Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Pep Talk From One Mom-Vet to Another

March 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Bras & Boots, Most Recent Posts

Heidi-
I’m just sitting here thinking about some of our recent topics of conversation relating to our frustration with ourselves when it comes to parenting challenges and I’m going to try to remember I’m telling you these things, because I could do well to hear them when I get down on myself for not being the perfect parent.

1) You and I both had our kids about 19 months apart. I can’t find anything that shows a recommended age spread between kids, but I could swear I read a credible source about a year ago when I felt I was on the verge of a very literal nervous breakdown from all the stress of work and motherhood, that clearly stated that it’s best to start trying for the second once the first reaches the age of 2. I sure can’t find anything that says it now- but I remember that reading that gave me some comfort when I felt like I was just overwhelmed by trying to care for both at the same time- racked with guilt that I neglected one over the other all the time, and feeling angry and tired and sad for so many other reasons. Wish I could find the article now, but maybe they’ve been beaten by all the relativists who now spout that it’s all about what’s right for each individual couple- What a crock of crap. Having a baby when you already have a baby who is going to continue to be a baby for some time while trying to grow the other baby is fucking hard. It’s harder than it would be if we had an established toddler who could talk and listen and do things for themselves, who didn’t need to be held and who didn’t cry incessantly while crapping their pants at inopportune times.

2) You and I are resilient women with a good amount of intelligence and integrity on our sides. You have a combat action badge and know what it’s like to work under adverse conditions without sleep or personal hygiene as the modern world knows it. I have jumped out of airplanes and helicopters and rucked 100 miles in 4 days. We both have advanced degrees that required perseverance to acquire. Yet, motherhood is completely kicking our ass on a daily basis. It’s because it is f***ing hard.

3) You and I are racked with guilt at our inability to either rise above it, deal with it more gracefully, or fear how our actions will somehow mold our children in a bad way. I have to remind myself that by regretting an action and wanting to be better, I am at least thinking about the consequences- and that, makes me a good parent. A bad parent, or a failure of a parent, doesn’t care about the repercussions of their bad judgment. We’re good because we feel bad when we suck as parents. And sometimes we suck as parents because motherhood is f****ing hard.

Do you see a recurring thread throughout my thoughts here?

There!

I know I feel better! I hope you feel better! See you tomorrow to go kill some more crops at the community garden! 🙂

Tricia

Comments

2 Responses to “Pep Talk From One Mom-Vet to Another”
  1. Helen says:

    I’m so glad ya’ll write this blog… being a female in the military and now trying to decide whether I want to stay career or not, and if so how do I have a family and be a good spouse since we’re both military… and coming from a place where I don’t know anyone to sort of guide me on this perspective or give me advice in anyway, its nice to realize other people have, and are, going through the same thing. Keep up the good work ladies!

  2. tricia says:

    Hi! Just wanted to let y’all know one of the swear words isn’t blocked out in the second paragraph. I’m the author so it doesn’t bother me, but it might irritate some readers! hahaha! Helen, thanks for the feedback- That was an actual email pep talk between me and a friend of mine- I thought it might resonate with other moms who struggle with similiar issues of balance and guilt. The swearing is for effect- and I wouldn’t send the same email to members of my weekly coffee group. But, that is the beauty of the solidarity and bond between veterans- we can be rough- and still sip wine with class in the next instant. hahaha!

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