Keeping your head as a parent is a lot like managing adult relationships

posted by Jeff | Monday, June 22, 2015, 8:20 PM | comments: 1

I made it a point to see a therapist as I went through the divorce process. When you're a part of a failure that affects you in such a deeply personal way, it doesn't hurt to get some help understanding how to cope and what you have to do to make better choices going forward. In that time, there were some emerging themes about your sense of self. Specifically, you need to learn that the language you use about your life and toward others matters, that invalidating your own feelings gets you nowhere, and above all, you have limits and need to "recharge." I was catching up with a friend today when this came up, and it was as if I forgot.

Language is funny. You have to describe the issues you're feeling, and when it comes to your kid, you often feel "guilty" about what you feel, or "resent" your kid or the commitments required to care for him. Using that language is obviously very toxic. If you simply stop classifying your thought process using those terms, you're left with a reality that you just need more time for yourself.

Indeed, we make excuses about things we feel all of the time, invalidating them as not worthy of complaining about. I find this to be especially true in issues around ASD. When I see a kid completely melting down, or a 10-year-old flapping his hands around among a crowd of younger kids, I think, "Well, at least I don't have it that bad." That's such complete bullshit. I don't know why we try to score our issues against those that others have. The mere existence of more difficult situations does not make our own less difficult.

Above all, we reach a point where we just don't have anything more to give. We need to recharge. As parents, we try to back each other up, but real life is that we all have limits. We need to be OK with that. Life, work, kids, relationships... they all draw from the same "batteries" and they will be depleted, and that "recharge" metaphor is real.

I think we've both been pushing up against those limits lately, but have engaged a fair amount in the above behaviors when it comes to being parents. We don't do it that much in the context of our interpersonal relationship (or at least, I hope we don't!), but the allegiance to Simon does direct it toward parenthood. I've gotta work on that.


Comments

Jesz, June 25, 2015, 10:08 PM #

Hi. I found your blog a while ago on pointbuzz, and I follow yours plus a billion other blogs from time to time. Anyway, I was just reading a blog named badparentingmoments.com. Thought you might enjoy it. It's pretty funny. It is for parents like you and I that feel parent guilt sometimes, when we shouldn't. Lol.

-Jessica


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