Tuesday, November 24, 2009

logic vs. emotions

I think too much. My mom is always telling me that and as much as I sometimes hate to admit it, she's right.

{And I know that despite her not reading this she just smiled to herself and is thinking "yes dear, I always am"}

This week I've been thinking about my kids. I think about them a lot, after all, they are cute, cuddly, and loud. Very loud. Makes it very hard not to think about them at that volume. But I've been thinking about them and about what we ask of them.

Actually I'll put it out there in an honest mommy moment.

I fear I have broken my child.

I am afraid that flyboy or I have done something to break his ability to speak. Did we push potty training too hard? Is he feeling some sort of stress from dad being away, even though its only a short trip, is the coming and going getting to him? Has his new role as the middle child caused his young mind to go haywire? Did I yell at him the day before or something?

ARGHHHHHHHHHHH! What have I done?

And here's the thing.... a very important thing.... I know. I know, deep down, that it just is.

It's simply because.

Oh there might be a reason but I know, intellectually, that flyboy and I probably haven't broken our child. But it's funny how that is, how knowing and feeling are very different emotions and sometimes the more logical of the two doesn't win out.

Flyboy and I are black and white kinda people, its easier for us when there is an identifiable root cause, perhaps that's why I'm trying to figure out what it could be.

Or then again.... maybe its guilt.

We ask a lot of our kids. I'm amazed at the strength of military kids, they deal with long absences, short time home in between trips, plans suddenly changing, and some, far to many if you ask me, deal with heartbreaking loss.

I'm amazed, amazed at how an abnormal kinda life is their normal. And because I think of it as their normal sometimes I go back and forth on whether it effects them. Then again I'm 29 and I get pissy sometimes when he's gone, sometimes, even on these short trips, I just want him home this minute, this instant. While nothing is terribly wrong, I just want him back around to lean on.

And again.... I'm 29.

Surely my younguns feel that way.

This is actually one post I hope he doesn't read. I don't want him to feel anymore guilt then he already might. He does his job, he provides well for us, while there might be aspects of his job he loves {I'm on to you flyboy, not all parts of your job suck, you like to fly, you can't hide it} he'd much rather be here with us. But he's doing this for us {and his country but right now I'm focusing on us dammit}.

I hope my kids grow up thinking that this is just a normal kinda life. Dad may have missed out on a lot some but hey in the grand scheme, childhood rocked.

Except the whole punishment, timeout, chores, acne, teasing, heartache, puberty stuff. Those suck for everyone.

And I hope that logically I'm right, we haven't broken our kids.


  1. This actually broke my heart a little. I can't say I understand what you are feeling because clearly the only child I have is covered in fur and growls (I know one of yours does too... but the fur is the differenc e:) ). But I can almost feel your pain in this post. I know you are a wonderful mom and I know your heart is breaking over what happened at the park. But please, don't blame your parenting or flyboy's absence. I understand the need to have a cause, I am very much like that myself. But, sometimes it just is what it is. Hang in there and just keep doing what you do. You are a wonderful mom, regardless of what you say!

  2. A teacher friend of mine up here made a comment to me a few weeks ago about how she has military kids in her classroom. She was praising them in that because they've gone through so much (without really realizing it) that they generally are more happy-go-lucky and able to adapt to change than other students. I think in that perspective alone, this lifestyle is a positive one. They do go through a lot, but as a parent, if you're teaching them positive coping mechanisms, then you're doing just fine :)

  3. I worry about my kids too. I wonder if this lifestyle will be just too much for them. But then I hear things like Lola said and it makes me think that if we are loving parents that can be there for them, they will turn out ok.

    My oldest has speech issues and I am not sure we will ever really know why.

  4. I understand what you mean. Last year, at Keenan's parent-teacher conferences, his teacher told me that Keenan was developmentally delayed and I blamed it on myself. She also sort of insinuated that he wasn't doing as well as he should have been because he wasn't exclusively breastfed. I did not need that extra helping of guilt, nor did I need to be talking about my boobs in front of my ex-husband. Thank you, anyway.

    Another year later and he's doing so well. He, as they say, "grew out of it." Sometimes, all they need is time, even though it's incredibly difficult to watch them struggle.

