Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Alone in a Crowd

This past weekend my family and I joined friends for the annual tree cutting.  Every year the same group of families go to the same farm and ride the hay ride out into the fields to pick our Christmas trees, cut them down and head to one of our homes for hot chocolate and lunch.

This year being 'Christmas at my parents place' we didn't get a tree but we love the tradition none the less and always join the families that are getting one.  On the drive back into the city the kids grew quiet as tired from roaming around in the woods set in.....for some reason this is the time when Big Daddy and I have some of our best talks.  Maybe it is being trapped in the car together without distraction of a computer or tv, maybe it is because the kids are usually quiet/distracted/asleep but we bond in the minivan.

This time it was a chat a about the news of a couple we know splitting up.  Two young kids and they called it quits.  We are not close to them and didn't see or hear of troubles but were surprised and saddened to hear the news.  Funny how it is the shock of this kind of news that more often than not makes you reassess your own marriage and happiness.

12 years in, Big Daddy and I are doing better than ever.  We have our troubles and struggles but things have been really good lately. We have been doing well at communicating and listening so bumps in the road have been smoothed over pretty easily as of late.  The best part is we almost got into a domestic as to why we are doing so well.  I think it is because of some lessons I have beat into him....enforced changes ........improvements he has made and he thinks it is because of some hormone stability.....drinking .......peace finding I have done.

Although I agree with him about my attitude change in some respects, I just don't think it was the powerful force that improved how we communicate. I can't give it that much credit.......I just don't think I have changed that much.....

I will explain (with some back story) thing that I am thankful for daily is that my husband and I absolutely agree on some major parenting decisions.  We both did research and both of us feel strongly about our choice in not vaccinating the kids (or continuing to vaccinate ourselves).  This is something we very much agree on and I know that no matter what happens between the two of us, this will never be an argument.  My husband is also completely on board with my commitment to quality real foods and the choice of nutritionally rich foods that make up our diet.

Where he thinks I have changed is in my attitude about the debate on vaccines.  He thinks I have calmed down.....  Not that my stance has changed but just that I am not entering into the debates anymore and that some how this is a sign of me mellowing or that by not getting involved I am other words, he thinks I have calmed down?

There is some truth to this.....I am not mellowing but have stopped entering into the debates because I find that it is the same conversation over and over.  I am tired of discussing 'herd immunity', the 'amazing safety testing' , or 'no link to Autism'  BS with people who have obviously only gotten their information from the CDC or Health is like taking a cup of water out of the ocean and arguing with me about the existence of whales.  I just can't do it anymore.  I truly believe that time will tell.....and the truth is starting to come out so why do I need to be the crusader? Besides, I have found crusading is inherently lonely.

The thing is, I have found most of my parenting choices pretty lonely ones.  I am not surrounded by a crowd of non-vaxx'ing, gluten free, real food eating, enviro parents.  I don't have a community of peeps. I can't gripe to my mommy friends about the sub-par foods in the school's snack program when according to most they are healthy choices.  I have no one to commiserate with through kids colds and exchange natural remedies but I am invited into conversations on the inside scoop to bulk buying juice boxes or where tylenol is on sale......if I happen to mention making your own 'vick's like rub' with coconut oil to avoid the petroleum products or astragalus tea.... the conversation ends and I can assume from the looks on everyone's faces - I have grown an extra head or two.

So although I may have mellowed in my need to fight the good fight, the part of this puzzle that would affect my attitude the most still exists....which is...this is a lonely crowd to be part of.  I know there are communities of parents just like me...apparently I need to move to Victoria BC....but I live here.  I wonder if what has changed is that I have actively seeked out *my community* on line.  Finding moms that I relate to....finding some *peeps*. Maybe I have gotten better at 'picking my audience' for certain topics of conversation.....maybe I have gotten mature enough (who am I kidding?) that I don't need to surround myself with people just like me.  Or maybe I have just been a parent long enough now that I am pretty confident with my choices and don't feel the need to have them approved by more seasoned veterans of this job.  Maybe the sweet man I married and I have found a groove after a few years of major upheaval and stress.  Maybe it just took a few years for us to figure out how to find the time to be good to each other and be good parents.....maybe I realized that I am not alone in the crowd but that he is standing beside me.


Ajax said...

Fantastic simile about the cup and whale!

Ashleigh said...

Great post. I love hearing about couples who are doing well. Lately, I have felt like everywhere I look couples are falling apart.

As for the need for a "community", I can relate. I will often go silent amidst my mommy friends because I can't relate to giving my toddlers Tylenol or Advil 6 out of 7 nights per week. I feel like a a snob when I refuse to let my children have Goldfish, cheese cubes or "healthy" cookies at the drop-ins. As for the vaccine stuff, I don't even go there because it isn't worth the fight. I agree that it can be a bit lonely, but am grateful that I met you!

Emily Grace said...

Ashleigh - I feel the same way about knowing that you are in my community....I just wish our kids were closer in age so we were in the same boat at the same a few more years the age gap won't seem so big

Joy said...

We don't have children yet but we don't plan on vaccines or eating junk either. I am trying to go gluten free and find I still have to stay pretty quiet in some situations, so I understand Ashleigh's "going silent". Hang in there guys, those of us coming behind need your encouragement.