The Christmas Spirit

I think I live in a world with rose-colored glasses.  Or maybe I just grew up that way. I know that my childhood could be described as one stereotypically with a white picket fence.  My parents are still married after 38 years.  As kids we always had enough – enough toys, enough clothes, enough food, a house, enough love, etc.  Do I remember bad moments of “hating” my parents and thinking they were totally unfair?  Of course.  That means they were doing their job, right?  I mean, I pride myself on being “mean mommy”.  My dad would say that I am getting what I deserve with three girls.  And I remember making decisions, especially in high school, to NOT do things because I didn’t want to cause my parents grief – my brother caused them more than his fair share.  So I thought that when I had kids I would do my best and that would be enough.  Lately? I don’t think it’s enough.  Lately I feel like no matter what I do, I can’t win.  And I know that I just have to really do my best and it will be okay in the end.  But I question that sometimes.  I know my parents did their best (and really they did a pretty awesome job when I think about some things in hindsight), but I know they shake their heads at my brother a lot and me sometimes (even though I never hear about when they are shaking their heads at me, I know it happens).  They made decisions based on what they thought was best for the family as a whole.  T and I do that constantly.  Yes, we look at what would be best for T career-wise, and that is sort of personal to him, but his happiness in his job can make or break our day when he walks in at the end of his workday.  All of the decisions I have made with regards to school and work have been a direct result of what I think is best for my family.  And as some of you may know, I think and evaluate things to death before I make a decision – almost to the point of driving myself crazy.

So my heart is heavy when I feel like I can’t win.  That nothing I do is enough.  And then I wonder if there really is a limit to the amount of love I can give.  Everyone always says that you will love all your kids and there is enough room in your heart to give your kids what they need.  I’m not sure about that.  Sweet Pea is constantly crawling into our bed in the middle of the night because she “wants to snuggle” – obviously she doesn’t get enough love during the day.  And SmartyPants?  Well, she was meant to be an only child.  Unfortunately we are 2 kids too late for that.  I periodically ask her who she wants to go live with because she’s obviously not happy here.  She has yet to find me an ideal situation.  (Is that too mean of a question to ask a kid? Because I’ve asked it multiple times, sometimes in jest and sometimes in exasperation.)  Not that I really want to get rid of her.  When she’s great, she’s really, really great.  Unfortunately, when she’s not, she’s really, really not.  My heart aches for her.  It makes me sad that she seems so unhappy with her situation.

I was talking with a friend on Saturday night about it.  Her daughter is the complete opposite of SmartyPants.  At 6 her daughter wanted to become a missionary so “she could help other people”.  How sweet is that?  Their church does many humanitarian missions throughout the year.  Things like helping people in South/Central America build a house or build a church for their local community.  We were thinking that we could kill two birds with one stone and take the girls on one next year.  That way her daughter could get a taste of the reality of helping someone else and mine would get a taste of how good she really has it.  Is that cruel?  I want my daughter to participate in helping others for the sole purpose of telling her to get over herself?

I’m trying to hang on to my Christmas spirit.  The spirit of being kind and loving.  Do those two things have to go hand in hand?  Can I do something hard and loving?  (Crap, now I’ll probably get spam for that one sentence.)  On that note, I hope this week moves in a positive direction.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mathmama on December 21, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    ahh! so, that mean mommy thing, it’s going on over here too! (and yes, I’ve asked similar questions to my children when they drive me nuts – but maybe a bit about trading them in for kids that listen to their mommy, and them having a new one… Oh God I’m mean) You’re not alone! We just do what we can, and hope for the best.

  2. I don’t even know how to respond to this except that my heart aches for you. You’re a good mom. You’ll make the right decisions. Hang in there.

  3. You and T are probably the best parents I know. So, I know your kids will be fine. And Smarty Pants is so much like ME, I’m pretty sure she was born into the wrong family too. And I AM an only child. I blame a lot of my faults on that, but perhaps it is just personality. I want everyone done MY way. I don’ t like to share. I think the world should revolve around me. Yes, I know. I’m terrible! 🙂 I just hope that her constant unhappiness doesn’t lend her to the same problems with depression that I’ve had over the years. Keep an eye on her when she hits 16, will ya? Okay, now this is just depressing. Sorry. I meant to be encouraging. She can always come live with me. Will that help???

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: