Can You Handle It?

As I sit, contemplating what to share on the blog, I become more frustrated.

I realize that in this moment I am guilty of expecting myself to ignore the goings on in my head.  I realize I  expect myself to pretend that today was a regular day, like so many others.  I realize I expect myself to ignore the spastic heartbeat and shaking hands, both indications of the anxiety and neurosis threatening to subsume me… Yes. I  expect myself to breathe deep in opposition to the shallow chest heaves that are a portention of violent, tearful sobs that will burst out at any moment.

Ignore it.

Get over it.

Suck it up.

How often do we send our children off to school the morning after?

        a night filled with mom and dad arguing

       a night where we were too tired to check homework, hear about their day, play a game, read them a book, or tuck them in

How often do we send our children off to a school the morning of?

       a day where we hit snooze one time to many –

             and jump up, wrenching our babies from sleep yelling and screaming, fussing and fighting  for them to “hurry up”

             and so we  can’t decide if we have enough time to make breakfast but we do and a mess is made in the house, in the car…

             and we rush out of the house, steady remembering all of these reasons we have to be angry and disappointed with our

                        children, which is really with ourselves and they end up in tears…

Annnd, we send them off into class.

And when asked how are you: they answer “fine”.

And that’s what I’m doing now – for the umpteenth time:  I’m “fine”.

It’s what I learned as a child.

People don’t REALLY want to know how you are.

    They’re just being polite.

People don’t REALLY want to share that with you.

     They’re just being polite.

People don’t REALLY want you to call on them for help.

     Silly girl,they’re JUST BEING POLITE.

And so we teach our kids…   

         to be liars.

         to be actors.

           to be disingenuous.

You’re sick?

You’re sad?

You’re angry?

You’re frustrated?

You’re unsure?

      Keep it to yourself.

     Get over it.

      Suck it up.

    You’re fine.

5 thoughts on “Can You Handle It?

  1. This has happened to me and I’ve done this so many times that now I try to make such a conscious effort not to put my lack of timeliness or my stress at having not being able to take a shower or my frustration that my computer isn’t working on them. Cause they are 4 and 3 years old and NONE of it is there fault. Even when RIGHT NOW my three year old’s shirt is soaking wet because she was playing in the water while she should be eating dinner and had that happened this morning as I was trying to get out of the house to get to day care and to class I would have been hella pissed but she’s THREE and that’s what three year olds do.

    In our house we try to be honest about our feelings and let it be known that all feelings are valid and worth it. Even though I know we disagree on here about my use of the spoon as discipline, I allow my children to say that it hurts and allow them to cry and say they don’t like it. Not like it was back in the day when we were told to shut up that noise unless we wanted more of it. I explain that I understand it hurts but why I did it. When I’m sad or not feeling well I talk to them about my feelings – having to hide how you feel is te worst feeling in the world to a sensitive person because it all bubbles up inside and it’s like a pressure oil well ready to explode and we all see the type of damage that does to the environment.

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  2. I agree, NOTHING worse than folk having to hide their feelings. Finding that balance is tricky, especially when it comes to our children. I encourage honesty, within reason – which usually means be respectful. lol

    I think teaching our children to express themselves honesty and appropriately is critical…

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  3. I enjoyed this post. I think it is important to really think about how we teach our children to conceal their emotions. I was not raised that way, and I sometimes feel at a disadvantage as an adult, because I seem to wear my heart on my sleeve. I have been working on controlling my temper, and finding the time to be conscious of my children and my conversations with them. I know that it is important to set boundaries, and that it may not be healthy for my children to believe I am available to them every minute but, I prefer it to the alternative.

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  4. It’s hard, time-consuming, frustrating and a whole host of emotions but we have to struggle to remember our children didn’t ask us to bring them there. So as hard as it is sometimes and sometimes it’s VERY hard, we have to train ourselves to dig below our children’s surface and to use an over-used phrase “keep it real” with them. Personally, I find that a whole lot easier than any other option.

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