my night as a mean parent, thoughts on Facebook, and why I don’t care to censor myself anymore

I believe in kindness.  I really do.  I try to choose kindness whenever I have a choice…

But I often fail.  I am human.

Tonight I was a mean parent.

Anna would not take a nap today although she was obviously tired.

I yelled out of frustration and anger and begged God to give me a break.  I couldn’t handle this.  While she cried and kicked and screamed, I felt like I could kick her or run away or scream in her face.  Then I stubbed my toe on a step stool. That was it.  I freaked out and started crying and yelling.  Anna was startled and instantly quieted down.  And I instantly felt terribly for what I had done.

Finally, while nursing one nipple and scratching/pulling/twisting/picking on the other nipple, Anna fell asleep.  Relief washed over me, and I felt in love again.

I learned about “sleep talking” the other day during a phone counseling session with one of my favorite people, Jan Hunt.  I will sleep talk to Anna tonight to apologize for being a mean mom.  I will tell her that I love her, that it is not her fault, and that she deserves better.  I will do better tomorrow.

Yesterday I was thinking about being a seed of change.  Today I am thinking about how a seed of change cannot achieve perfection, even if it wants to.  It can only strive for being its best self.  Nature is flawed and messy.  And I love that.

One of the reasons I quit Facebook a while back was that I became very disturbed by some of the things that people said on there.  I also felt scrutinized for what I said and suddenly felt afraid of revealing myself in such a public forum–to hundreds of people whom I hardly knew and certainly did not trust. I often felt judged and attacked for my unusual beliefs and choices, and that was hard for me.  I don’t do well with criticism.

When I took my break from Facebook, I had a lot of time to center myself and think about things.  During my hiatus, I realized that I didn’t want to lose connections to some of my Facebook friends.  I missed them. So I joined again and chose my friends carefully–this time, just the ones I trusted and felt good about having in my circle. There are still a few in there who would criticize my beliefs and choices, but I care enough about them to keep them…for now, at least.

Unfortunately, now Facebook shows me conversations that occur outside of my “friends” circle.  I can see other conversations, but I cannot comment on them.  I can also be a part of conversations on my friends’ pages that involve people who are not my friends.  This happened the other day, and I again found myself feeling overwhelmed and deeply disturbed by the hostility of some people.

And these particular people are people whom I know.  They are a part of my faith community.  They believe in and defend their meanness with pride. They encourage parents to belittle, punish, and name-call their kids.  In other words, they are bullies.  At the same time, they confess to have the same love and faith in their hearts as I have in mine. It is so confusing to me.  I do not understand them, and I don’t understand how those things can coexist within the same heart.

So I wrote my two cents in the comment thread and left it behind.  I told myself it was not my place to judge, thank goodness, and that I can only take care of what is in my own heart. Then I wrote this post and went to bed.

And then tonight I was a mean parent myself, so I can humbly say that none of us are perfect–and most certainly not me.  And I sort of felt like an idiot for being a spokesperson for kindness.  As if I am qualified for that.

We are all mean sometimes.

I used to feel like I had to be careful about what I wrote on this blog, but as of today I no longer care to do that.  I don’t have the energy for censorship.  Censorship requires such restraint and I am bursting at the seams.

From now on I am posting what pleases me, and nothing less.  It might please whomever reads it and it might not.  From now on, I care mainly about being true to myself and the people I share my house with. This is my blog and I love writing in it.  It lets me remember things that are important to me.  It lets me get thoughts out of my head so that I can sleep.

Goodnight 🙂

a seed of change

Mean parents make mean kids.

Mean kids turn into mean adults.  Mean adults marry other mean adults and make more mean children.  The cycle continues and multiplies for generations.

That is, unless one of those children is a seed.  Even without space and nourishment, a seedling will sprout. She will be stepped on, blown over, cut down.  She will become disfigured, shooting water sprouts to ensure her survival.  Beside the strong, thick oak she will be overlooked.

But she will grow.  She will plant her own seeds.  Even without space and nourishment, seedlings will sprout.  They will protect each other from wind; they will reach too high to be stepped on and grow too strong to be cut down.   A forest will grow.  The old will nourish the new.  The old ones will die and feed the soil, sustaining the next generation.

Kind parents make kind children.  Kind children turn into kind adults, who marry kind adults and make kind children.  And the cycle continues and grows for generations, creating a multiplicity of kindness that can spread to epidemic proportions.

What’s not to love about that?

Be a seed of change.

Choose kindness.