Tuesday 1 March 2011

Boundary building and on the search for a happy ending.

Disclaimer - this post is probably too personal and will offend some people! But not enough to turn my blog R18 :)

Yesterday, as I was driving home from an impromptu trip to the zoo, I was composing blog posts in my head. I was toying with spilling my guts about how I have discovered that Prince Charming doesn't exist. That there are very seldom any happy endings and that the world is often a wicked Step Mother who either wants you to disappear or croak it!

When I got home I found this article waiting in my reader - The Awakening. Go on take a moment to read it... I'll wait; but please come back...

I was struck by this line -
Enough fighting and crying! You are tired of struggling to hold on.
I am tired of the constant fighting. I am tired of struggling to hold on to something that is (seemingly) not valued by the other party. I am tired of feeling like the only one making an obvious attempt to salvage our life together.

Further on I read -

You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO.

It's true, the universe does give you the tools you need, right at the moment you need them most. I haven't been coping well, the twilight zone has well and truly reappeared and I want out of my life.Not permanently, just long enough to breathe and feel like me, not Mummy, Wife, Crap Housewife, Useless Friend, Far-Flung Daughter. The guilt at trying to be there for Stud1 and then screwing up Monkey's routines and vice versa has been eating away at me. I feel like I fail both of them daily.

But last night I decided to start setting boundaries. I have started small. I'm not going to play the role of taxi driver in the evenings, if Stud1 works late, he walks home. (Our last bus to our suburb is at 18:30 - if he misses the 17:45 train he misses the bus and we fetch him, throwing off Monkey's bedtime etc)

It sounds harsh, I know, but the stress of not knowing if he's going to be late or not, whether it's ok to run a little late with Monkey's dinner, whether I have time to shower him or bath him, has caused a lot of resentment on my part. I like having Monkey in a simple routine at bedtime. But waiting for a text/ sms (usually at the last minute) has created an environment which is not good for Monkey. I get pissed at Stud1 and then as he isn't here, my aggression/frustration is taken out on Monkey.

Last week I came about an inch away from punching him because he was whining about something inane... He's nearly three, most of his whining is inane - and usually easily ignored or diverted. I hate being the mother who yells, I never want to be the mother who hits, pinches or emotionally scars her kid.

For this reason, I am creating boundaries. Small ones, but they are built on stone.

Maybe having simple boundaries will encourage mutual respect and start building new foundations...


  1. Interesting article - acceptance of the world around you as it is (which is different from the way you see it) is the first step towards self realization.

    Sounds like Buddhism, but I suspect its a LOT harder than it sounds!

    Taking the article a little out of context, the bit about honesty and integrity is interesting too, but I wonder if it is outdated in that it requires on a community of people that realize they depend on each other. That interdependency is a lot harder to grasp when we interact with so many people we will never see again. Also, doesn't it only work if everyone is honest, or there are repercussions for dishonesty?

  2. Surely the interdependency could be between 2 people or a family?

  3. Sure in a trusted relationship with a few people it's workable. But in a wider context of the modern day "community", where people in the same community only ever meet once, it harder to see it working.

    This is a concern for me because we ultimately have to release kids into this community. How do I trust a stranger on the streets to demonstrate honesty and integrity to my child.

    Come to that, how can I trust a person of authority to demonstrate honesty and integrity? ( See lecture http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc given by a laywer and a police officer entitled "Don't talk to cops" )

    What's the lesson we teach over kids? Be open, honest and helpful unless it's a stranger. Doesn't seem right...

    Apologies for going off topic.

  4. Ok... you've gone way off topic.

    My thoughts are (having not watched the video yet) that you would need to instil in your children a knowledge of honesty and integrity. By bringing them up in a family unit which values honesty and integrity and the other values that are discussed in the article, they will know when they are met with a lack thereof. And by knowing they are not being treated with honesty and integrity they will have the strength of self to brush it off or move on...

    will try and watch the video tonight.

  5. Have been swamped and will come back to read the article but want to say....
    isn't it amazing the things we do in the name of super-mom/pillar of the household? The things we sacrifice? The hits we take? I've been on that same journey for almost 4 years now (sounds like our tots are not far apart). I hope these new boundaries work for you. I wish you peace in your heart. I hope your partner is supportive of your needs right now. And I am sending you thoughts of patience and warmth for your day. You are amazing. Keep your head up.

  6. I didn't read the article but I just wanted to say well done you on drawing a line in the sand for the best of everyone. It is impossible to be everything to everyone and actually I would think you will all feel much happier and emotionally healthier for choosing a good bedtime routine - sounds so boring but well rested baby = happier family in my experience. It's a good choice for you all.

  7. I haven't read all the comments..Little is yelling...But perhaps another boudry could be...if he misses the morning bus he walks too? And then you at least get your healthy breakfast on time and MAYBE even a shower/bath?? Just a suggestion...I thought of this last week actually, so its kinda funny/ironic (?) that you posted this recently.

  8. Hey K8 - you know us too well! That was the exact reason I went to the zoo!! I think it might be, as the no pick up at night is really working - I'm way less stressed!

    @MakeitGiveit - I think you are right. I'm happier with it. :)

    @Smartbear - Tina, did you get my email?

    @Mizzler - You haven't replied - I'll pin you down at dinner :)


Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I try to reply to as many as I can either here or by email. <3 LJx