I’ve had a really rough couple of weeks. It makes me want to avoid blogging, as I really don’t want to share negative thoughts- but they happen. They’re still here, and they’re normal. Ignoring them doesn’t make them go away, so here they are.
I’ve had some serious frustration with people in my life making bad decisions. Small scale, my eight year old son has driven me crazy with the immaturity these days. Large scale, drunk driving is never okay. Motherhood is both difficult and terrifying. We do our best to raise good kids at home, to teach them to make good decisions. It’s difficult. We also know we can’t control anyone but ourselves. There are others out in the world making bad decisions everyday, decisions that endanger our family. That’s terrifying.
MISTAKES happen. We hope no one is hurt from our mistakes, and take the opportunity to learn from them. Repeatedly making the same mistakes are not accidents – they’re a conscious decision to do the wrong thing. Accountability is the first step.
When we refuse to take responsibility for our actions, it leaves room to repeat said actions. My son and his friend were caught talking during a quiet time in class. My son immediately told his teacher that his friend started the conversation, and he was just responding. The other child was punished, Jacen was not. It’s now become a habit where my son has disruptive conversations in class and blames the other person. If he cries, if he plays the victim, he can justify his own bad actions and keeping doing them. Ultimately he is only hurting himself. His friends will realize that Jacen throws them under the bus, and will not want to be his friend any more. He’s also missing out on important lectures, and will fall behind if he doesn’t change his behavior.
The same can be said for someone who drives home drunk.
Blaming others only justifies bad decisions to yourself. It doesn’t change that others were put at risk. Getting away with it doesn’t mean you can do it again. Your life will not get better escaping accountability. You will lose the people who are close to you when they realize your selfishness puts them at risk. Do not confuse SUPPORT while recovering from bad behavior and ENABLING bad behavior to continue. There’s a difference. I can be a friend, I can be an ex-friend. It all depends on how you accept my love. I will not enable bad decisions by sticking by someone who wants to repeat the same mistakes, I’ll only be a support person for someone who wants to turn it around.
These feelings extend to so many situations, like when my son leaves his homework on the kitchen table, then blames mom and dad for not reminding him it’s there. Trust me, it will happen again. Continually stopping for fast food and blaming you work schedule or budget won’t cause a change in behavior. Avoiding a mental health diagnosis or treatment won’t make it go away. You can not continue blaming a downward spiral on the way others treat you, instead of taking accountability for your own brain chemistry and bad choices. Take accountability, take support. Make a positive change. Don’t take advantage of your situation and play the victim.
I’ve had a hard time these last few weeks watching others make bad decisions. I do not punish my son because I want him to be miserable. I punish him because I want him to start making better choices. I do it because I love him. I’m not joining MADD (mothers against drunk driving) to shame or embarrass someone after a DUI. I do it because I love them. I want to keep them safe, I want to keep others on the road safe. I want to encourage positive change.
We all have something in our lives that needs to be shifted from negative to positive. Where can you take accountability today? Where can you decide that this problem was not caused by others, but by your own choices. Where can you take the reins back, and steer toward a better you?
Today I wish you wellness- physically, mentally, socially. I hope you decide to make a positive change, and keep both yourself and your family well.
With healthy hearts,
Kate and The Kids.