Sometimes being a Mum means that you take on the pain and suffering, in many forms for your child. You hurt when they hurt, you worry for them when they don’t understand the need to be worried for themselves and you occasionally turn into a Mama bear on their behalf. Last week Kaleb wasn’t himself, he had a few bouts of vomiting but nothing too serious, on Saturday he took a turn for the worse and became seriously dehydrated, to the point that we could see the skeleton bones in his face, chest and back. His eyes sunk deep into his head, his normally chubby cheeks sunk in, making his sweet pouty lips protrude from his face. He was listless and couldn’t stop throwing up. At the hospital he was given an IV and treated for dehydration, we were admitted and though neither of us had more than three hours of sleep he began to perk up with as the fluids began to fill his little body again. His cheeks slowly got puffier, his eyes a little clearer and less sunken, he wanted a drink, and he kept it down. He had an ECG as they were concerned about his heart (my heart leaps at this because this is NOT my heart kid), the nurse was consistently annoyed with him, he was moving too much, he was trying to pull off his IV, he was crying and she couldn’t get his vital signs. My Mama bear showed up. He’s two, he’s scared, he’s sick, he’s exhausted… of course he’s moving, of course he’s crying, of course he wants the IV out! I would too!
Now the reason that I am posting this is that in sharing this I was told that I was complaining… (you will remember that I posted a few days ago about being held to account). Let me say this, complaining and sharing frustration is very different. I am an extrovert, when something happens that upsets me I need to share it and maybe that isn’t right, maybe it’s not the way most people handle things? I don’t know. What I know, is that a lot of really cool things happened at the hospital too, we had a great doctor (His doctor was awesome actually, she gave me tips on preventing this from happening again and when she could see that Kaleb wasn’t getting sleep at the hospital she discharged us to go home and sleep), we had a great nurse on the Pead. floor, and in sharing the experience of my night in the ER with Kaleb I did mention this as well, I was sharing the WHOLE experience, not just the bad bits, but the bad bits were what upset me, they were the bits I needed to purge. On Saturday night I was alone, I had no one to share this with, I couldn’t just pick up the phone at 3am to tell someone I was upset, so I bottled it until yesterday when I could vent.
So my questions arise… what is complaining? Is venting complaining? How do I share my hurts, my frustrations, my anger, my feelings, in a sense, how do I emote and not be seen as complaining? If something good happens, I call someone and tell them, I share it here, I post it on facebook. I don’t just emote the bad things, but it seems to be what people hear. So, why is that? Now, I am admittedly a complainer, I do understand this, and it’s certainly something I am working on and catch myself on. It’s become a habit of sorts… “how are you today Laurie?” is often responded by ‘Tired’ instead of just saying ‘good thanks’. I do know that this is an area to work on, but do I stifle honest upsets, do I not say anything negative? How does this work? What if I am hurt, upset, or just frustrated? Do I just not say anything?
Is this a problem with me, or could it be that the person who thinks I am complaining (that’s a general ‘person’, as in anyone who thinks it) during a time of upset is actually just not willing to really hear me, know me, or love me in a time of upheaval? Could it be that grace can be turned into unloving non-action?
Why am I writing this post? TO VENT. 😀 (joking)
Seriously, I want to fully understand what people expect from me or from Christians in general? Do I allow the bully’s of the world to just do what they will to me? Do I allow them to walk all over me and I am not allowed to say a thing? Do anything? Just because I should be ‘graceful’ and now, am I being asked to stifle all feelings in a false attempt to show grace? Is it really graceful to be angry with a person, hurt by a person, or frustrated with a person and hide behind a smile? Isn’t that just plain old bottling emotions?
The good thing that has come out of this, is that I now know who I can be honest with about my feelings, and who I need to ‘smile and nod’ at. I realize this sounds like I am angry, and I want to be clear, I am not angry. I am simply trying to learn more about myself, more about what is expected of me, I want to know more about the truth behind complaints and grace, and decide for myself what I believe is a healthy balance. I don’t want to be a complainer, but I don’t want to be a door mat either.
2 thoughts on “Complaining or Emoting?”
So sorry to hear about the rough weekend. Hope Kaleb is doing better. Doesn't sound like complaining to me – just appropriately recognizing that life is pretty rough sometimes.
I totally agree with Darryl this is not complaining. Having two young children is at times very exhausting, especially when they are not always sleep through the night and when one,of them gets sick then you give 100% of yourself even though you are tired and exhausted. Laurie you are such a wonderful mom!!