There are people who have encouraged and supported me every step of the way. They have challenged me in loving ways when they see me falter and encourage me to get up, dust myself off and try again. Last time I checked I was human and make a lot of errors. I am super thankful for the honest support I have been blessed with.
Then there are those people who think they know better than I how one should raise this brood of children. They interfere on every possible occasion, and act as if this hoard has somehow miraculously raised themselves to be polite well rounded people in spite of my craziness. I have discovered life is full of crabs in the bucket and it saddens me when someone I thought was a support turns out to be a crab in disguise.
Every now and again we have to say "You're fired" to people in our lives. Sometimes there is no way around repairing damage done, or allowing room for more damage to occur. I don't like firing people. It is uncomfortable but the older I get the shorter life seems and the less willing I am to allow hateful angry energy in my personal space. Part of being a parent is modeling how to do this in a healthy, non angry and "avenue of least damage" way as possible. It isn't easy.
I want my kids to learn how to recognize toxic relationships, how to avoid them in the first place when possible and dis-intangle when need be. I never imagined myself asking my child about questions about adults they interact with as I assumed adults would behave like...well adults. Communication is the most important key in raising kids. Do the adults your children are surrounded with support you as a parent? It doesn't mean they have to agree with everything, but do they encourage your children to listen to your instruction and heed it? Do they treat you respectfully or do they have a certain amount of disdain? Worse yet, are they negative about you to your children?
I've learned the lesson of assumption over the years...never assume anything! Never assume a person in a grownup body is mature. I have given a certain amount of benefit of the doubt even when I had a hunch something shady was occurring. I have pushed down my feelings and disregarded my intuition there were unhealthy interactions and in the end I usually find out my feelings were right on target.
Recently I had a pretty negative experience with a couple of people I had been intuitively knowing were being a negative influence in my children's life, however circumstances being as they were we had to keep a working relationship with those involved or risk my child losing an activity they loved. At first I was pretty wounded and taken aback by their behavior. I felt hurt, and humiliated as they chose a very shocking and public way to express their feelings. I had no inkling things had progressed to the point where they were done having polite interaction. In essence, I was fired.
The curious thing was the people involved felt our children should continue their involvement and relationship with them despite their very strong feelings toward us as parents. In short, if these people did not care enough about the children witnessing their public verbal dressing down of their parents, nor how the child they were involved in would feel having this occur to their parents...how would one go about trusting their most precious gifts under their care and supervision? As a mom, I spent the whole rest of the day wrapping my head around what the outcome of this meant for my kid.
I did what I always do...I called my Best Friend, Mama, and Sister and let them know what happened. This trio of women gives me honest answers and good solid support. They reminded me I had been feeling there was dishonesty involved for a long period of time and these people saved me a lot of continued stress and heart ache by ending our relationship. They encouraged me and let me cry. They also supported my feelings and beliefs it would be very toxic and maybe even damaging for my kids to continue their relationship particularly since the reason for continuing it is no longer relevant due to our upcoming move.
Sometimes being fired is the very best thing that can happen, even though it wounds our pride and hurts our feelings, it allows us the opportunity to heal, learn and move on in life. It gives me the chance to live my faith...to create action and learn more readily how to forgive. It allows us room for growth, and time to reflect on how we can become healthier, and kinder human beings.