May 12, 2020 at 9:06 pm #354648Suzie36Participant
Hi all I’m new to this website, and this is my first post so please be kind! I’m trying to be a better person for my kids sake (5 year old and nearly 2 year old). I’m doing this by self-reflection and lots of reading (recently finished Buddhism for mothers). I hate to say but nothing is working, I feel very low and anxious all the time.
I just want to stop getting angry at everything. I know I shouldn’t have expectations and these are the cause of pain but I just can’t help it. E.g. my next door neighbours show no courtesy their kid plays football morning till evening making so much noise whereas I make sure my kids are well behaved and if they start being too loud I take them inside. I explain to the oldest one that we should be considerate of our neighbours who may be trying to relax in their gardens. I’m very conscious of being a good neighbour but the people I live next to don’t give me same respect back! So many times his football has banged into our fence and I stay quiet even tho they have damaged our fence and we put it up recently. I also have anger at my family that being the youngest I was always there for my siblings helping with childcare and buying gifts for my nieces n nephews but they all are so busy they dont bother with my kids. Two of my siblings didn’t even bother coming to my baby’s 1st birthday, they just made excuses. I just feel intense anger and I don’t want to waste mine or my kids life by being this angry mum. Please help me see a way out of this black hole that I feel is consuming me. I just don’t know where to begin to start making changes. I mediate and I’m okay for a few hours but then something happens and put me back. I have no support from my husband, even on lockdown he is working from home from 7am to 7pm. I see him for maybe 30 minutes a day.May 13, 2020 at 7:42 am #354740
“I don’t know where to begin to start making changes”-
– it would be best if it was possible for you to move to a place with no neighbors close by, or with quieter, considerate neighbors. It would be nice if your neighbors happened to move themselves, and nicer neighbors moving in.
– if you or your husband talked to your neighbors asking them to limit the football playing time, and to lower their voices when playing, and if they respected the respect, that will make it better for you.
– It could help if your husband took breaks from his work, ten minutes every hour, or 20 minutes every couple of hours (or 40 minutes every three hours), and give you time out so that you can have alone time in your bedroom or elsewhere, take a walk outside maybe, a walk away from home and away from the neighbors.
I am guessing that your husband deals with his lockdown related distress by diving into his work all day until he gets so tired that he is able to relax and then sleep until the next work day.
I am guessing that sometimes you wish you weren’t so considerate and kind to others (your siblings, your neighbors), but you find it very difficult to be less considerate.
Did your parents instill this in you: to be socially responsible and kind to others while not teaching you how to deal with situations when others are not socially responsible?
anitaMay 13, 2020 at 1:09 pm #354792BrandyParticipant
If your new fence is damaged, talk to the parents of the kid about it, suggest they purchase equipment (nets, etc.) needed to keep the ball from hitting your fence. Hopefully they’ll offer to pay for any damage their son has caused, but if they don’t ask them to. And if you see your husband only 30 minutes a day, you need to address this too.
There’s a basketball court in my front yard right outside my husband’s and my bedroom. We can’t move it into our backyard because we don’t have the concrete area that’s required there. One afternoon a young kid who lives nearby was working hard on perfecting his shots on our court (his mom had asked us if he could use the court) and an elderly woman in the neighborhood said to him “You’re not going to bounce that ball right now, are you? I’m trying to nap and the constant bouncing is very annoying.” So the kid apologized, took his basketball inside his house, and never came out to play again. This kid had big family problems, unfortunately. The best thing for him was to get out of his house and be active.
I realize that the sound of a kid playing basketball is very annoying to some but to others it’s not so bad. To me it’s a calming healthy sound. You can change the way you feel about a sound.
Parents of young kids are struggling during this pandemic. They can’t take their kids to local parks to run around and play football, but kids need to be active so parents are doing the best they can. Your problem is a temporary one. One day the pandemic will be over and kids will be back in school full-time and your days will be quiet again. Also, in the blink of an eye this kid will not be interested in football in his backyard any longer. He will be on his iphone/computer etc., maybe even getting into trouble too. The sounds that come from a kid playing football are so much better than the sounds of bottles breaking from a family’s alcohol induced arguments or the smells of cigarette/marijuana smoke.
Let him play football and change your thoughts about it.
