Is that Wrong?

There are so many things that happen around me that I don't seem to understand or things that I do and I'm not sure it's acceptable. So I wanted to share.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Put $20 in the Therapy Jar

“Put $20 in the therapy jar.” That’s what someone once said to me when we were talking about the damage we do to our kids in the effort to be good parents – or any type of parents. I swear – at this rate, my oldest is going to be in therapy forever and I’ll have already paid for it. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that all the therapy will be because of my parenting or his father’s.

I used to say that everyone needed a “trial marriage”. One that got you prepared for your “real marriage”. Sorta taught you the ropes on how to deal with the cooking and cleaning and the money issues. And then when you realized you couldn’t deal with the way things were, you got divorced, cleared your head, got a few more priorities in order, grew up (because the trial marriages always seemed to be when you married so very young) and therefore, better equipped to handle a real marriage. Unfortunately, what happens with trial marriages is you end up with an “ex”. Oh yes… for those who have never been divorced, you just don’t appreciate the “ex”. Add some kids and you’ve got yourself a real-life drama. Drama you are supposed to keep under control for the sake of said kids but somehow, you do manage to lose your mind from time to time. Thus, another reason to add to the therapy jar.

My “ex” and I have, for the most part, always been cordial. Don’t get me wrong, we have our disagreements but the last year has been a therapy-making year! We have disagreed on almost everything. I think it’s because my boy is growing up and having a mind of his own – which is father struggles to understand. I think the worst thing, however, is that the “ex” actually speaks to me like I’m the kid! (Of course, this is one of those things he did when we were married as well). That is what really starts the therapy-making – because I slip and tell my boy that I think his father is wrong. Before you gasp in horror, let me tell you that I was completely politically correct until about a year ago – when I started listing to Dr. Laura. Okay, before you gasp in horror AGAIN, I will say that I don’t believe EVERYTHING she says. However, the one thing that I do like is that 1) she believes that we should be honest with our kids – within reason and 2) she believes that sometimes we just have a crappy parent. What?! I have been granted support for disliking some of the “ex” decisions and now I don’t have to support them because, sometimes, we just get a crappy parent! I felt freedom when I heard that. Now I can just say to my boy, “Yep. That sucks. That’s just who your dad is, honey. Sorry.” Is that wrong? To openly stop supporting someone I disagree with? Even if it is the other parent? Of course, don’t kid yourself that I don’t get called when I openly disagree. Oh yes, my friends, I do get the “do you have a second?” call. To which, quickly evolves into, “I know you disagree but you can’t disagree in front of him”. This argument only holds when he strongly believes in his point of view – which is often. When he disagrees with me, he spends a great deal of time trying to convince me that he’s right and I should just come over to his side, for the sake of the kid. The discussion then turns into a full-blown argument and logic is tossed out the window for another day.

Arghhhhhhh! So now I just add a few dollars a day to the therapy jar so I am prepared for when this blows up in my face. Or his father’s approach blows up and I am left picking up the pieces. I truly feel bad for the day that I might have to say, “sometimes we just get a crappy parent, honey”. I swear, if my boy ends up on Oprah, I want a cut.


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