Archive for the ‘mother’ Tag

Don’t call your daughter the “c” word. *Warning-not nice words listed here.   4 comments

Today I gave my toddler a bath. Like most toddlers, he loves bath time. He would stay in the tub until his entire little body turned into a prune. While I was pregnant with him, one of the things I looked forward to was bath time with my little fella.  This led me to register for all the bath toys I could find…and our friends and family delivered. We have more bath toys than the bath toy aisle at Babies R Us. I have put most of them in the bath tub with him and there’s barely room for him. He could loves it. He plays with the little boats, arranges the Sesame Street characters along the side of the tub, and sticks his ABCs and 123s on the wall. I can’t even mention the word bath in this house without him freaking out with excitement. And, you best believe if we mention the word bath, we had best be preparing his water or holy hell will break loose.

Today was no different from any normal bath day for him. He was excitedly playing with all of his toys, trying to drink the water, and talking a mile a minute to his toys and me. I had my little baby in a bouncy chair out in the hallway so I could keep my eye on him. Halfway through my son’s bath, my little baby woke up and was ready to nurse…ahead of schedule (seems to be a theme lately – this kid must be HUNGRY). I turned around to grab my little baby out of his seat so I could sit on the toilet and nurse him while watching my older son play. As I was removing him from his seat, my back and legs became wet. I turn around and my toddler was laughing hysterically and has one of his little boat toys dipped in the water ready for another shot at mommy. He throws another round of water at me and it gets me and the little man wet. Instead of laughing, I got pissed. I raised my voice at my toddler and told him to stop it. Before I could grab the boat from him, he did it again, soaking the bathroom floor and a basket of towels and extra bath toys I have in there. I was honestly mad. I took the boat from him and told him it was time to get out of the bath and yelled that he was a bad boy. He then grabbed the wash cloth that was full of water and started flinging it around adding more water to the bathroom floor and my feet. I raised my voice even louder and told him to stop. Then, I realized, OMG, I sound like my parents. WTF is wrong with me? It’s a bathroom and it’s just water. He’s having the time of his life and I’m yelling at him before it.

So, I quickly apologized to him and gave him a kiss. Luckily, I do not think he was phased by me yelling at him…thank you God. I sat down on the wet toilet and nursed my son and let my toddler continue his bath time fun. I analyzed my actions. I cried just a little. What had caused me to freak out? I mean, I was really yelling at this kid for the most stupid thing. Then, I realized, this is something I’m going to battle my entire lifetime as a mother. I’ve unfortunately inherited a bad temper and the ability to freak out on a moment’s notice about nothing. Thank you Mom and Dad. Awesome.

Today is another day where I struggled between choosing the loving, kind, optimistic version of myself standing on one shoulder versus my parents who are standing on the other. In this situation, I acted like my parents used to when I was little. I flipped out on my precious little boy for nothing. It hurt and I didn’t like it one bit. It brought back a flood of memories that I don’t think I wanted to deal with today.

When I was growing up (between the ages of 5 and 16 or so), I have vivid memories of my parents screaming at me, beating me, screaming and beating each other, and cussing like sailors. I was beat for things that my little toddler did today. One time, my mom had my brother and I in the bath together (I was around 7 and he was about 2) and I threw a bath toy at him. I have no idea if I did it on purpose, but even so, I did not deserve what I got for it. My mom yelled at me and slapped me and I came back at her and told her to stop (you have to understand she did this on a daily basis and even my 7 year old self was tired of it and knew it was wrong). My dad heard what was going on, came in the bathroom, removed my brother from the tub, took off his belt, and beat me…naked. All the while my little brother was watching, crying. I had belt marks on me for days.

One time, I wet my pants in the middle of my bedroom floor, and was beat with the buckle side of the belt for that. Ouch. My mom threw shoes at me, and my dad chased me behind the bed and into corners and beat me with the belt. I can still picture the corner of my room and can still remember crouching down into the tightest position I could get to minimize the parts of my body that would be hit.  Now, I realize that many people believe in spanking children…to each his own. But, I was beat people. I was made to wear long sleeve shirts even when it was warm out to cover up the welts. In my book, this was not punishment, it was abuse.

