One of those days…

I wish I could say I have something profound to say but the truth is this is one of those days where I am hanging on by a thread. Its one of those days when I want to grab a bag and run far the fuck away from my life. A day when I wonder if I am kidding myself by staying in Maine where I have no extended family versus heading back home where at least I have my Pops and my brother and a whole lot of extended family members. Admittedly many of them are not on my I like you a lot list ,but they are family.

So what is the problem BGIM? You may wondering….its a lovely child whose energy level even sick exceeds my energy level. See my daughter is a true blue extrovert, but the Spousal Unit and I are introverts to varying degrees. Don’t get me wrong, I like people, hell I struggle with the fact that getting together with folks face to face in Maine is like pulling teeth. Everyone is so busy, gone are the days when you can just call and say hey lets connect…nah, its all gotta be planned. I like people, I need a certain amount of time around people but at the same time I need alone time. I must have time to re-charge preferably alone or in silence.

Even elder boy who people are drawn to is an introvert at heart, when he was a wee lad, he understood that quiet rainy days were days that we snuggled up and watched tv or played a quiet game. However girl child is not her brother and while I love her energy and  courage, the fact that even at 4 she can argue a point like a young prosecutor can at times wear you out. Today was that day. Today was the day that it took everything not to turn her over and spank her, it was not my best moment as a parent. I won’t beat myself up since most days are good but at the same time I feel bad that I lost my cool, and no there was no corporal punishment, instead she was left in her room for 10 minutes while I cooled down.

I am reminded that this parenting in isolation is a bad thing. For the first time ever, the idea of being closer to extended family even ones I don’t know well almost feels preferable to living in isolation here in Maine. For a good half hour I was on edge and realized that while people say I can give em a ring, there was not one person I can call here and say I need a break, help me out. I realized that if I were back home I could have called someone but here there was no one and that was a truly lonely feeling.

So may tomorrow be a better day, but today was one of those days. Thankfully the Spousal Unit is taking a break from work at the moment and overseeing night preparations with the girl child so I am thankful for small things.

Hard times are no excuse for abuse

It was just a few days ago we heard about that fool, Danny Platt in Lousiana who thought it would better to kill his own child rather than pay support to take care of the child. Then I heard this story about a fool not far from me who thought it was a great idea to break both of his child’s legs…a fifteen month old baby. What is this world coming to?

Yet I cannot help thinking that as more folks face uncertain financial futures that we might start to hear about more instances of of parents hurting their kids. Parenting is not for the weak, I have a three year old that I affectionately call high spirited, my girl is a character and tests me but I love her and no matter how far she has pushed me has it ever crossed my mind to hurt her. To say I would lay my life down for either her or her brother is not an understatement…these kids are my heart literally walking on the outside.

That said, I know there are a lot of folks who have kids who are not emotionally, mentally or even financially ready for the stresses that kids can bring and believe me they can and will bring stress. For me though its a joy and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.

Yet we are living in unprecedented times when it seems we are all on the brink of ruin, and sometimes the stresses of trying to keep the lights on and food on the table coupled with the demands of kids who require we be fully present can be hard to juggle. See, kids don’t care that you are trying to do XYZ, they only know that they need their needs met and frankly there are times as a parent you just want to say shut up and leave me be. The thing is mature folks can realize they still have to focus on their kids and can make time to be present. ( I say this while the lil one is in the background playing and demanding my time now, thankfully Papa is playing with her).

There is no excuse for hurting a child yet as we redesign ourselves as a society, I think we need to go back to a place where we can call one another before we reach that breaking point. We need to be the neighbor who realizes that the young Mama juggling a couple of kids needs a break, I know growing up in my Granny’s old neighborhood we had a couple ladies who always lent a hand to young Mamas. When I was a 19 yo young Mama many years ago, I was blessed to meet an older woman who served as a third grandma to my son until she passed away. We need to get back to the place where we have one another’s back especially when raising kids.

Parenting never used to be a solitary experience yet it has become that as folks move away from the extended family and exist without support….I know because the support I had with my son is virtually nil in raising my girl. Sadly both her Grandmas are deceased, having died before she was born, my own Granny died six weeks after she was born. Instead I found a few online parenting groups to lean on that have actually netted some real life friends locally and across the country so that now at 3.5 we do have a support system.

Raising kids is hard work and if we screw it up, not only do our kids lose but so does society.