LYNNABEL's CalorieKing blog

Thursday, Jul 17 2008

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I keep starting a journal entry, and then giving up. As if not having a crisis of the soul means thereís nothing to write about.

This week has been up and down for me, emotionally. Iíve been highly irritated at times, and very content at times. Iím getting the hang of regrouping after a bad experience with the kids. Rather than making grandiose resolutions or spending hours self-analyzing, Iím reviewing, planning, and letting go. Its helping me get back to where I want to be quicker.

Ellen is tricky, though. She has episodes, every few weeks, where she fusses and cries and smiles, repeat the sequence, for several hours on end without apparent reason. Last night, for example, she had a nap from 7 to 8. (Steve likes her having an evening nap, I donít. So when he does night duty, he does it, and when I do night duty, I donít. Iíve worried about consistency, but I cannot, cannot, cannot be ďonĒ from 5:30 am to 10pm. Its just not an option. She has to go to bed at 9 or 9;30 for me, not 10, or 11), or 1 AM as was the case last night. Steve said the only reason she fell asleep last night at 1am was because he finally let her cry for about 10 minutes. Heís a softy. Ellen throws me curve balls like this that make me think, ďI DONĒT KNOW YOU.Ē I know Iím a broken record about it, but the lack of consistent sleeping on her part is SO #&$^%&^$($*( difficult.

Okay. Hereís a confession. I wish Steve and I were more insync with our approach to the kids. Its not that weíre so different that it causes them issues, but weíre different enough that I feel disconnected/out of alignment with him on a fairly regular basis. And its deep seated/seeded, so thereís really no reason to talk about it with him. Iím not going to suddenly wake up a different person, and neither is he. Do I wish he and I were a bit more like Staci and Larry? Or Callie and Eric? Yes, sometimes, in my heart of hearts. On the other hand, our differences are what have made me grow as a human being. Theyíve made me a better person, so its hard to truly wish them away.

Here is a specific example. Weíre planning to potty train Will in early August. Iíve checked books out of the library, and will end up giving Steve a summary of what I think we should do. Heíll agree, but wonít read the books unless I specifically ask him to, and then heíll develop his own method(s) anyway, and Iíll feel silly because he wonít tell me what these methods are until after heís been using them for a while, and then I feel secretly resentful of the time / effort I spent researching the subject. Iíll get a new potty seat for Will, a little set up so he can dump the poop and pee out and clean it himself. Iíll set up bins in the bathroom with clean clothes for him, and toys for when heís sitting on the potty, and all of this Iíll do ahead of time because I think ahead of time. Steve thinks in the moment, so he canít wrap his mind around this type of pre-planning that is SO second nature to me.

So, Iíve been toying with the idea of handing the whole issue over to Steve. ďHoney, here are some books I checked out of the library if you want to look at them. But I think Iíll let you tell me how you want to approach his potty training, and let me know so I can be consistent.Ē

On the other hand, I complain at times about not being The Mom. So, do I really want to give up the driverís seat in this example? I donít know. I did with Ellenís sleeping. Iíd being getting ready to have us work on letting her cry a bit and following the steps that we did with Will, since Steve said over and over again while I was pregnant that we wouldnít wait as long with Ellen as we did with Will to start that. Here Ellen is 7 months old, and Iíve stopped suggesting anything to Steve because he isnít ready to let her cry. And, since heís bears the brunt of her lack of sleeping, so be it. I canít force the issue. I can, however, get frustrated and feel like we have such different approaches to the kids that itís a wonder we co-exist peacefully.

Okay, so maybe I do have a crisis of the soul.

And you know, finding time to even have a conversation with Steve on this whole issue is next to impossible. Weíve got to start sleeping in the same room again. But that will mean that Ellen has to figure out how to sleep herself, which shows NO LIKELIHOOD of happening any time soon.
I need my August vacation. I feel guilty complaining about it but its been TWO years since Iíve been sans child for longer than 3 hours. Aside from my hours at work, and the occasionally evening out, TWO YEARS. I just pray, pray, pray that I donít let myself ruin it with guilt.

How stupid Ė I casually begin an entry and then up in tears. Maybe I should either journal more faithfully or not journal at all.

