A Moment of Self Reflection

The other morning the boys had a 2 hour delay for a “snow storm” we had the night before here in NC. Seriously! We had less than 2 inches of snow and it was gone in the morning, but who’s counting? They were super excited, as is to be expected with the possibility of snow and no school. I even let them stay up later than usual because I knew they could sleep in and I’m an awesome mom (wink). I was equally excited about not having to wake up at 6 am. So can someone please explain to me why my tween son was mad that I woke him up at 8 am? And before you say because he wanted to sleep in later…ERRR! No! It was because he didn’t wake up early enough. And not only was he mad, but he was extremely grumpy, hardly said two words and growled at us! GROWLED! (You know when people try to console you by saying you’re not alone? Well I really think I am the only mom in the world with this problem.)

As I write about it now I can see the humor, but my immediate response was to get mad back at him. But WHY? This is the question I asked later when I realized how mad I actually was about his grumpiness and couldn’t give myself an acceptable answer. Hence the reflection part of this post.

It occurred to me that yes, I have done a ton of work to lessen the severity of my weaknesses and shortcomings, but it’s been focused on the relational issues specific to a significant other. There is still so much work to do with the other important relationships in my life, namely with my sons. Lest you think  this is the first time this realization is dawning on me, I doubt there is a day that goes by without me feeling inadequate as a mother in one form or another. If you’ve been following me for a while you may recall that one of my greatest fears throughout my separation and divorce was the fear of emotionally screwing up my children. While I don’t think I will completely ruin their lives anymore, I still want to have the healthiest possible relationship with them. Getting mad at someone for his grumpiness is not a healthy response. It wasn’t in marriage and it isn’t in ANY relationship.

Here what I deduced:

1. I got mad because I took his grumpiness as a personal statement that I am “not good enough”. Crazy that I would get that from a 12 year old growl, but I did. It seems to be a recurring theme in the story of my insecurity.

2. There is a stink of co-dependency in this story. It’s slight, but it is there. If my kids are happy, I am happy. If they’re miserable, I’m miserable. The odds are against me. There are 3 of them and the chance that all of them will be happy at the same time are equivalent to me finding a wad of cash in my mailbox. So why am I allowing their demeanor to determine my mood?

3. We should all be allowed to express ourselves when we are feeling emotional. He was obviously having a bad morning for whatever reason. I mean he is pubescent after all. He should have the freedom to be upset without someone else taking it personally and adding to the crumminess of the situation.

So there you have it! I am officially the best mom on the planet now, right? Ha! I wish it were that easy. If I could fix every problem by analyzing it, I would write a book and make millions. Pshh! I know it’s not that easy. Instead I’ll just work at being more aware of my reactions. I will still get mad when they pretend they can’t hear me tell them to clean their room, take a shower, brush their teeth. I will still yell loudly when they are fighting with one another in another room. I will still talk through my gritted teeth at my youngest 10 times a day for…pretty much everything. But if I stay aware and ask myself why I am reacting the way I am, sooner or later it will become easier to not react. Between that and asking my boys for forgiveness when I over do it, there is hope….for that best mom on the planet award!

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This Diet Works! (as long as you don’t get too happy)

There is a diet out there that works. I know because it worked for me. Without adding anything to my daily regimen of NOT exercising I dropped 20 pounds! And this didn’t just happen once but twice. I call it the Separation Diet. All you have to do to achieve this dieting phenomenon is experience the loss of a spouse or significant other in the form of an emotional or physical separation. That’s all folks! All this could be yours for the very low price of a broken heart, shattered dreams and a dismal outlook on your future. So who wants to sign up?

Haha. All joking aside, this is an actual observation I’ve made and I’m sure it’s been scientifically proven at some point. If not it definitely should be. When I was going through my separation/divorce, I noticed a handful of others going through a similar situation also losing a ton of weight quickly. Some looked better than they ever did before and some looked like the walking dead (I specifically make that reference because I hear B watching The Walking Dead downstairs. Always a pleasant mood enhancing soundtrack…if you want to eat some brains or shoot some zombies in the head! Or maybe write a blog?).

Rabbit trail:  Has anyone else noticed that when you are going through a particular something you all of a sudden know so many people going through the same thing? Whether it be marriage, pregnancy, divorce… it’s as if your awareness is heightened to others of likeness. Sort of like when you buy a car and all of a sudden you see the same car everywhere! Okay, ending the rabbit trail now.

I received many compliments when I was losing the weight. My favorite was from my then sister-in-law (case in point to my earlier rabbit trail: we are no longer technically related due to her own divorce). She told me I looked like I had peace, that I smiled more and just looked like I felt lighter. I replied that it was probably because I no longer had to worry about not meeting my husband’s standards which were impossible to achieve anyway. It was seriously a HUGE weight lifted. I was able to be myself…finally.

So everything is great now, right? I survived the heart-wrenching failure of my marriage, I radiate peace and lightness, I’ve met the love of my life and I loss a lot of weight!

Disclaimer: Unfortunately there’s a flip side to the Separation Diet and that is Happiness Weight. Beware! It just seems to creep up on you when you’re busy living your happy life!

It’s true. Since I’ve met B I’ve gained 10 pounds back…eeek! B has also gained some weight back although I still think he looks like the Tall Blonde I fell in love with. B and my moms will say I still look beautiful and I believe they mean it biased or not. BUT I can definitely feel the difference and I DON’T LIKE IT! As in every facet of life there is still hope. Since the Separation Diet is no longer an option (AHEM, B) I guess I’ll have to do it the old fashioned way. Eating well and exercising! WHY OH WHY?!!! I think I’ll start next week. 😉