Wednesday, December 15, 2010

speechless wednesday: wicked witch

repair despair, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

Frequently, the things your child says can render you, the parent, speechless. Last night, the Wee Guy dropped one of these observations and backlit a corner of his 7y old mind for me.

"I don't like it when mummy gets annoyed with daddy."
"Does it upset you?"
"Does it upset you when daddy gets annoyed with mummy?"
"Oh daddy doesn't get annoyed with mummy."
/back to normal programming

No, it's only mummy that's the nagging, whiney, complaining bitch round here, spoiling everyone's fun and darkening life around the house.

I have no intention of enlightening him about why daddy does indeed annoy mummy, nor will I try to tell him my side of the story as I don't think a child should ever be used as a confidant in the struggles between parents. But somehow I will try to show him that the cruelty of withholding discussion, avoiding conflict, absence of criticism, and rabid head-in-the-sand-edness is just as unkind as turning up the volume and equally as detrimental. In fact, one leads to the other. Ignoring a problem does not make it go away, and pretending it doesn't exist won't make it disappear. In any kind of partnership, both parties have work to do and it's seldom down to just one.

I have no idea how to even start with this as I'm still in the "it's really not fair" stage today. Ever since he was born, I've been trying to model constructive adult problem-solving relationship stuff for him so he knows that though life is not always a bed of roses, there are ways of dealing well with it. I guess I've failed. Living with a habitual conflict avoider (his parents apparently never argued) places me firmly in the role of Queen Bitch cos I'm the only one who brings up The Issues. Sadly, his anything-for-a-quiet-life attitude turns up my volume until I learn to self-mute, leaving The Issue unresolved, and no it doesn't go away. In over 19 years it never has

So, that age-old parenting chestnut - how do I make sure my Wee Guy doesn't end up like his mum or his dad? How do I make sure he is open to dialogue with a future partner? How do I impress on him that there doesn't have to be a gender stereotypical nagging, whining partner alongside the strong silent type? Is there such a thing as constructive problem solving and relationship maintenance when there is such a huge personality clash? Or should I just take a deep breath, hang up my individuality, and take one on the chin for motherhood, stepping back into my role of household concierge/PA for all things domestic?

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