Monday, March 4, 2013

Parenting Post-Newtown

I've been really hesitant to put my feelings about something that's been on my mind into writing for fear of being judged. But, someone who I consider to be one of the wisest and kindest people I know said to me today "a blog is your experience thoughts and feelings it is unedited. Let. It. Out." She's right, as usual :-) so here goes nothing.

I'm going to bare my soul here a little, in hopes that writing this will not only help me (in the very least) organize my thoughts a little, but also because I want... no, NEED to know that I am not alone in feeling this way. And more importantly, need to know how others are dealing with this.

I've been struggling a lot with my emotions surrounding the tragic incident in Newtown this December. It has shaken me in such a way that to be quite honest, I haven't completely felt like myself since then.

It was suggested to me that perhaps I'm taking the whole thing a bit "personally" considering it was "not my town" and "not my kids." But am I really? Aren't all of our towns just like Newtown? On any given day, this could have been any town, any school. Don't get me wrong, I'm not living each day with the fear that something similar will happen here, but I am struggling with how to move on from such horror.

What has affected me the most, I suppose, is trying to find normalcy in parenting now. Sometimes I look around and wonder how people are going on like nothing has changed, because for me, it has changed. I look at my daughter and feel gut-wrenching pain for the parents of those sweet children! Babies... they were really just babies!

Believe me, I know that children need rules and boundaries. I know that children need to hear the word "no." While we haven't changed our rules or stopped having consequences for behavior, my heart breaks punishing my daughter if she has broken a rule now. All I really want to do is hug her and make every second count.

I want to cry each time I tell her "no" to something, because I know that those parents would do anything to be able to tell their sweet children "yes" just one more time.

I feel waves of guilt spending any time alone (even when i really need it) or even going to work, when all my daughter wants is to be with her mama and daddy. I walk out the door and panic.I am torn between my desire to provide for my family, and to show my daughter that as a woman she can have kids and a career and be a strong, passionate role model, and my heartache over not being with her making every second matter.

Am I alone in this? Am I the only one struggling with post-Newtown parenting fears and guilt? How do you move past this?

On a separate but similar note, I also find the idea of  Newtown "Conspiracy Theorists" to be ABHORRENT. How DARE people dishonor the memory of those who lost their lives by insinuating that the whole thing was a fake?! Disgusting. For awhile I felt annoyed and angered by these people, and still am... but now I also feel sadness for them. Why? Because part of me wonders if they search for any reason to question the validity of tragedy in order to protect themselves from having to feel anything.

Anyway, I don't know if anyone ever even reads this, and I guess it doesn't really matter. But if you are, thank you. Getting this all out "on paper." helped me breathe a little easier, if even for only a little while.
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