Shit Words. Good Intentions.

Friday, 14 September 2018

I know you care. Really, I do. Even though you have a funny way of showing it. Even though you think that buying or paying for things is a way to show love. Or that instead of offering an ear to listen, a shoulder to lean on - you just want to find a solution or things to be fixed. There's no time for emotions. For feelings. You are less interested in hearing about what's going on and would rather just fix whatever is wrong. But I don't need that. I don't want that. Sometimes I wonder how well you truly know me, because if you did, you wouldn't respond the way you do.

I know you are older. That things were different back then. That you just got on with things and didn't have time to wallow and indulge in feelings you had. And parenting wasn't like it is now. You were harder. Well, stricter? I don't know. Less nurturing perhaps. There was such a thing as "spoiling a baby" and your baby was meant to fit into your life rather than the other way around.

So I get that you disapprove of my parenting choices. You don't understand them. And I know the passing comments, the hints, the critique is because you care. Not about Jackson, about me. You're worried it's too much for me. That I'm not sleeping enough. That he's too clingy. And you think it's because of what I'm doing. But really, you have forgotten what its like to be a parent. And you don't know what it's like to follow an attachment style of parenting. Which is fine. You don't have to understand. Being the parent is my job, so I think it's fair enough that I do it how I want to.

What you don't understand is that every dig every comment where you undermine my parenting, they make me not want to reach out. They're stopping me from telling you the truth. You're now getting a watered down, half truth regarding my experience instead of an honest account. Because I can't be bothered. I'm too tired. And I already doubt what I'm doing enough so every snarky thing you say is making me even more unsure. And I get upset. So naturally, I've stopped telling you everything. Because it hurts too much.

I so want your approval. I want to know you think I'm doing a good job. That you can appreciate at least a tiny bit of Jackson's awesomeness is to do with my role as his Mum. But I also know you, and I know that sometimes you're mean. That you don't really understand how hurtful what you're saying can be. That the comments make me roll my eyes and block you out. Honestly, sometimes I don't answer the phone because I don't feel strong enough to let what you say wash over me. And I don't ask after you or pay attention to your problems and health issues because I'm so frustrated. Then I feel shit because I'm missing your appointments or not keeping up with how you're going. But how can you love someone and yet make them feel the way you make me do?

I don't want it to be like this. I love you. Truly. You mean so much to me, but it's easy to forget when I don't feel like I can do anything right. That all my actions are meant with disapproval. But I'm trying to remember. To remember you mean well and have the best intentions despite the shitty delivery. That Jackson and I are the lights in your world and you'd do anything for us. And you are so special to us. You have so much wisdom., so many stories. So I'm trying to change because I know you can't. To appreciate you, despite your words not always being the kindest or most encouraging. To remember all you have been through in your life and that maybe, this is all you know. To take the bad with the good because the good is pretty wonderful.

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