Its Memorial Day Weekend, which means my parents are here. It means that A is behaving like an absolute heathen because he needs to show off for them, it means that C mysteriously disappears all day for three days straight because “Dad wants to go fishing and we won’t have any more opportunities” (say what? It’s freaking May. You have an entire summer) or “my brother needed help doing his roof” (which we all know is a big lie because C ‘s family won’t let him climb a ladder because of his leg). On top of that, he comes home and almost immediately falls asleep in front of the TV, so again, super helpful. R gets completely overstimulated with the new people and just can’t settle so she gets completely overtired, which means I’m trying to entertain my parents while disciplining a defiant 4 year old (who immediately runs to Dad, who completely overrules my rules) and trying to deal with an overtired, screaming almost 8 month old basically completely on my own. I’ve been told I tend to get a little “prickly” during their visits.
It’s freaking stressful. My mom is constantly trying to prove to me that my brothers are doing better than me, “well they have really good jobs, Alice,” yeah? They are also 26 and 32 and still live in your house, pay no rent, no utilities, no cell phone bills and have no intentions of leaving. Even the one that lives there with his WIFE. “oh, well, we got an immigration lawyer for your brothers wife so she can stay in the country,” yes, the Swedish au pair he met on Tinder that’s 5 years younger than him and needs a green card? The one that “conveniently” had a wedding date for 2 weeks before her Visa expired? That wife? Great. You do you. “the new puppy is SO cute,” she is cute. I’ll give you that one. On top of that C gets all defensive when I call him out on the disappearing thing, and I get rewarded with a big “Fuck you”. So, yeah, there’s that.
Why is family so stressful? Seriously. Is it just mine that feels the need to show off things that don’t warrant showing off? We aren’t close. That sound bad, but we really aren’t. You’d think I committed a severely criminal act when I moved away. C is SO close with his family. Like, couldn’t possibly think of living any further away than we are right now because he needs to see them all the time close. And it made me think, what is it that makes families close? Is it just the luck of the draw? Is there something parents can do that will make your kids want to stay close with you? Because I don’t want the relationship with my kids that I have with my parents. I don’t think any parent does. I want to be close with them. I want them to want to come and see me every weekend when I’m in my 50s and 60s and beyond. If anyone has any insight, I truly want to know.
I’m pretty big into Instagram, I love it, I really really do. I also know that Instagram only shows the best about 5-10% of any users life in those little squares. That said, there’s one mom I follow on there who’s so zen with her kids. She makes a habit of saying, “yes” as often as she can. Seems simple in theory, right? It is a lot harder in practice. I want so desperately to try and make this a habit. I hate being the one who constantly says, “no”. I hate having to do the disciplining all the time. I want to say yes. So while this weekend was a huge flop, I’m going to make it a habit to try and say yes. I’m going to start with one week. One week, I will say yes. Obviously I will be drawing the line where it needs to be drawn. I wouldn’t, say, let my 4 year old run around with knives or something equally dangerous. I don’t want to be “prickly”, and I want to be able to make it through one of my parents weekend visits without needing to scream into a pillow every night.
Wish me luck.