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Comments

3 comments so far.

3.

6 years ago

I can only hope that Larry and I are as solid with each other on raising our kids as we are in so many other parts of our lives. I admit that, as far a stretch as it is, there are many things about our dogs that I've just given up to Larry because he spends more time with them and he just won't follow through on certain things I know would make them better dogs. sometimes I fear that I'll become the disciplinarian while Larry is the "fun" dad, but I do believe that he and will be able to work through those inconsistencies and come together when we need to. I think, says the woman who doesn't have toddlers yet, that that might be the key for me when Larry and I get there: figure out where it's most important to come together and where I can let things slide from my own comfort level. you said Steve isn't ready to let her cry yet, but he did the other night and she fell asleep on her own. you could use that gently to show him that maybe he is ready. I like Callie's idea of doing some of the setup for potty training, especially if Steve isn't a planner, and then stepping back and letting him use them as he can -- he may come to really appreciate having resources there that he hadn't otherwise thought of. I also REALLY like the idea of you taking a GUILT-FREE vacation, and if I could I would so be there with you to keep your mind from that deep hole. I'll be head high in dirty diapers in August but I hope we can find some time while you're on your own to catch up by phone and talk about the whole world.

by HOOSIERSTACE

HOOSIERSTACE

2.

6 years ago

I vote for the 'journal more faithfully'. :love: I have to say, I was surprised to see Eric and I in there as barometer of good communication. Then I realized that I must not journal about our issues nearly as much as I should. Eric is so similar to Steve in so many ways (and that's not including the gadget addiction ;) ), and it's caused many an argument about child rearing and how to approach the milestones (although, most of our disagreements stem from how to punish the kids, and what our boundaries are for bad behavior). With potty training, I tried to discuss it with him and never really felt like I got any input. And I was convinced that it would be better/different with Trevor because of the been-there-done-that thing. It's not. There still isn't much help or input. As for your particular situation, I would vote for the door #2. As hard as it may be to step back and let him have control, I think that it's going to be more detrimental to your mental health to do all the research and work only to have it ignored (I hate hate hate when Eric does that!). So you could set up the extra clothes, buy a potty, get some toys, and then let Steve determine how and when he is going to approach it. That doesn't mean you shouldn't read the books if they interest you, or voice an opinion if it comes up. But, speaking from my own perspective, I am more resentful if I put a lot of thought and planning into something and then find out it was all for nothing. As with everything, you have to pick your battles. And since you already know the most likely outcome of all this, maybe putting The Mom on the back burner is worth it. Having said all of that, I have tried on many occasions to explain to Eric that I find it disrespectful for him to not try to help me out with things that he knows bother me. As a mild example, he knows I hate being late. I HATE it. When it happens (which is always does) I am upset and stressed on the car ride to wherever we're going, and it ruins things just a little for me. For 7 years he has known this about me. But rather than help me get out of the house earlier, or make an effort to get himself ready to go on time, he instead spends the entire ride telling me how I shouldn't let it bother me and no one else is going to care and why do I have to worry about it so much? I've tried to explain that, since in 7 years I have not been able to 'just get over it', it wouldn't be an issue if he would do something proactive to help instead of just making me feel like an idiot. Taking this to your life, Steve knows you're a planner. He knows it's an integral part of your personality to do research and figure things out ahead of time. So maybe it would help if he would respect that aspect of your personality rather than ignoring it and doing his own thing anyway. Not saying there's an easy way to say that to him, but at some point you're both going to have to find a way to factor that into decision making in order to avoid one of you feeling resentful.

by CBL

CBL

1.

6 years ago

Lynn, I'm sorry this is a difficult time for you. I have no words of wisdom regarding co-parenting, but the thing about potty training I can only offer this. Since Steve is with Will the majority of waking hours, you may just want to let him use whatever method he thinks will work. I did this with daycare -- and I was happy to know that we were in sync on methods -- but the reality is that daycare trained Maya, I just followed their recommendations for at home. Is he expressing interest? Most parents that I've talked to have said that it will ONLY work if the child is on board. Good luck -- and go perfect that potty dance! :laugh5:

by MAYASMOM

MAYASMOM