Bubble Parenting

I’m not sure what happened at Olivia’s “learning team meeting” last week, but after her wonderfully written, funny narrative and with both me and her adviser praising her efforts, something took a nosedive. Olivia was talking about how she needs to crumple paper in order to stay focused and the adviser remarked that perhaps Olivia was hiding some of her true feelings, trying to protect herself with her humour and other distractions and the next thing I knew, both Olivia and I were crying. In front of the adviser.
Its been hard to give each of the kids individual attention, and given that Carter is who he is, and that Olivia is at the age when she is off with her friends a lot, she is the one feeling the most deprived. I simply spend more time with Carter, which works in a vicious cycle, with Olivia thinking I don’t want to spend time with her, so she spends more time with friends to escape. She also lashes out at Carter which adds to his feelings of insecurity and I am left in no-win hell. I suppose its a common thing, even amongst complete families, but when you are on your own, you have no one to talk you down. Parenting in a bubble.
A few bouts of what I hope were cleansing tears and some discussion have gotten us past the learning team disaster, for now. I like to think its gotten a little better. Both kids are the best of friends tonight, playing like old times. But I know better. These issues are still out there. Looming.

7 Comments

  1. anniegirl1138 October 28, 2008 at 6:31 am

    Sibling issues. Just had one with my own younger brother yesterday and he is 42 and I am nearly 45.

    Your daughter is like 14ish? A difficult age even when your life has been “perfect”. The thing I noticed about my own daughter is that her grief seems to mature as she does and that it can clash with the normal milestones of growing up too.

  2. LisaMM October 28, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    I have similar issues with my 2. It seems I can never be completely even or fair with the individual attention and one on one time- not to mention birthday and Christmas gifts- and believe me they keep track of everything!

  3. Marais October 28, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Your entries Bubble Parenting and After Happily Ever After both underscore the challenges of single parenting. I’ve recently heard one of the greatest issues one parent faces after the death of the other parent is the experience of feeling “the only other person that absolutely cares for my kids as much as I do is now gone.”

    If this is true, it strikes me how difficult it is to balance your needs and wants against differing needs and wants of your kids. The primal response to the feeling that you are alone might be to remain vigilant as the sole sentry guarding each heart in your family; in other words, to remain single. I believe many of us use rationale rather than consciousness to make decisions so difficult.

  4. Laura Harvey October 29, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    Whats everyone doing for safety precautions for Halloween? My husband came across an article (http://i-newswire.com/pr220892.html) with some info about background checking neighbors. I thought that may be a little overboard, but it had some other good suggestions for some precautions I haven’t thought about. Last year my youngest son came down with a massive fever after Halloween. I almost thought about just taking the kids to our church’s fall festival this year instead of door-to-door to prevent that from happening again. I don’t know yet. What’s your advice? Am I over-reacting or just being a concerned mom?

  5. LisaMM November 4, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    This is a note to Laura Harvey.. just curious as to how going to the church thing instead of trick or treating would prevent a fever? Seems kids would come in contact with at least as many people & germs, maybe more, at a festival than they would door to door.

  6. l. lunette February 19, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Wow, I thought we were the only parent/ girl to have a LTM like this! not the grieving over dad part, but other things. They work so hard and try to keep it all together all the time, and so do we, that part we share. Other kinds of loss are real, being 13 is so much change, and those meetings are times to review. also wanting a different life or situation than we have- socially, medically, economically, on and on. Hope this makes sense. You’re doing a brave thing sharing this here. Thank you~

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