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A View Through a Peephole

253395_532719740107150_224326385_nI have a pretty intense desire to be liked.  This has waned as I’ve gotten older, and I am not quite so devastated if someone does not take a keen interest in me.  That’s fine.  What really bothers me is when people form opinions of me that aren’t true.  You can honestly  dislike me because I’m a crazy liberal, have bad taste in music and books, and am fairly lazy.   I also try to be funny at all times, which can grate on people’s nerves.  I also complain a lot, am a bit of a gossip, swear like a sailor, quote bad old movies and don’t find Big Bang Theory funny at all (I’ve tried, I just don’t get it).  These are all things that I will legitimately own as my personality traits.  Take or leave em, that’s me, and after 33 years on this planet, I like me, so if you don’t like it you can suck it.

What bothers me is when people form judgments or opinions of who I am based on a very small sampling of my personality and life, and being an introvert, a snippet is usually only what  most people see.

See me snap at my daughter in a store because to you she’s being “just being a kid?”  Well this kid just told me she HATED me because I didn’t let her watch a movie on the way to the store, only because she asked when we pulled into the parking lot of the store.  Said daughter then proceeded to throw a screaming fit in the car, which put her in a coughing fit on the verge of throwing up and made us 10 minutes later than we needed to be, all just to run in to pick up one freakin jug of milk.

See me sitting on a park bench maybe sneaking a peek at my phone every once in a while my kids run gleefully in the playground?  Chances are, I am checking the time, not Pinterest (or maybe I am, what of it?), and have just spent the entire week living and breathing my kids and could use a breather.  Practices, lunches, doctor’s appointments, dinners, homework, building forts, blowing up various toys, replacing batteries in night lights at midnight, hearing their highs and lows of the day, disciplining, celebrating and so on.  Every. Single. Moment.  I am not married to my phone, it’s just I am too tired to run and play when my kids are perfectly content to play without me.

The problem with my parenting is that because I am introverted, I tend not to show the emotion, joy, happiness, and love I feel for my kids in public.  I am content to let them have the spotlight, sit back and cheer quietly, and quietly survey the area for child molesters.  My best parenting moments come when no one is watching.  I am calmer because there isn’t an adult judging my every action, wondering if I am coddling my boy or giving into my princess too much, or making everything a teaching moment.  When we are alone, we just have fun and we talk about life, about the good, the bad and the days where I wish I could lock them (or me) in a cage (just kidding, it would be a comfortable cage).  No one sees the crazy dance parties or my dead-on performance of Ursula from Little Mermaid (For some reason, I relish only the villain parts).   No one sees me struggling through a how to defend yourself from other stupid, mean kids discussion with my 6 year old, who’s just finding out there are actually people out there who don’t completely adore him.  No one sees me sit and do a puzzle with my G or playing Barbies, or my personal favorite, My Little Ponies, like a boss.

I know people judge because my daughter is always sick.  Yes, she’s in daycare, and yes, that’s a big part of why she’s sick, but am I solely to blame because I work?  No, the daycare is not dirty or neglected.  It’s as clean as it can get with 18 snotty, sneezy and wipey 4 year olds together every day for 8-9 hours a day.  Her caregivers love and care for her oftentimes better than I could.  And they are all freakin saints when it comes to potty training.   So, when my kids get sick, please don’t blame being in daycare OR the fact that I didn’t breastfeed them long enough.  Does everything have to be my fault?

I just get mad when people only see 5 seconds of my life and think they would do it differently.  Maybe they would, maybe they wouldn’t, but hey, what can I say?  At least I am here, in the trenches of raising kids, digging as I go.  I am present all day every day, even in the moments I get to be away from them AT WORK.  I mess up, I lose my temper, I let things go that I shouldn’t, I feed them crap food, let them watch too much TV, but I am HERE.  Cut a girl some slack will ya?

Wow, that got angry.  Just a vent piece.  Mark’s been gone for two weeks and comes home tomorrow.  Let’s just say I need a break.  I’ll feel better by Sunday.

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