Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Posts tagged ‘Parenting’

Talking too Much

Hmm…I feel like I am coming dangerously close to running out of things to say.  I didn’t know that could happen.  When you talk as much I do, you’re bound to eventually use up all the words you’ve been allotted in one lifetime though, right?  The well may soon run dry.

Lately, I’ve been trying to talk less.  Shy people think they have all the problems.  Talky people have problems too.  Words are awesome.  Words can give people confidence, and make people feel loved.  Words can make peace.

You know what else words can do?  Words can tear people down.  They can make people feel left out, and disrupt friendships and family bonds. You have to be careful with words.  Sometimes words you mean to come out right, come out wrong.  You have to be cautious with those kinds of words too.  You can’t be careless. Sometimes I am careless.  I’m sorry for that.

There are seven people in the family I was born into.  When we are in a group, three of those seven people do eighty percent of the talking.  I’m one of those three talking people.  One of my non talky sisters told me recently that when we were together she noticed the three talkers monopolizing the entire conversation. She wasn’t mad, or hurt.  She was just telling the truth.  She had some stuff to say, but she told herself she guessed it wasn’t meant to be said.

Shoot!  Did we really do that?  I didn’t even notice.  Actually, I did notice.  I noticed that the other two talkers were talking so much, I didn’t get to say everything I wanted to say.  Seriously, that’s what I was thinking.  That’s how easy it is to be wrong.

At first,  I wanted to deny what my sister told me; then I realized she just did something nice for me.  She gave me an opportunity to improve.   Sometimes when I think I’m helping shy people by keeping the conversation going, I’m really just being selfish.  I’m grabbing all the words, and keeping the conversation focused on myself.  GAHH!!!  I hate it when I do that.

Some people take more time to put their thoughts together.  They need a moment or two of silence to get the courage to offer their input.  It’s worth the wait though. While you’ve been yammering your head off non-stop for the last three hours, those non talkers have had a lot of time to think.  They are insightful.

So, that’s what I’ve learned.  I didn’t like learning it, but I learned it.  Now I have to do something about it.  When you see me with duct tape over my mouth, just give me the thumbs up.  We both know what’s happening.

If you point something out that I am doing wrong, I’m going to want to fix it.  That’s what most of us do, right?  That isn’t what some guy I came across on Facebook does.

This is mean, but I am going to admit something to you.  I can’t see this guy’s updates on Facebook any more.  I blocked him.  I did.  I’m sorry, I don’t like doing that, but it was either block him,  or kill him. Murder just seems like a lot of work.  I’ve never done one before, and I’m super busy.

This guy kept telling all his Facebook BFF’s about his favorite things: porn, drinking to excess, his sex habit, strip clubs and his drug habit.   He is your basic straight arrow.

I kept seeing this stuff and thinking, “Dude, I don’t want to know about all that crap. Keep it to yourself.”  My hand would hover over the block button.  Then, I’d think, “hey, little missy, you’ve got your own problems.  Who are you to judge?”

Then, the day came.  This guy posts that he feels so badly.  His teenagers are misbehaving.  He tells his FB friends that it doesn’t matter what he tells these kids. .  They just won’t listen to him, and they insist on making the same mistakes he has.  His friends, of course, feel real sorry for him.  They tell him that kids will be kids, and you just can only do so much.

Blocked.  You are officially blocked, buddy.  I don’t know why you were in my life to begin with, but you are now out of my life.  For good.  I don’t have the courage to tell you what I’m really thinking, but I do have the courage to block you.  I’m gutsy like that.

You know what wisdom is?  Wisdom is the opposite of  this guy.  This guy knows his choices are bad.  He said it.  He knows it.  He knows is his kids are making the same mistakes.

Once you know you have a problem, the obvious next step is doing something about it, right?  RIGHT?  Oh no, no.  Not for some people.  Some people want to pretend their current difficult circumstances are a coincidence.  Then, they want to do something else that makes me do rash and crazy things, like blocking people.  They want to feel sorry for themselves.  NOOOOO!!!!!

You canNOT feel sorry for yourself for suffering the consequences of the poor choices you have knowingly made.  No, you can’t.  Well, you can, but you shouldn’t.

You CAN try to fix it.  You CAN get help.  You CAN be straight up and honest about it, but you CANNOT feel sorry for yourself.    Don’t do it.   If you insist on feeling sorry for yourself, then I must insist on not listening to you.  So, there’s my rant on that. I have a mean side.

4th of July.  Was yours awesome?  Mine really was.  Wisconsin/Iowa weather = awesome!!!  I love my family and Scott’s family.  They make me laugh, and they are so fun.  We were able to see both sides of the family this year.

Scott was feeling extra jovial and festive.  We were in Sheboygan.  Most of the family enjoyed some delicious (expensive) ice cream from a trendy shop down by the lake.    Scott outsmarted that plan though.  On the way back to the house we pulled into McDonalds.  He said the ice cream was AS good at McDonalds, and a fraction of the cost of the trendy ice cream parlor ice cream.

