I am a complainer. I try to stop when I hear myself doing it unnecessarily (which is usually always the case). I do stop when I notice the person I’m addressing is getting that blank “this heifer here” stare. Mind you, these are temporary plugs into the broken levee I call the River Bitch. What is it that I’m complaining about? Well, everything…and nothing.
The problem is, I have a logical answer or working solution to all that I complain about. Yet, I can’t quite keep the moaning in. Was I born this way, with a predilection for bitching? My father doesn’t complain much. He’ll make a comment, then say it’s out of his hands. My mother, however, will bitch about the word the. I’m already in a constant battle to not scream at the kids (my mother is a screamer). Now I have to add ‘nix the complaining’ onto the long list of don’ts…man, this mothering mess makes me want to just start walking and not turn back.
Recently a friend of mine and I were discussing finding our way in parenthood, relationships (marriage and friendship), work, and life in general. We both commented that we had yet to find our inner Claire [Huxtable]. It was funny to us that we’d both chosen this fictional character to emulate rather than our own mothers (that’s a discussion for a way later date). Last week, Sophia Nelson’s piece found here http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/18/AR2008071802557_pf.html mentions Phyllicia Rashad’s memorable character as well. Neither of us realized we weren’t the only ones who not only felt she was the epitome of a black woman, but who attempted to pattern ourselves after her.
One of the first episodes, Claire is fussing at the children. But she isn’t yelling. She is always the voice of reason, always open. Ironically, I’ve asked friends how they view my life, marriage, and parenting style. I’ve yet to get the “you’re ruining it for everybody” comment. Amazingly, no one outside of my teeny tiny family seems to think I’m as bad a parent/wife/person as I do. I’ve gotten comments like, “you’re so patient with the girls” but nothing like “you need to stop drinking.” Go figure! Sure, I may yell primarily at home, and I don’t snatch my kids up or beat them in public. But, I have very well behaved children so those things haven’t been warranted (yet; I know, I know, they aren’t teens yet). Again, though, I have the solution for this: stop beating myself up and continue on the path I know to be correct. Eventually my efforts toward being a better everything will be realized. Right?