    I understand the black or white thing - I am very much like that myself. Unfortunately, that's a concept we sometimes can't apply to our children, because sometimes they just flat don't make sense :)

  5. I think the fact that you're doing all this thinking and asking these sorts of questions means that you haven't broken anything :) I think it means that you're a good mom who cares deeply and truly for her little men and just wants whats best for them.

    All you can do is your best, and one day, your kids will realize this and turn around, and say, hey thanks, mom, i guess i was hard work

    (or at least, i did to my own mother! :-p

  6. It really sounds as if you are having a tough time and beating yourself up about things you may have little or no control over.

    It sounds as if you are at the end of your rope. Well, tie a knot and hang on!

    As Mrs 2d Lt said, you are thinking about every aspect of their well being. You truly ARE doing great but I must tell you that a good mother will always worry about such things even when their kids are in their 40s. (My Mother told me so) :)

    That said. I have been/am a military brat, an active military service member, a milspouse and a disabled veteran.

    What Lola said is true about military brats. Our second daughter didn't speak at all until she was three and the pediatrician discovered that although she didn't get ear infections, her ears were full of fluid and she couldn't hear. We had tubes put in and within two weeks she was talking. (Now you can't shut her up!)

    Ah, there is so many hair raising adventures that we've had but kids DO NOT come with instruction manuals and for that matter neither do parents.

    So hang in there. Take a deep breath and know that nobody else could be a better mother to your kids than you!

  7. Oh sweetie, make my heart bleed! I don't have kids yet, but I DO know the (now adult) kids of military families. The ones that had "issues" would like have had them regardless of their father's profession, and nearly every single one of them has turned out to be responsible, productive members of society. (I say nearly, because one of them is now in law school...it's our own private joke ;)) Seeing them on the other side of that journey, it's encouraging to *me* to know that I can raise healthy kids in a somewhat-unconventional life.

    What is "normal"? When I was growing up, my dad had a desk job at an oil company - which he worked at for about 12-14 hours a day, would be gone before I got up and come home after 8 at night. We never had a bedtime because staying up until midnight with him was the only way to have any sort of relationship with him at all. My mom had to give up her ideas of "normal" when they agreed to homeschool us, partially for that reason. If we had had traditional school with 8:00 bedtimes and such, he wouldn't have had any time with us at all. And on the weekends, he was working at his church (he was a pastor then), so "busy" pretty much characterized our lives.

    So I rambled there. Sorry. This is your blog.

    You do with what you can, and from what I can tell, you are doing very well. You are already my hero, raising three boys who have not yet eaten each other or burned down the house. I think that entitles you to a medal.

  8. When I was growing up my father was a pilot in the AF and was gone quite a bit. It was tough but I'm a stronger person because of it.
    No regrets here.

    Your kids are not broken. You all are doing a great job.

    Many Blessings & Happy Thanksgiving! ~Melissa :)

  9. Your kids are not broken. I know it is extremely hard to see them suffer with anything, especially something so important as talking. It's very likely he'll grow out of it.

    And it is not your fault. Tell your heart that. It is not your fault.

  10. I think as parents we ALL think about what we have done to mess up our kids. The military lifestyle always seems to compound those feelings.

    You guys are excellent parents and one day all three of your boys will come back and say "THANK YOU!" So don't beat yourself up over everything Dash-2 is experiencing. I bet in a few months time his stuttering will fade and he will employ Dash-1 in helping him kick that mean 7 year old's butt!

  11. Hey, I have a BS in Speech Pathology and my mom has a Masters in it as well so I'm well-versed in child language development. Stuttering is completely normal for children around the age of 3. Most grow out of it before Kindergarten. As long as you're patient and don't draw attention to it, it should all work out beautifully - and he most likely won't even notice anything is going on. If, for some reason, he doesn't grow out of it, there are always fantastic Speech Pathologists available in public schools to help him manage and/or overcome it. Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving! :)

  12. I think some times we feel like we're breaking them, but I think in any normal parent-child relationship, we'd worry about the exact same thing, only in a different form. We just get the obvious ones--what does this lifestyle do to them? Right now other people are worrying about layoffs and the crappy economy and how that's affecting their kids. Just the fact that you're concerned over any of this proves that you are not the mother you're worried about being.

    Did that make sense?


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