Not only was I beat with the belt and hit with shoes, I remember a few instances of being pinched and having my hair pulled by my parents. And, one time, when I was 16 years old, I stayed after work and talked to some friends in the parking lot for 30 minutes and got home later than my dad expected me to, and I was dragged up a flight of 6 carpeted stairs so hard that the skin was ripped away from my kneecap. I was then dragged down the hall of my house and thrown into my bedroom….at 16 years old! I understand I was home later than I should have been, but I wasn’t doing drugs or drinking or any of the like. I was talking to some friends. My dad had even called my job and they told him I was in the parking lot talking to friends because they could see me. I did not deserve what I got. The next day we had family portraits with my dad’s new wife’s family, and I had picked out a shirt and skirt to wear. I still wore it and wore white hose with the skirt, and you could see the huge bandage on my knee. My step-grandparents asked me what happened, and my dad had already threatened that if I told anyone I would get it worse, so I told them I fell at work. I hated lying. I hated covering up my bruises. For years I wanted to tell what was happening to me, but I was always threatened by my parents that if I told, I would be beat within an “inch of my life.”  To this day, I still have no idea what that means, but at the time, it sounded awful and I believed them.

In addition to the physical hurt my parents bestowed on me, I was also hurt verbally. For as long as I can remember, my dad called me a cunt.  I can’t believe I even just typed that word.  It makes me sick to my stomach.  He called my mother and I that all the time.  I didn’t even know what it meant when he first started…I was probably 7 or 8 years old the first time I heard it.  7 or 8 – still in elementary school!  Who does that?!  That was the worst, but I was called every name in the book…all the way from ingrate to mother fucking bitch.  I’ve never written those words out before – it really makes me uncomfortable to do so.  I have that little knot in the back of my throat when I think about it.  My dad wasn’t the only one doing the name-calling.  My mom did the same thing, but for some reason it hurt worse coming from my dad.  My mom had always mistreated me, but there were times when I felt like Daddy’s Little Girl and when he treated me so.  I desperately wanted to be his little girl.  But I felt more like an inmate and he was the warden…which makes sense because he has been in law enforcement for most of his adult life.

So, back to today.  I didn’t call my son any names and I did not hit him, but I yelled at him…for something stupid.  It scared me.  I don’t want to be like that.  I will NOT do what my parents did to me.    I hated them for it, and it still hurts to this day to even think about it.  I understand that my son will need to be corrected and disciplined.  I’m certainly not going to set him up for a lifetime of doing what he wants and walking all over people, but I’ve learned from my experiences that beating your children and calling them names only meant for the scum of the Earth is not the answer.

My son is napping right now, and I plan to give him a big hug when he wakes up.  I love both of my sons more than life itself.  I’d die for them and I want them to feel so much more love than I ever felt as a child.  I do not want them to have memories of me yelling at them, calling them names, hitting them, or any of the like.  I do want them to respect me, and I believe they will, only if I show them the same respect in return.

I guess I should thank my parents for teaching me how NOT to parent.

Love your children.  They are precious and innocent beings.  Don’t take your time with them for granted.  It goes by quickly.  Don’t mistreat them, they will only hate you for it.

All the best,

Someone’s mom

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Today, I chose selflessness.   1 comment

Today I am watching my little nephew again for a couple of hours while my mother-in-law runs some errands.  This was a last-minute request of her and I found out she wanted to drop him off at my house only about a half hour before she actually did.  For anyone who knows me, I don’t do last-minute.  I am a planner and organizer, and I need to know at least several hours in advance before anyone comes to my house.  Further, I had already planned my day with my two boys and the things I need to get done…like pay bills, laundry, and vacuum.  So, I felt highly inconvenienced and annoyed.  If you read one of my earlier posts about my nephew, he is also a very needy child, so I also felt exhausted at the sheer thought of spending another day with him.  I almost told my mother-in-law I just didn’t have time to watch my nephew and had too many things going on, but that would have been a lie.  I do have time and can certainly take a few hours out of my day to help her out.

My mother-in-law watches my children while I am working, and asked if she could be our primary baby-sitter when I was pregnant with my first son.  She is truly a saint.  She has taken care of her elderly parents for years, and practically provided full-time hospice services to both her own mother and mother-in-law before they died, all the while taking care of my son and his cousin all day Monday through Friday…oh, and she runs her own business!  One would think why I even hesitated for a second to help her out today and why I was annoyed by it considering what she does for me and others.  These negative, conflicting thoughts are ones that I need help getting rid of.  These remind me of my mother.

See, my mother would have been completely annoyed this morning as well, but would have called her husband to bitch about the situation and his mother, and then say yes she could baby-sit with a smile on her face.  However, she would then bitch to everyone about it later and talk negatively about the person that inconvenienced her to everyone she knew.  She would then try to get others on “her side” and agree with her that she suffered some sort of injustice for being asked to baby-sit last-minute.  You may be wondering how I know exactly how this situation would have played out…  I’ve seen it all before…many many times.

