I've been doing the on/again off/again thing with my blog. This has been a very trying year so far in that I'm so very, VERY tired of constantly having to explain to Donald why he needs to continue to work on his boundaries with his mother. It really feels like I'm living in the office all the freaking time. If I'd wanted to be a counselor 24/7 I'd have gone into mental health rather than marriage & family and looked for an inpatient psychiatric ward. Ugh. Not loving it. At All.
Anyhow, the fabulous Jesse Blayne wrote another of her very insightful blog posts In Good Company which made all kinds of light bulbs go off in my head. Donald does not discuss his frustration with his mother to the kids. EVER. Now, I'm actually fine with him not talking about what bothers him about what she says/does/breathes around him. What I'm not fine with is that it has never occurred to him to discuss with the kids (or let them discuss) things the MIL has done that bothered them. Every single visit with the MIL leads to the boys getting upset in some fashion because of her obvious favoritism of Bess. Has he ever talked to them about this? No...but that shouldn't really surprise me because he (unlike the INFJ that I am) doesn't ever see patterns and apply them to his own life. (Getting off that tangent & going back to the current one...)
So guess what I'm going to start doing? I'm going to start encouraging the kids to talk about anything that bothers them about the MIL. Because they deserve to be listened to and to be able to reason things out in their own ways. (This is something Donald was never allowed as a child so it's a very foreign concept for him.)
Also (this is where the title of the post comes in) had an interesting conversation with Bess about the MIL regarding a nickname the MIL had created for Lightning during a visit at her home. Lightning apparently was reminding her of her youngest son (who she buts heads with all the time) and so she created the nickname of Gumpy Pants #2 for him & thought it was hilarious. Because neither I nor Donald was there, Lightning was called this oh so charming name for over a week. After the kids got home Lightning let me know he didn't like the name. I talked to Bess about it today and asked her what she thought about it. Bess said that MIL couldn't have meant anything mean by it because she loved her grand kids and tried not to be mean to them. (Did you catch that - tried NOT to be mean to them.) So we talked about how making up nicknames that make fun of people aren't very nice and that it wasn't very nice of MIL to make up that name for Lightning. Yay, right? Until I realized the same principle applied to my nickname of Borg Queen for the MIL :-/ Which kind of sucked. A Lot. *sigh* So in order to set the good example (even though my kids don't read this, let alone KNOW I have a blog) I'm going to refer to my MIL as either MIL or the N (narcissist for those who don't know) and leave off with Borg Queen. (At least on the blog...probably not in my head.)