Mon 8 Mar 2010
Yes, I know. I misspelled weekend. I did it on purpose. I was weak this weekend.
Overall, I did okay on my challenge. What made it easy for me to do well is what also made it difficult. Confusing, I know but isn’t most of stepfamily life? Allow me to explain.
It was easy this weekend to do my own thing and not be subjected to any verbal attacks because my mother-in-law was in town for my SD’s birthday. My SD was so excited to have her grandma here that the house could have been burning down and she wouldn’t have noticed. So I was but a spec on the wall with her grandma in the house. A happy spec on the wall I might add.
But because her grandma was here my SD didn’t think she was subject to the weekend house chores we have. So when her dad kindly asked her to do something and I heard her back talk to him, my fire was lit. Hot.
See, that’s a trigger for me. When she talks back to her dad, it makes me very upset. Now, my husband handles himself well and he doesn’t need me to come to his rescue but the mere fact that she can look him in the eye (hands on hip) and say an emphatic NO! can boil my blood. I know everything her father went through for her and how much he loves her. It actually bothers me more when she disrespects him then when she does the same to me.
This happened a few times and each time (until the last) I sucked it up and swallowed my words. I was, in fact on my last days of the challenge, but the last time she did it pushed me. I didn’t butt in on the exchange, I let him handle it. But a little later in the day when she was sitting at the kitchen table doing homework and gave me a bunch of crap about what she was (and wasn’t) supposed to do for work, I gave her a little piece of my mind.
That “trying to get out of responsibility” mentality she has is not a fan favorite of mine. I didn’t yell or get visibly upset but I definitely engaged her. This developed into a small argument because she’s not backing down and I’m not going to back down. Finally, I said to her “I’m going to leave the room now because I’m not going to allow you to talk to me this way. When you want to have a civil conversation please come and find me. Thanks.” And I walked out of the room. She never came and found me but the next time we were in the same room, life was good.
I should have known better then to engage her. But instead of beating myself up for being weak and not staying strong, I am going to chalk this up as a learning experience. One in which I can clearly identify that her back talk to her father is a real trigger for me.
No letting this one day ruin what has been an enlightening and prosperous journey for me. It would be absurd for me to think that my SD and I will never get into another disagreement or that I’m a bad stepmom if we exchange “unpleasantries” from time to time.
I’m being realistic and I’m going back to what I told her a few days ago (Day 17): “That’s what makes a family strong and great. We can get in fights but we always forgive and we always love. You can’t expect to live with someone every day and always get along.”