Do you ever get that feeling…

…that there’s another, possibly better, way to go about something? Maybe you mishandled a situation, and it didn’t end well. As you replay the situation in your head, you realize that there was probably another way you could’ve handled that situation which would’ve resulted in a better outcome. As a parent, I feel that a lot! Like after yelling at one of the kids because I was too upset in the heat of the moment; or not thinking about the consequences my actions, or words, would bring about. There are even times when I think about actions that could’ve worsened a situation and still resulted in a better outcome.

I wonder if second guessing is as prevalent among other people as it is for me. I take my role as parent and guardian very seriously. I often find myself replaying situations trying to plan a better course of action if a similar situation ever happens again. Unfortunately I usually end replaying them in the middle of the night when I should be sleeping. This is one major drawback of being an insomniac. My mind races at night, and I can’t sleep, while during the day I feel like a zombie. I was talking to a sister-in-law last night and she said that her husband is somehow able to ignore the crazy that some people try to bring into their lives, but that she struggles because she can’t ignore the crazy, she gets upset by it. Jay and I are the same way, he can ignore it, but I can’t help but get upset by it. Balance. It’s hard to come by.

I went out on a limb last night to help someone I don’t have any positive feelings for, only to have it backfire and remind me, yet again, why I don’t have any positive feelings for them. So here I am at 5:30 in the morning, still awake, replaying the events of last night. 

I am a step parent, as well as a natural parent. One of the hardest lessons I’ve learned is that in order to help your children flourish in a blended family situation you have to have a respect and love for all of the other parents in your children’s lives. I still struggle with this as some of the parents of the newest children in our family do not even attempt to reciprocate any form of love or respect for us. The situations involving these parents are destructive to the children. These are the moments I replay most often in my head. 

I try to think of ways to lessen the emotional blows, but I can’t. There have times, in my distant past, that I’ve been so unhappy with the consequences of my choices that I’ve tried to cause others to feel as much pain as I do, it’s called being a bully. Some of the parents feel it’s ok to bully their children in order to be respected. Fear is not respect, though, it’s just fear. The reality of the situation is that each parent has to unselfishly give up their control in order to show any level of respect and love for the parents who are raising their children. Giving up control over trivial things is hard enough. Giving up control over your children sometimes seems impossible. I do my best to embrace the differences people have. I’m the first to admit that I’m still struggling to embrace some differences, but I try. 

Acceptance is so easy to fake for a short time, and disgust can be hidden for a while. The truth is constant and can only be the truth, although ones perspective can make their truth different than another’s. The hard part isn’t accepting that we have to tolerate certain behaviors from destructive parents. The hard part is actually tolerating them and then picking up the pieces in the aftermath. We teach. We struggle. Everyone does in their own way. We also rise above, most of the time. We are human, and not perfect, after all.

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