From time to time we all deserve a pity party. Everything seems to be going wrong and new challenges have emerged that we don’t know how to break into bite sized chunks. We freak out, we may even cry and we tell anyone who can hear how overwhelmed we are. It is okay, we are human and sometimes life is less pleasant than a root canal.
It is important to know when the party is over, when your friends have gone home and now you need to clean up, sweep the dirt, do the dishes, open the curtains and put on your “Big girl panties” and learn to deal with it .
Today has been one long morning of people still partying. The result has been a morning of me b!tch slapping people back to common sense and reality – and more than one Children Services referral. Clients and friends alike have not realized that the balloon animals have deflated and it is time to put up or shut up. It has been exhausting.
I am not popular. It is my job to tell you these things:
1. Get over yourself. Since when did life become about pampering you? Everyone struggles and you are not exempt. You are not unique because you struggle either. It just feels worse to you because you can feel it.
2. Every compliant you make should be immediately followed by a plan of action. If you need help formulating one – I will help, but you better follow through
3. Every plan of action should be vetted and at some point deployed and maintained. Would, could, and should are just words you use to keep the spotlight on you without you making any effort.
4. You can’t be proud of being embarrassed about your situation. You are just proud and trying to not look like a drama queen. There is no such thing as Humble Pride when you are exemplifying learned helplessness.
5. If you took the energy you put into publicizing your troubles and applied that to resolving your troubles ; you would have fewer troubles
6. When other people try to step in and help you out, but you refuse the services, intervention, advice, assistance, etc., the message you are sending is that you don’t want the help, just the attention. My response will always be to pull back – my energy, my time, the money you rely on, etc. All of those resources are needed by other people who will use them.
7. Bad parenting has no excuse. If you had a bad childhood and now are a parent – understand that life is no longer about you and your woes. Your life is about giving a good childhood to your children. If you can’t get over your issues, seek professional assistance. We all had enough time with the television to know what a functional family might look like, so even if it did not happen in your living room – you have an idea of what is possible for you now. There are parenting classes, support groups, family therapy and more to assist you in giving your children what they deserve.
8. If you cannot effectively deal with your children, let someone else do it. No child needs to suffer because their parent can’t be a parent. Short term, long term, etc. the focus is on the well-being of the child. You do not get to give all the reasons the other parent is just as bad as or worse than you are. You do not get to “fall on your sword” as some type of martyr. Holding everyone hostage while you refuse to help yourself is just you holding everyone hostage. It makes you an egomaniac and a jerk. (This morning I had to hear a Dad tell me “But their mom is mentally ill and she sleeps around and can’t keep a relationship going. The kids are better off with me”. The reality is that dad is a nonfunctioning alcoholic who can barely remain conscious through the day. Maybe mom is crazy, but at least she will be awake to make dinners.)
My point is this – drama happens and is unavoidable. Drama does not have to be our state of being. No parent has the right to focus their family on their own needs and deficiencies.