I get it though. People are annoying. They let their kids do whatever their kids want to do. Why should your neighbors get away with letting their kids make so much noise when your kids are so quiet and well behaved? I have no good answer but my advice to you is that you need to figure out how to be happy in spite of other people’s annoying behavior because as your kids enter elementary school and are around a lot of other kids all day, and you’re around their parents too, things are going to annoy the hell out of you daily. Choose your battles wisely because there are countless potential battles ahead of you with teachers, coaches, principals, other parents, neighbors, PTA, etc. Let this one go. And also let go the one about your family members not paying enough attention to your kids when you did the opposite with their kids. Just let it go. Choose to be happy.
Things are not always going to go according to the plan. People are not going to act the way you expect. You have to be somewhat flexible and accommodating in certain circumstances. Don’t let everything trigger you. Choose to be more chill.
So to finally answer what I think you’re real question is, whenever you feel anger and tension, stop what you’re doing and focus on your breathing until you are calm again. Do this as many times a day as you need to and get very good at it.
BMay 13, 2020 at 2:29 pm #354814Suzie36Participant
Thank you Anita and Brandy for your thoughtful insights.
Anita – no my parents didn’t really instill thinking of others in me. Mum’s parenting method was based on guilt tripping and telling me my duty as youngest was to provide free childcare and help my sisters out. Only recently I realised my mother got out of helping my sisters by sending me whenever they needed help! I don’t blame my mother as she did the best she could I suppose.
Brandy – it’s not just due to lockdown, he was kicking his ball every day for hours. I used to escape the house and take kids somewhere to get away but now I can’t which makes it unbearable. It’s not just the kicking it’s the father getting involved and screaming and shouting “Yaayyy what a goal!”. Even before lockdown this was a regular thing. In all weather they will be out. I will definitely take on board what you are saying and maybe tomorrow when I hear the noise I will distract myself. You’re right I do need to keep my energy for Future issues. It’s not working getting angry and to be honest I don’t want to have a conversation with them as I know my personality I will keep thinking about what I said. Thank you.May 13, 2020 at 3:04 pm #354826
Reads like your mother’s “parenting method” was to take advantage of you. I suppose it was “the best she could” do for herself, at your expense.
Guilt tripping is a common tool mothers use to get what they want from their children. Nothing to do with parenting, it’s a behavioral strategy that works because children naturally feel empathy for the mother, wanting to make her happy.
I can very much relate to how much the neighbors’ noise bothers you. I suffered a whole lot from neighbors’ noise. Seven years ago I moved to the country, far away from neighbors, but still I could hear the neighbors (father, son and visitors) playing basketball during summer evenings and it bothered me a lot. There were other noises that bothered me around here too: the barking of dogs and the calling of a rooster. What I found out living in the country, in recent years, was that much of what bothered me was not the noise itself, but that I thought that the neighbors were inconsiderate, that they knew the noise was bothering me and they didn’t care! That infuriated me.
For example, I thoughts that one of my neighbors, the ones with the rooster, knew it bothered me but didn’t care. Later it occurred to me: wait, the rooster noise (morning, noon, evening, all through) didn’t bother them. So maybe they didn’t think it will bother their neighbors either. Maybe it didn’t cross their minds that it will bother a neighbor, such as me.
At that point, the noise bothered me less and less, until it no longer did. The rooster has been quiet today though. Maybe it’s their dinner later on. It will be okay with me, if that’s the case.
anitaMay 13, 2020 at 3:48 pm #354850BrandyParticipant
I love Anita’s response. One of the sounds I love most is a group playing basketball on a warm summer evening. I grew up with that sound and it would never occur to me that it would bother anyone. Another sound I love is a rooster’s crow. Growing up in my neighborhood everyone had roosters, so it would never occur to me that a rooster’s crow would annoy a person. Anita says: …much of what bothered me was not the noise itself, but that I thought that the neighbors were inconsiderate, that they knew the noise was bothering me and they didn’t care! That infuriated me. See, and I feel the exact same way about leaf blowers…can’t people be more considerate and use an old fashioned rake to get the leaves out of their gardens? But it just now occurred to me that maybe it never crossed their minds that the sound a leaf blower could bother someone. Everyone’s different. Thank you, Anita! 🙂
BMay 13, 2020 at 3:55 pm #354852
* You are welcome, Brandy. Your post brought the first smile to my face today, and it is 3:55 pm!