Between the rock and the hard place

I don’t know how it happens, but I constantly wind up here. Having to make a decision that’s going to hurt someone and trying to balance the amount of pain I seem to inflict on others. Funny thing is that I don’t seem to worry too much about how much pain I inflict on myself, and that’s just not right is it?

Here’s an example. A few weeks back we received an invitation to a family reunion. Mom wants to go, I’d like to go with her, so we agreed we’d go. The stable where my daughter’s horse lives has schooling shows during the year, and they have always been on the second Saturday of the month. She wants to participate in this month’s show. It’s been scheduled for, you guessed it, the same day as the reunion, which isn’t on the second Saturday of the month. No problem, the horse show starts at 9:00 and is usually over by noon, then we drive up the mountain to the reunion. Only the reunion is a lunch affair, not an afternoon or evening affair. So, someone wins and someone loses. I go to the reunion and my daughter loses; I go to the horse show and mom loses.

In the discussions on non-negotiables, one of mine would be that my job as a parent comes first. But there’s a caveat to that: my relationship w/ mom is stretched almost to the breaking point, and I fear doing anything that might cause it to break. And even more complicated than that, it’s beginning to feel more like I’m the mom in the relationship w/ my mom. This is scary stuff to me. I’m not equipped to mother my own mother; I feel barely equipped to mother my own children.

And then my son comes in and says “Thank you” for giving him boundaries, for saying no, for not giving him everything he sees and thinks he wants, for asking him to work for it. So I must be doing something right I suppose.

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2 responses to “Between the rock and the hard place

  1. Methinks you take responsibility for too much — for things that do not belong to you. You have to decide, that’s all. It is not up to you to determine what each of your people there DO with what you decide to do. Me, I’d take the horse show anyway, but then, my mom’s dead and I don’t know the people you are reunioning with. Or what they serve for lunch.

    I remember setting all sorts of boundaries with my family. Like we stay home on Christmas eve and Christmas day, period. You can visit us, but we won’t be visiting you. And there were years that people thought we’d make an exception for them. We didn’t. That was my dad, and I’m sure he shook his head about that headstrong CG, he didn’t stop loving me for putting my kids first. Maybe he even respected it, I don’t know.

  2. Well, let’s see: the reunion types are all cousins of my mom’s from her father’s side. We used to gather on Christmas at my great-grandmother’s in Fancy Gap, but as families grew bigger and more spread out, the gatherings became smaller. The last time we were all together was for g-grand’s 100th birthday party, and then one week later for her funeral. The food, by the way, is excellent home-cooked country fare. Ummmm…..banana pudding.

    The horse show wins, though, because the one thing I don’t want to be is an absentee mom. And anyway, my knee is still so buggered up that I don’t think I could stand the ride up the mountain and back, and the crutches while there, anyway.

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