Let’s face it. Sometimes we get in ruts. They can be really deep ruts with steeply channelled sides, muddy, slippery, and seemingly impossible to navigate. Try as we might, our wheels keep spinning. The more time we take to examine the rut the more time we spend in the rut. Why is it there? How did it get there? What did we do to cause the rut, and what could we have done differently? Said differently in this particular instance, why’s my kid being an a**hole no matter what I do? Was it because I wasn’t patient enough? Is he mad because he didn’t get enough sleep? Is he bored? Am I not reading to him enough? Maybe he misses preschool. Maybe he’s sad that his sister isn’t home more. Maybe he feels lost in the shuffle.
Why’s he always whining and crying AT me? What did I do?
Why has my 15 month old little girl taken to screaming at me the moment she needs anything at all, or even if she doesn’t? What should I do?? Should I ignore it? Should I make it better? Is she tired? What to do, what to do, what to do….deeper, deeper deeper into the rut.
Well sometimes there is only one way to crawl outta that rut. Crawl out. Get rid of kids. Not permanently of course, as tempting as that sounds at the moment.
As Maezen says, take a break so you don’t break in two.
So I dropped those little sh*ts off for 3 hours (those little sh*ts whom I adore and for whom I would move heaven and earth.)
Aaaaand, Why oh WHY is it that when I arrive at our Parent’s Morning Out Program to drop off Captain Crankpants (because I can’t stand another second with him) did his foul, weepy, whiney mood suddenly vanish and a smile creep across his reluctant pissy little face? Miss Scream-You-Out-Of-The-Room smiled and toddled away to play with the most interesting toy of the moment. Bye Mom.
Really? This is it? They are this happy to be here? I guess I’m going?? Well geez. Why can’t they be like this at home? What am I doing wrong? They go from miserable to angelic in but 20 seconds. What’s up with that?
There is such a thing as too much thought. Trust me. I know. Jesus GOD, I know.
So today I decided (and actually said out loud to the woman who runs the place) I am just going to take this break. And then I did. And every time my dumb little brain drifted over to the…what did I do? territory, I simply shut it down.
I came home, organized, cleaned, day dreamed, wrote this, and feel oh so much better. It was probably I who was in the rut. Maybe it was they who needed the break. But it doesn’t matter. Separation is a gift to our children and to ourselves. Sticking it out and trying to fix it is sometimes the very worst thing we can do. I have learned that the hard way, oh LORD have I learned that the hard way. Because the truth of the matter is that sometimes there simply is no WHY. It just IS.
In all my thought, therapy, musings and heartfelt conversations with loved ones, this is the takeaway.
Break the cycle, get out of the rut. Don’t get stuck wondering what it’s doing there or how it came to pass. The longer you muse, doubt yourself, wonder why, how, where, what, the longer you will be there. Sometimes the simplest explanation is the correct one. It just is. So do what you gotta do.