Had a major meltdown a little over week ago. Part of it was PMS the other part was me hitting my limit and finally blowing my top.
That’s how I roll by the way, I take it and take it and take it until finally I freak out or melt down or just generally explode.
So it was the perfect storm of events that caused the meltdown…partially hubby’s lack of stepping in to take over parenting to so I get a break now and again; partially me having to step in and not only to watch my own kids, but other people’s kids as well; partially fatigue/PMS from a day and a summer of constant activity; and partially the frustration of falling out of touch with what used to be some of my closest friends.
So following a full afternoon of luau birthday party, we head to a friend’s annual party, just to make an appearance. I say hello to my friends, chat for a minute or two then get pulled over to push little man on the swing. So I don’t get to talk to anyone. Eventually he gets off the swing and I get to chat for a few minutes more, but then get pulled back to push him on the swing again. At this point, all my friends and hubby disappear to the garage for snacks and leave me to watch the kids. The older one is fine, but the younger is playing on the big playscape which isn’t so safe for kids under 5, and he’s playing with another little boy (same age) with a penchant for pushing and punching. This kid’s parents are no where in sight and don’t come to check on him for at least 40 min. So I’m abandoned with no option for escape for the majority of our time at the party.
I had had enough. I found hubby told him I was ready to go, cried in the bathroom a little when he asked me what was wrong, pulled myself together a little and we left. The crying continued when I got home. Did my best to explain to hubby why I was upset and he promised he’d step it up some, but that I needed to ask for help too. I agreed.
Anyhow, the whole watching other people’s kids thing has been bugging me just about all summer. No matter where we go, the park, the pool, the water park, the indoor playplace, people have no idea where their kids are and what they’re doing.
Okay, don’t think I’m Miss Anal Retentive or anything, with my own two boys I have a fair idea of what is just “kids being kids” and what is mean spirited inappropriate behavior. I don’t step in unless there is a serious chance of injury or my kids are beyond dealing with it themselves.
Just about everywhere we went this summer I found myself keeping my kids in line and because my kids were playing with other kids, keeping their kids in line too. Just a few examples:
Water park: Older kids were purposely getting little kids to go one after the other on the kiddie slide so they’d all crash into each other at the bottom. I talked to the older kids after lifeguard totally ignored what was happening and they still didn’t listen, so had to make another lifeguard reprimand the kids after they continued to do it.
Indoor Playplace: Two kids were bullying my kid, pushing him and others and thought it was funny. Watched it go on for 20 min after coaching my kid on the different options he had to handle it. He exhausted every option and ended up with me finally having to talk to the two kids because mind had hit his limit and had one of them cornered and looked seriously like he wanted to kill. We left shortly thereafter, but not after the two kids found someone else to bully.
Playscape: Kids using sticks as swords and poking at eyes and face, throwing woodchips and pushing kids off the top of the slide. We found somewhere else to play.
Where are these kids parents?? I don’t understand how these parents can let this shitty behavior persist! I am by no means a perfect parent, but I’m present. Being a parent is tough, there is no tougher job, but you can’t give up! Even if they are at an age where they can watch out for themselves, you still have a duty to know what they’re doing and make sure there are consequences for poor choices or behavior.
Not sure why exactly this struck such a nerve with me this year. Maybe it’s because I know I’m raising my kids to be accountable for their actions and these kids are running willy nilly without consequence. These are the kids that will grow up to be the assholes I encounter daily, that think the rules don’t apply to them and that they are entitled to anything they want another’s expense. IT PISSES ME OFF!!