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Always more than one path. But so damnably hard sometimes to know which is the right one, eh? I, too, find myself in those moments you described with Elias and they shame me. Always, always, they come in those moments when I am taking his behavior personally and thinking he can control it. So hard.

Sending you warm thoughts and wishes for thicker skins for both of us.

Shame is what caused my sobs in the bedroom. Knowing that I felt angry enough to almost hurt Elias scared the heck out of me. I talked to a father at soccer about it and it helped when he said that all parents have moments like that, when we feel angry enough to swipe back, but its the fact that we don't that makes us "good" parents. Its hard to feel like a good parent on days like these though. Hoping for some better days ahead...


I absolutely love your writing! You are so REAL! I have read your entire Blog and have enjoyed every post--I am a mother of 2 college kids, the wife of a middle school principal, and an elementary speech therapist . I often think about the mother's of the numerous children I work with each day--I have many challenging kids- and usually can "get through" a 7 hour day--I think about the challenges of actually living with these kids and don't know if I could do it--you are amazing and Elias is so very lucky to have you as a mom!

Have definitely had parenting moments like this and the intensity of it is terrifying. but then you go and take a timeout for yourself to regroup and go back stronger for it.
my favorite part of this is where elias is talking about a path to get back in. i just think the image of him and olive in there together is beyond sweet.
ps you're not a good parent. you're a great one. seriously :) we all have days and even weeks like this. and then it will get better again and the light will come back and you'll all be dancing in the kitchen.

I also have moments when I want to lash out, believe me. I think most of us do--and if there are some that don't I tell myself it has to do with the intensity level at which they choose or are wired to live life.I live at a pretty high level of intensity and my loving moments are also super intense. I think the kids sense that we love them and that we are human--which is not a bad thing to know. I wish you easier days...peaceful hours....good belly laughs....the love of Nick and a glass of wine after the kids' bedtime...hang in there.

Deb, Kate, and Danielle, thank you for writing, for helping to normalize the intensity of these feelings, reassuring me that its not just ok to write about it but healthy to be honest with my words, and reminding me that I'm still a good parent just suffering a rough stretch.

And yes, there will be more dancing in the kitchen ahead!

A training I attended today ended with each participant picking a quote card. The facilitator said she believes quotes find the people. This is the one I picked:

"Care of the soul...isn't about doing, fixing, changing, adjusting, or making healthy, and it isn't about some idea of perfection or even improvement. It doesn't look to the future for an ideal trouble-free existence. Rather, it remains patiently in the present, close to life as it presents itself day by day, and yet at the same time mindful of religion and spirituality." -Thomas Moore

Needed that.

wow....what a beautiful post. so touching. thank you.

I have read this post 3 times soaking in the raw honesty, emotions & wisdom. While I am not a parent, I am caring for my elderly father. I moved from Alaska, after 30 years, to return to the hills of southeastern KY, a place I left at age 17. Others tell me it's much like parenting and he seems to have childlike traits. I, too, can so identify with the anger, wanting to lash out, going to my room sobbing. Realizing it's not about me helps me let it go...sometimes more quickly than others. I find so many parallels in your writings. Thank you for helping me.

Oh Janice, thank you for writing, I can see where there would be a lot of cross-over in our situations and I'm glad my words reach you, all the way from AK to KY. May we each remember we aren't in control, its not about us, to take deep breaths and let go.

Thank you Nerissa!

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