My mother has one friend…a friend she has had since childhood…a friend that does not live near her and does not see her or hear from her on a daily basis.  A naive friend that truly believes my mother has been wronged by everyone else she has ever known.  She used to have several friends, but by talking about them behind their backs and accusing them of doing wrong to her, they are no more.  She and my step-dad used to have good jobs for a business my step-dad helped start up and run for more than 20 years, but her negativity and big mouth ruined that and they were fired from their own business.  She used to have in-laws and my step-dad used to have a brother, but they are no more.  She single-handedly destroyed the relationships in the family she married into.

My mother does not like other women.  She could not stand my dad’s mother or my dad’s sister.  She is insanely jealous of all other women but she’ll never admit it.  She critiqued everything they did and swore they were trying to influence my dad into leaving her.  She drove a wedge between my dad and his sister that to this day has still not been completely repaired…and my parents have been divorced for 16 years.  She even had the audacity to talk bad about them to my brother and I when we were young children. C’mom lady, this was my sweet grandmother and the only aunt I had!  I am annoyed now remembering all the things she used to accuse my grandmother and aunt of doing.  She was so full of lies.

When she married into her new family, she started doing the same thing.  She critiqued the parenting style of my step-dad’s brother and his wife, specifically his wife.  She found every opportunity to bash her that she could. She was too fat, let her kids eat whatever they wanted, didn’t love them, gave them too much, gave them too little, didn’t bathe them, on and on and on…  I remember when we first started hanging out with my step-dad’s family, my mother would try her very best to bash her sister-in-law to me and to get me on her “side” and agree that my sister-in-law was a bad mother.  WTF.  My mother, the one who beat the shit out of me, called me every name in the book, treated me like her and my brother’s servant, and let a dog attack me, was critiquing someone else’s parenting style!!  Pure insanity.  Even on Christmas Day…they day we celebrate selflessness, kindness, acceptance, etc., my mother had the nerve to whisper things to me about her sister-in-law at the breakfast table…while she was in the very next room!  She tried to get me to agree with her that her sister-in-law had her daughter’s hair pulled too tight in a bow and a bunch of other crap about the children’s’ clothes.  I was so embarrassed and sad that I had brought my soon-to-be husband around that.

My mother’s sister-in-law did a fine job with her kids.  Everyone has their own parenting style.  Sure, she lets her kids eat junk food and run around like crazy people out in public, but she loves them and they know it, and that’s what it all boils down to in my book.  My mother talked so bad about my sister-in-law that over a period of a decade,  she drove a wedge so big between my step-dad and his brother that it will be never be repaired.  She convinced my step-dad that his brother and his wife were out to get them and that they are terrible people.  She used her words to ruin the relationship to the point that my step-dad actually faced legal action because his brother accused him of attempted murder about two years ago.

You’ll love it…a great story that made the papers of the small town they live in (note – I grew up there and everyone knows they are my family – can you say embarrassing?). My step-dad’s family all live on what I call the compound in a small, rural county…about 500 acres.  There are three houses – my step-dad’s, his brother’s, and their parents.  My step-dad and mom were out in the yard one day doing whatever they do, and they noticed that my step-dad’s brother was out in the woods behind their house.  Evidently he was hunting.  My step-dad and mother decided that my step-dad’s brother should not be anywhere near their house and had no right to hunt near it, so they turned on the music in their big redneck truck very loudly and blared it in the direction of my step-dad’s brother.  He didn’t leave his post, so my step-dad decided to get a gun out and shoot toward the woods in the direction of his brother.  He told the court he was shooting at a groundhog and did not know his brother was in the woods, but I know the real story and they do not know that I do.  See, my brother was there with them at the time, and he told me the truth about what happened.  They however think I believe their ridiculous story about that my innocent step-dad was just shooting at a little groundhog and how dare his brother accuse him of trying to kill him.  Do they think I’m an f-ing idiot??  Do they think my brother wouldn’t tell me what really happened?  They have no idea that my brother is not loyal to them at all.

