We’ve all heard the saying: ‘don’t judge a person till you’ve walked a mile in their shoes,’ (and probably not even then), or seen the updated internet meme:
It’s one that you see and go ‘yes absolutely!’ Then scroll on past and forget about really quickly. It’s a truly great person that actually sees that kind of thing and actively applies it.
I’ve had a bit of a tough week. Not for any real reason in particular. It’s just been one of those weeks where life gets you a little down and you feel a bit weary. I’ve been a bit beat down parenting wise. And again, not because of anything major, but rather all the minor things. Like how many times do I have to remind people to pick up towels? Is there a magic number, because I think I would feel better if there was. Or is it just an infinite number and one day they might get it?
It’s getting towards the end of term and everyone is a bit tired, and a bit over everything. I seem to be meeting more resistance than normal and it’s exhausting. I’m fed up with fighting; I would just like for things to be easy and pleasant and to not feel like I’m failing this mothering gig quite so much.
The two older girls have been a bit more contrary lately, and with one of them at least, I know why. She’s got stuff going on that’s hard to deal with at any age, but especially if you’re a little girl. And then there’s other things on top of that.
Boys will be boys they say, but girls will also be girls, and sometimes, sadly, that brings with it a wave of bitchiness that makes you want to pull your hair out. We are dealing with this in a reasonably significant matter at the moment. On the one hand, it’s just par for the course, but on the other, being told people aren’t allowed to be your friend does not make for warm fuzzies.
No parent wants to see their child hurt, but there’s something about the malicious intent of nastiness that brings out my inner mama-bear. I’ve been cranky- super cranky. I’m tired and exhausted and got enough on my plate without that kind if rubbish on top.
I’ve had no compassion for this other girl, or, in truth, her family. Just a bit of angry judgement because things shouldn’t be this way.
I’m ashamed to admit that. And so sorry that’s how I’ve felt. 🙁
It wasn’t until yesterday, after a chat with a friend, that the thought occurred to me: maybe it’s tough all over?
I mean I’m not naive enough to believe that my child is completely innocent in everything and does not have a part to play in any kind of conflict situation; I have had conversations about what role she was playing in this particular tale. Where there things she could do differently?
But what I hadn’t considered was that maybe this girl was going through her own dramas and this was how she was coping? Not that there is ever an excuse for nastiness, but still…
And maybe her mum does know what’s going on, and is trying to deal with it, and not just ignoring it like I angrily assumed. Maybe, just maybe, she is tired too. Exhausted from having arguments about towels on floors, and homework being done, and dinner needing to be cooked every single night.
Maybe tonight she too is sitting on her couch going, ‘what on earth am I doing wrong? How can I be a better mum?’
Because truth be told, most of the mums I meet aren’t deliberately ignoring bad behaviour or condoning it; most of the time we’re all just doing our best and hoping we don’t mess up the tiny people too much.
The least we can give each other is the benefit of the doubt.
It’s been a tough week. I’m tired and over it and less compassionate than I care to admit.
But really, that’s not any kind of excuse. Just like nastiness is never justified, kindness and grace are never unnecessary. Time to start living it.