I went with the server’s suggestion and ordered a “primavera” panini for breakfast which turned out to be too expensive for my travel budget so I had to go with the half-size. It had bacon on it which I didn’t really want. For the same price as the half-size panini I could have had a regular-sized tortilla with black beans and an egg on top which was what I really wanted. I’m sitting at the gate waiting for my flight home via Panama City, still regretting I didn’t walk past that place to the next one which had fruit smoothies. I think I spend a lot of time regretting silly things.
I get to go home to my kids today! This is the longest I’ve been away from them – two weeks – fourteen days straight of work in another country. It’s been a great experience. Can I be completely honest? I didn’t actually miss the kids at all until day ten. I kept wondering why this might be, when leaving them felt like wrenching my heart in two. I’m still thinking about what I wrote in the last post about not having great parenting skills. You all were very kind in the comments – I know I’m hard on myself and I probably am a better parent than I think I am; at the same time, I do believe there are objective measure of good, better, and bad parenting, we all know it. I hear a lot of calls for mothers to stop judging one another, to give each other grace – and I do appreciate this, I do – there is that mean bitchy side of the discourse that is just ugly sometimes. At the same time, I don’t always feel like blanket encouragement is helpful… I’d love to have someone who really knows what they’re doing give me an objective assessment: you’re doing great at x y and z, and here are some concrete practicable ideas that will help you improve at a b and c.
I feel stuck in unhealthy patterns. Especially around limits and consequences. I think Gimli and I are way too indulgent with the kids. I think we spoil them. I mean, we do set limits, and we do enforce consequences – regardless of what their preschool teachers think – but I do agree that we could do better. I think we could be more consistent. I think we could be less permissive. I think I’ve pitied them because of all we’ve asked them to do – moving to different countries (twice in their young lives already), plus Illyria’s “issues”, whatever those exactly are (sensory integration, ASD, or something like that – mild, but there is something there). My tendency is to brood and mull over all these things in my mind and get stuck in those mental loops… that’s not helpful.
Anyway, I spent a lot of time these 2 weeks thinking about my parenting and wondering how I might do better. Do something different, so that spending time with my kids isn’t so completely exhausting all the time. I want to enjoy them, enjoy this stage of their lives, appreciate it for what it is because before too long it will just slip away. They are getting so big!
I can’t wait to get home.