The whole thing went to court and my step-dad was charged with reckless handling of a firearm.  It almost went to trial but his brother put on some big boy pants and made the decision not to go to trial and to revoke the accusation that my step-dad was trying to kill him.  At the end of the day, my step-dad pleaded guilty to recklessly handling a firearm and was sentenced to a year of anger management courses and no contact with his brother’s family. The deteriorating relationship between the two brothers all started when my mom starting hating on her sister-in-law, and escalated so far out of control that the entire family does not speak.  My step-dad does not even have a good relationship with his own parents anymore because of the situation between he and his brother.  Kind of awkward considering they could all throw rocks at each other’s houses too…and there’s only one driveway…but I digress.

It is all so sad.  My step-dad (aside from having an open affair with a married woman while supposedly being a man of God) is a kind man.  He has always done everything he could to help out my brother and I  in any way.  He took my brother under his wing for several years and helped him find his own way in the world.  He gave of his time and money…when he had money.  After spending a few years with my mother, he has become a spiteful, sad person with no friends and now no family to lean on.  He is flat ass broke and on the verge of losing everything because my mom’s influence over him.  She has driven away any family and friends that he did have (because she hated their wives), and had a huge hand in getting them both fired from the business he had put many years and hard work into.  (In the type of business they ran – attempting to shoot your brother doesn’t really go over very well – ooops.)  He has been badly embarrassed in the community – to the point where an online discussion was created to talk about their family, the trial, the business they were fired from, etc.   He now works six days a week for a little over minimum wage and no benefits.  My mother sits at home.  Sure, I think she takes care of the house and the animals, but she doesn’t work.  However, she complains constantly about the fact that they don’t have money, that they need a new tv or new cell phones to keep up with the Jones’, that she wants to take trips around the world…but she is the biggest reason why they have no money!  My step-dad is a different man than I first met years ago.  He used to be very happy and optimistic about life and his business.  He had all of these great plans to keep the family business going and have my brother and I involved in it.  He wanted to buy a boat and a new house and do all of these great things, and now he is one more missed payment away from being in financial ruin.  When I do see him, he barely talks and there is a deep sadness in his eyes.  When he does talk, he’s basically telling my mom that “no, we are not getting a new tv because we can’t pay any of our bills.”  I feel really bad for him because if he had never met my mother, his life would be completely different.

Despite ruining their family relationships and financial situation, my mother still talks bad about the family when I see her.  Over the past year, I’ve counted how many minutes it takes her before she says something bad about somebody when I visit her.  It is always less than 30 minutes – always.  It’s almost like a game for my husband and I now to guess how many minutes it will take.  However, one thing has changed from years ago when she tried to get me involved.  I do not engage in the conversation.  I will listen, but never say anything back.  I will change the subject, even walk away.  I’ve been doing this for over a year, and yet she still talks about people to me.  Perhaps she has realized that she has lost a connection with me and is desperately pulling at anything she can to get it back.  I don’t know, but I refuse to engage her in negative talk.  It’s my little way of trying to get her to stop.  So far, it’s not working, but then again, I suppose that’s not my problem.

The crazy thing is, this sort of situation also rings true for anyone who happens to marry my dad – their lives are turned completely upside down, their credit is ruined, and their family relationships are strained.  Poor, unfortunate souls.  Seems like my parents were in fact meant for each other?  Too bad they didn’t stay together and just ruin each other’s lives instead of bringing others down with them.

Anyway, now that I’ve set all that up for you, back to my conflicting thoughts this morning.  See, I wanted to be angry and think “how could my mother-in-law ask such a thing of me so last-minute.”  I wanted to tell her no and I wanted to call my husband and bitch about her.  But, I didn’t, and I suppressed those thoughts.  You know how some people have an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other?  I have an optimistic, selfless, kind, and loving version of myself on one shoulder, and my mother and father both standing on the other.  I am CONSTANTLY evaluating my thoughts and actions to ensure I am not being like either one of them.  This morning, I fought the urge to be a bitch and to act like my mother would have acted.

I will NOT ruin mine or my husband’s relationship with my in-laws.  They are wonderful people.  His sisters are two of my best friends and his mother loves me and treats me like her own daughter.  They have taken me in from day one and treated me like a family member…and even took me back over the years when my husband and I broke up because I acted like an idiot…and I will not let them go.  I certainly do not want my own kids to blog about me in the future and how I ruined their dad’s relationship with his family and ended up in some small town courtroom defending my actions against his family.

In my world, today was a small success for me.  I’m giving my mother-in-law a few hours to herself to get some things done, and my son the opportunity to hang out with his best bud.  I did it without acting like a bitch or telling my husband that his mom is intentionally trying to use me and inconvenience me.  I ignored my mom standing on my shoulder.  Today, I chose selflessness.

All the best,

Someone’s mom