And I never considered her a bad mom because of that day in the car. So, why would I so quickly consider someone else ‘bad’ for something quite similar?
Being nasty to my husband’s ex has become admittedly and embarrassingly easy for me. My anger, resentment and bitterness have taken over the majority of my, what used to be, laid back personality. Yesterday she emailed me and apologized for things she has done to hurt me over time. She said she is working on things and hopes one day things can get better. Have I heard this from her before? Yes. A couple times a year it seems. But never before had we been in such a state of mutual hate. And though I am much more skeptical and weary…I know that SOMEthing has to change. This detest, this furious frustration, this constant battle needs to end. I cannot handle it and it is ruining who I want to become.
As my part of trying to heal this situation (not that it can ever completely be healed – who knows), I need to realize and remind myself constantly of the following:
1. Not everyone is going to agree with me…as right as I know I am 😉
2. I cannot control, fix or change others and I need to be okay with that.
3. Parents make mistakes. I make them everyday. I need to give people a break.
4. Not getting angry and lashing out doesn’t mean I am rolling over…it just means there are some things of which I need to let go.
5. Sometimes I can be kinder in my delivery.
As I say all the time, I am not perfect. And as I attempt to work on these things…I am sure I will fall back onto bad habits once in a while. But I do recognize that which needs to change on my end. As far as what other’s need to do…that is up to them to decide and there is NOTHING I can do about that.
- Fiction: The Case Of The Perfect Parent (momblognetwork.com)
- Some parents analyze too much (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Parenting Styles vs. Friendships (momblognetwork.com)
- Should A Parent Be A Friend To Their Child? (hellobeautiful.com)