Sunday, July 19, 2009

Do You Have A Parenting Mantra?

Supergirl's birthday is tomorrow. She will be eight years old.
My job is to make her birthday awesomeness even if her world has been turned upside down. Even if she wishes every night so hard that she, my little lithe fragile faerie child, could change the events that happened three months ago.
My little girl has the world on her shoulders.

She wanted to get her ears pierced for her birthday. She wrote a letter to her Daddy asking him a number of questions, including, "Why did you hurt Mommy?" and, "Can I please get my ears pierced?"
She later told me she regretted asking one of the questions because she didn't want to make him angry. Which one? "Why did you hurt Mommy?"
My heart broke in a million pieces to watch her try to navigate this mine field into which she landed through no fault of her own.

His probation officer refused to give him the letter; she didn't want to 'get in the middle' of delivering communication. I was livid. There has to be some way to allow the children to send him a letter, I protested!
No. She said that if I wanted, she could ask for a probation review to be moved up on the calendar so we could amend the order to allow some form of communication. I said, "Yes please. This is interfering with our daughter's ability to even process this!"
I tried to explain this to Supergirl. She said, "But the judge is trying to punish Daddy and he is punishing all of us!"

Domestic Violence is very difficult to explain to children. I hope you never have to.

"Why can't we just get my ears pierced?"
"Because we agreed on ten years old before, and because Daddy gets to have an opinion about it too!"
"But Daddy's not here! Why can't I just get them pierced?"
"Because Mommy's taking the high road here he is still your Daddy and gets to help decide things like ear piercing!"

Am I having a hard time taking the high road? Not so much, because I want the children to have a healthy relationship with their father which should not be connected to our togetherness or lack thereof.
But at times...when the bills come in and I freak out because it's hard to stay on top of bills when I have paid three thousand dollars of his debt just to move forward and live here....when I think of how he has not paid one cent to assist his children through this or support them or supply one morsel of food....I need the mantras.

My parenting mantras as the questions come hard and fast:

There is a direct correlation between hearing negative things about a parent and child's self-loathing.

It is better for her to be angry with me than angry with herself.

The best help through any crisis is to be held through it.

These little mantras gets me through everything right now.


Just Breathe said...

I feel so bad for you. Your poor little faerie child. My niece is going through this now. I hate the no support crap. I wish they would take all the dead beat dad's and put them into a work program to pay for their kids. Why the hell do they get to just walk away!

I think you are right but I also think that I would most likely give in because I want to see her happy about something. (But you should remain firm)

When I was divorced 27 years ago I made a point that I would never talk badly about him in front of them. I would kiss them goodnight and tell them that mommy&daddy loved them. I also figured that they would form their own opinion of him someday, it wasn't my job to make him look bad. If he was bad they would come to that decision on their own. It worked out well that way.

SUEB0B said...

You're a good mama.

Sophie said...

I hope Supergirl has a happy birthday. I think it sucks that they aren't helping your daughter come to terms with what's happened. Not sharing these letters with their father is stupid and the crap about not getting between you? What's with that bullshit? Hasn't he proven that you need someone in the middle? Ridiculous. People are dumb. I find myslef saying that sentence a lot these days...

I hope you all have a lovely day tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

I'm not a parent so I don't have parenting mantras. But (( hugs )) to you and you have some amazing self control & strength.

NG said...

You are a very wise woman. Add that to your mantra list.

Cindy said...

Who was it who said you were not Supermom? Total bullshit. Hang in there. Happy birthday to SG. Tell me I'm making Sophie wait until she is ten too.

Jennifer Newby Blanchard said...

Keep taking the high road... it only leads to the top.

Rachel Inbar said...

You're a better woman than I...

Anonymous said...

Hi, You don't know me but I read your blog all the time. You are very wise, witty and basicly just an interesting writter. As a child of domestic violence I wish my mom had been more like you, she made so many poor choices. You are the best birthday present Supergirl can have! BTW my parenting and life long mantra is "This too shall pass" it works for me! Thanks

notUrtypicalGma said...

you rock! i say this mantra when my kids are irritating the crap outta me..."i had three so there will be one that wipes my but when i am old!!!!"

Southerngirl said...

They are MY children. No mater who their father is no matter what he does they are MINE. That is my mantra to get me through all the bad shit that can come with parenting single.

Anonymous said...

As usual I am inspired by you and left wanting more of the story.

(I tagged you on my blog.)

Lowcountry Mom said...

What a wonderful, strong and amazing woman you are! And a wonderful Mom as well. Supergirl is lucky to have you! Hang on to those mantras; they sound like good ones!

Denise said...

Hugs to you babe! Happy b-day to S.G! My oldest is now living with me. I never have said a bad word abou their father to them, and yet his bad karma and all the shit that he said about me is coming back to bite him on the ass!Hang in there you are doing a great job!

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