Sunday, July 24, 2011

Do They Know?

Disclaimer:  I'm not sure why but I feel that I need to put this out there.  It's something I might normally write in my personal journal but have a nagging feeling I need to post it here.  Maybe someone out there needs to know that they are not alone.  Or maybe it's just something I need to do to make in order to make a change.  Whatever the reason, I hope you understand that I am doing my best.  Constructive criticism is more than welcome, negative... not so much!

Do my children know how much I love them?

If I were to die tomorrow, would they remember me the way I would like to be remembered?  Or is that Mom hiding behind a wall of unattainable perfection in my mind?

Never in my life have I considered myself a perfectionist.  My house would tell you that I'm at the exact opposite end of perfection.  Okay, so I'm extremely messy and unorganized.  But I've learned something about myself recently.  I truly AM a perfectionist.  The type that says if I can't do it perfectly, there's no point in trying at all. 

This level of perfectionism is dangerous!  Truly, it is debilitating.  It's made me a version of myself that I don't love.  In fact, a version that I would never want to live with... which makes me wonder... do my children and husband really know how deeply I care?  How could they?  I'm not even nice.  I can't be perfect so I turn it around and make everything their fault when truly, I should take the blame.  Simple things that shouldn't even have fault are blamed on them.  Surely it couldn't be me... I'm perfect!

So.... does K know that when I get after her for saying something extremely sarcistic or trying to 'be the mom' that I am really getting after myself?  After all, she is just like me in so many ways.  The things she says and the tone she uses are the same ones that I use.  Yet, somehow, it's not okay coming from her mouth.  And does she know that when I tell her she's "doing it wrong" that she really isn't?  She's only doing it different.  The end result is the same so why do I feel the need to force her to do it the way that I would?

Does she know that I love her?

Does A know that when I get upset with her for being bossy and selfish that I am truly getting after myself?  After all, she is just like me in so many ways.  My need to feel in control of every situation is out of control and I get bossy with my kids.  Of course she's bossy and selfish.  It's what she knows!

But does she know that I love her?

Does H know that when I get after her for only doing what is asked of her when she wants to that I am only getting after myself?  After all, she is just like me in so many ways.  She only hears what she wants to hear and only when she wants to hear it.  I only hear what I want to hear.  I only see what I want to see.  It's only applicable if I say it's applicable.

But does she know that I love her?

Does Anthony realize that I'm critical of him because I care?  I know it doesn't help, it's what I've always known.  It's not an excuse... just the truth.  It needs to change.  The things I criticize him for are the same things that I, myself, need to work on.  I'm being critical of me.

But does he know that I love him?

Do the boys understand that when I tell them no every five seconds of the day, that I'm only trying to protect them?

I need to say yes more often... to all of my kids.  'No' is a part of me.  It always has been, though I don't understand completely why.  Things that should be a 'yes' are often a 'no' because it's just the first word that comes to mind.  And then, since I already said it, even though in my mind I know I could easily change the answer, I usually leave it at 'no'.  It's got to change.

Do Anthony and the kids realize that because of the relentless teasing and bullying I received as a child, I am often in defense mode?  That wall was built many many years ago and has yet to be broken down completely.

Do they know why I don't comfort them with hugs and kisses as often as I should?  I try to do it with words, though I know that hugs are more deeply comforting.  Physical touch is my least spoken of the Five Love Languages.  It's just something I've not been comfortable with since I was very small.  Again, all the teasing and comments put a huge bubble around me that very few can enter.  The closer someone physically got to me, the more likely target I became.  Therefore, if you were close enough to touch me, you were too close.

This is something that bothers me quite a bit.  I'm bothered by the fact that I don't reach out to my children and smother them in hugs and kisses when they are hurt or sad... or even happy and excited!

Do they know that I want to?  Do they understand how hard it is for me?

Does Anthony realize that I look in the mirror every day and wish I could change the way I look?  I know that I don't look the way I used to.  After having five kids, the abs aren't quite as tight as they used to be, the extra skin and sagginess is wretched and certain parts of me have headed south.

I fear the day that he looks at me and decides he doesn't want me anymore.  It's such a real fear for me that I expect it at any point.  I'm just waiting for that day.

Do the kids understand that when I yell, I'm really yelling at me?  When I tell them to be patient... {with an impatient tone}.

Do they know that when I roll my eyes in frustration that they really haven't done anything wrong?  I'm frustrated with me but I turn it on them.

Does Anthony know that I appreciate all that he does for us?

Does K know how helpful she really is to me?  Do I tell her I love her often enough?

Do they know that my heart breaks into a million pieces when I see that someone has hurt them with unkind gestures or words?  And that those pieces break into a million more when I realize that it was ME that hurt them?  Do they know that I hate seeing them with tears in their eyes?

Do they know that I lie in bed at night and wish I could start the day over just so I can try to do it right this time?

Do they know that even though we haven't been able to afford many of the things they want {or even need}, that I love them?  Do they feel unloved because they don't have some of the things that other kids have?

Do they know that when my mind wanders at night {as it so often does} and I think about other kids who are sick or have been kidnapped or worse, that I can't stand the thought that something like that would happen to them?  It makes me sob like a baby but I'm a mom who thinks.... too much, maybe {according to Anthony}.

Do they know that if they weren't in my life, I'd be lost?

Do they know that I feel like a terrible mom sometimes?

Does Heavenly Father know that I'm trying?  Does He see it as trying or as excuses?  Does He know I'm trying to be better?  Does He think I'm hopeless?  Does he know that on most days I feel hopeless as a wife and mother?

Now that I realize how my perfectionism is hurting my family, am I able to change it?

Do I know how to change it?



LeShel said...

Do you know how much your Heavenly Father loves you?
I find myself regularly thinking in the same manner as you. I feel very strongly that it's Satan taping into my insecurities and playing games. I have to step back a lot. When I get really deep it's harder to get back out but sometimes I can catch myself early and retrain my mind to think more positive.
One thing that seems to regularly help me is to remember that Heavenly Father loves me. He loves me as much now as he did yesterday, as he will tomorrow, no matter what I do or say. Even through mistakes and righteousness his love does not change. No increase, no decrease. I have two favorite hymns. One is Press Forward Saints. Check it out. It's all He asks of us.
And now I think I will re-read this and tell myself to listen to me. Love you!

Amber said...

Wow, I think you took the words right out of my mouth.
I wonder many, many of the same things in my life with my kids and husband.
I have asked myself "do they know" and have only come to the conclusion that, they know I love them. But do they know how much.
And I don't think they can, unless we show them and tell them, often! That is something I have been working on for awhile now.

I like the above comment as well.

Emily said...

I am so glad you did post this. I feel 100% the same way. And it feels so good to know that i'm not the only one who feels like this. I have two of the most amazing little girls (3yrs and 4 months) but I dont treat them like they are amazing. Thank you for posting this. I feel a connection with you now knowing I can relate. Thank you.

Brooke said...

Thank you. I want my blog to be honest. And I want people to know that I am a real person. Things aren't always rainbows and butterflies, just most of the time they are! ;)

Rachel said...

Thank you!!! I really needed to read this post. It's nice to know that I'm not alone.