Scott is always so responsible, except when he isn’t.  He ordered two chocolate dipped cones.  For himself.  I haven’t seen my husband do anything that irresponsible in years.  For real.  It made no sense.  One of the cones was melting a little before he was able to get to it.

I asked him what on Earth had gotten into him.  He said he just got carried away with all the festivities.   Sometimes you just do things and tell yourself you’ll worry about the consequences later.  So, that’s what he’s going to do.  And, when his kids get older and he sees them falling apart, ordering two cones for themselves on Independence day, he won’t feel sorry for himself.  He’ll say, “That’s on me.”


ice cream



Dear Matside Mom…

I wanted to write you a letter. I saw you at a high school tournament this weekend. You may not remember me. I was one of the hundreds of parents sitting up in the stands. I remember you really, really well. You were the mom (singular) that I saw standing down by the coaches, wrestlers and managers. I heard you too. You sure are a good yeller. Actually, that was more of a scream, wasn’t it? Remember how you kept screaming the same thing over and over? I guess your son likes lots of reminders.

You were really mad, especially when your son lost. When you screamed at the ref and told him his calls were Bull Sh**, what did the ref say? Sometimes they change their minds when parents yell at them. They tell the parents how much they regret their decision. Then they tell the parents they would be happy to provide a redo. Is that what happened?

If you have time, I was wondering if we could hash over your strategy. Are you up for it? You seem like a pretty strong lady, with strong opinions. I bet you don’t take crap from anyone, right? I bet when your son was little and you saw him getting picked on at the playground, you threw the other kid off the top of the slide, didn’t you? I’m kidding. Don’t be mad. I’m just a kidder. No one doubts how much you love your kid. That is FOR sure. I was just hoping we could talk mom to mom about a few things. Just hear me out. I promise this will only take a few minutes.

I was wondering what your son thinks of all that screaming. It’s pretty intense. I could imagine screaming like that if I was about to crash into a semi on the highway, or if Freddy Krueger was chasing me with a bloody knife. Your little guy must think losing that high school match is one of the scariest things that could happen to him, and you.

I was also wondering if you like it when people admire and root for your son. I didn’t know your son before this week. Typically, I’m rooting for all the kids, just because they’re kids. Darn it. I feel badly telling you this, but once I started watching your sideline antics, I started rooting against your boy. I’m not proud of it. But, it’s true. The people around me felt it too. Your precious little guy went from anonymity to being recognized and disliked. That was totally not fair of us. Do you think it was fair of you?

Speaking of you, do you think there is a teensy chance that you could just be injecting all together too much of “you” into this thing? You were about 8 feet away from being in the actual match with your son. It’s his match. You were not in his bracket. He can definitely do this on his own. He should do this on his own.

I am back to rooting for your son now. I hope he has a long, happy wrestling career and life. But, I have to tell you that I’ve seen a lot of crappy stuff happen to people. Young kids I know get tragic injuries that end their sports careers. Kids contract illnesses that keep them from achieving their childhood dreams. And, sometimes with no warning at all, kids die. When that stuff happens, it’s super hard to remember why you thought winning a match was so important.

That match that you were screaming and swearing about in front of the entire gym, and in front of your kids, was not what you think it was. That match was just another opportunity in a long string of opportunities that make up a life time. That match was an opportunity for you to learn and to teach. It was an opportunity for you and your son to learn how to improve. And, it was an opportunity to show your son how to handle success or defeat. That’s it. That’s all it was.

I think you should back up. Back away from the mat and go sit down in the stands. Sit back and enjoy watching what your son is accomplishing and all the things he is learning. You’re going to get mad sometimes when the ref blows a call. We all do. Don’t make too much of it. Life hands out all sorts of bad calls. You want your son to be strong, and know how to move past that. You don’t want him to get into the habit of feeling sorry for himself and looking for people to blame.

Don’t be afraid of losing. Your son can learn a lot from losing. You can learn a lot from losing. If your son sees you handle defeat calmly and humbly, he will start to understand how he might handle defeat later in life. I hope he wins at every single thing he does. There is a chance he won’t.

When he wins, be a good winner. Tell him he did a great job, and you’re proud of his hard work and effort. Then move on with things. Don’t celebrate like your happiness depends on his performance. Don’t let your happiness depend on his performance.

This may all sound like nonsense to you, but I wish you’d trust me on this. I know you’re just following your basic instincts; you’d be surprised how many times good parenting involves denying your basic instincts. I admire your devotion. I was just hoping I could get you to consider a few things you may not have thought of before. I might be making more of all these things than I should. Maybe our kids are NOT watching us, and what we say and do will NOT affect the outcome of their lives. I sure can tell you love your son. So, if I am right here, that’s a pretty big gamble for you to take. Don’t you think?

wrestling mom

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