“Never let ’em see ya sweat.” Wasn’t that an old Secret Deodorant commercial once? Meaning never let anyone ever see you struggle, get upset or feel frustrated. I say, let ’em! BRING IT ON! I guess I have to. After all, I do tend to spill my guts over the World Wide Bloguniverse!
A slight difference in opinion between my husband and I one day, led into what I call an argument. I don’t like to say fight because it sounds so angry, visualizing a couple scream and shout at each other, using profanity and slamming doors never to speak for hours. Where an argument on the other hand seems much more controlled and one feels comfortable to vent their feelings and all ends well on a positive note that makes you feel like you got your message across… you’ve been validated and you sigh a breath of relief as if a huge task was just accomplished. Yes? Well….. “they” always say not to let your kids witness such acts between two parents. Never let kids hear the discussions of money, the typical struggles that couples/marriages go through, to not see you upset, but I beg to differ. I completely agree that kids should not witness an outrage of berating fights between two parents, but an argument? Most definitely.
I can see the worried look in my girls eyes every time hubby and I disagree. The same look every time I cry… and trust me, I can cry A LOT! Their troubled faces when they see me struggle. Maybe the reason “they” say a child is not supposed to see those anguished moments is because at that moment they observe the fragility that can happen seeing their strong, vital parent suddenly delve into their own fears and vulnerability. Young children tend to think of their parents as their special trophy that they earned to showcase up high on a shelf or pedestal. Gleaming shiny and perfect, no flaws, chips or cracks. After all, we all grew up knowing our parents are supposed to be our rocks, our shoulders to lean on, the people we look up to, the person who knows everything. That perfect role model to guide and protect us from harm, set high on a pedestal suddenly topples over, with a slight flaw now unveiling its other side. The dark side. Hey, we all have that dark side. I like to think of mine as more of a grayish tone, but I can be bit biased on that opinion. I completely agree that our precious children should not see or hear parents berate each other. A parent should never put the other down in general, and definitely not in front of the big observing eyes of child; who I can imagine would get very conflicted thoughts about what’s right or wrong and who’s right or wrong. But arguments and struggles, high’s and low’s are all key facets that make up any strong family. Our kids need to see us get upset… get mad, sad, argue and all that falls in between…. and see how we get over it.
Never hiding these emotions from my girls, their daddy and I continued our dispute and at the moment I was pushing for my view to be heard. Within a few moments, all ended fine, we kissed and conversation resumed back to normal. We both felt better, it was over, finished, but my girls still lured the kitchen with suspicious looks on their face, that told me this wasn’t over in their mind. My eldest who tends to turn her body into spaghetti when she has to talk about something uncomfortable, slowly eating her snack, starts to slither her way onto the kitchen island as if speaking through body language instead of words. “I hate it when you guys fight.” still slithering, bobbing up and down on the counter. My youngest chimes in “I know. It’s annoying.” Rolling her eyes as if she were the adult frowning upon her misbehaved kids. I quickly went into my summed up version of “First of all, this was no where near a fight and second, this is life honey. No matter how much we want things to be perfect, it’s not. We all need to say our peace. We all need to be heard, but look, Daddy and I said it, it’s over and we move on.”, this they are used to hearing. Like anything else that requires explanation over and over again, as we raise our kids and instill values into their spongey brains over and over again, this was one of those repeated conversations. You see, I want my kids to see me sweat. Not the smelly, grimy kind, but the struggling kind. I want them to see me as real. A mom who doesn’t know everything (even though I still claim to have eyes in the back of my head!), who makes mistakes, who gets emotional when things get overwhelming, who fails and picks herself up only to try again, who can handle differences of opinion and especially fight for her voice to be heard. Generally a happy person, I am fortunately in this “gray” area at very limited times, so I try to enlighten that because we are not perfect, therefore a marriage/ couple and life cannot always be perfect. In light of it all… our kids need to see the efforts we put in and how with strength and perseverance we get through it, over it and move on. The outcome being the most pivotal turning point for our kids to see. If anything it could be a lesson for all of us to work on how we move past our life struggles, to be that inspiring role model for our kids. For them to see us get mad and get over it. See us struggle and become free. See us push for our mind chatter to become a voice of our own. Most importantly, let ’em see us sweat… and then…. please take a shower!!! 😉