Writer’s Workshop: Don’t Screw This Up

April 18, 2012 · 33 comments

Post image for Writer’s Workshop: Don’t Screw This Up

1.) A promise.

When I said my vows I made a promise to never leave my husband…and I MEANT it…conditionally. On condition that he doesn’t turn into a serial killer, he doesn’t beat me and the children, he doesn’t cheat on my with a prettier woman etc… I said my vows, but it was a promise we all know we can get out of right?

Every once in awhile I give my husband a hard time, “GAH, I asked for a 30 ounce bag of frozen hash browns, but I wanted shredded…you bought diced? Seriously what were you thinking, we’ve been through this a thousand times!?!”

Maile has gotten very sensitive to what I think is ‘comical’ arguing. I don’t REALLY hate Pat for buying the wrong hash browns…even though I really am a teensy bit annoyed.

So now when the comical arguing starts Maile says things like “are you guys fighting?” and “I don’t like it when you do that…”.

The other night I was all “Maile why does that bother you? We’re just teasing!” and she was all “because I think you might break up” and then I got all sentimental with her and was all “Maile, sometimes when you live with someone they drive you bat shit crazy…just like how Laina and Kainoa make you want to scream and hit them sometimes…but that doesn’t mean you’ll break up sweetheart! It just means they happen to be driving you bat shit crazy…”

And then I said, “Your Father and I vowed to stay married forever and we meant it darling!”

(You know, unlike everyone else??)

And she was all, and I quote “Well some people break those promises”.

And here’s where I think I messed up…instead of saying, “Maile I understand my arguing with your Dad bothers you and I’m going to change my behavior by working really hard not to do that in front of you anymore…”

You know, INSTEAD of being the adult and working to keep my sensitive child at peace with herself, I chose to make a promise,

“Maile, Look at my eyes and listen to my words very carefully…I will never ever EVER break up with your Dad. NEVER. Do you understand?”

She nodded gratefully, but with every “ever” my inner voice was screaming “My God what kind of promise are you MAKING!?!” This felt even more serious than my vows because I know that breaking THIS promise could land my daughter in therapy and might cause her to hate me.

I poured myself a glass of wine.

Okay four glasses of wine.

I don’t have any plans to leave her father, but my promise has given me hives.

He better not screw this up.

Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1.) A promise.

2.) I thought my child was going to _______, but instead he/she _______.

3.) Tell us something you learned about a grandparent that surprised you.

4.) List 7 things your pet thought about today.

5.) Spring fashion is in the air! Put together and share an Spring outfit you’d like someone with money to buy you.

Mama Kat Loves You When You Love Her


Missy April 18, 2012 at 8:40 pm

It is so amazing the things that we do and how the effect our kids without us even knowing it.
My husband and I have a similar joking relationship and I’ve always wondered if the kids have thoughts like that. It’s great you have a relationship with your daughter where she will come to you and talk about things.

Jessica April 18, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Oh gosh, I made the same promise to my three year old. He said, “But what if we arent a family anymore?” To which my genius self replied with “We will always be a family. Your Daddy and I will always be living in THIS house with YOU!” ….great. Not only did I make that promise but I also cannot move OR let him move out.

Stasha April 18, 2012 at 8:43 pm

That’s a tough one Kat! I was quite serious about the whole marriage thing, well kinda. But I knew having a kid made it all the more serious. And now you just took it too a whole new lever. pass me that wine will ya?

Phase Three of Life April 18, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Well, we’re bound to screw them up somehow, right? I say have another glass!

Dominique@Dominqiue's Desk April 18, 2012 at 9:45 pm

That’s a really tough promise to make to a kid. I too blogged about my vows this week.

Kat April 18, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Ay, what we do for our kids! Don’t worry, they will probably end up in therapy whether you keep the promise or not. Therapy is this generations M&Ms! The problem is that one has no idea how hard it is to be a parent until they are one…..so we will just have to wait for those grandkids and the little phrase our kids will say, “I had no idea…..”

Katina April 19, 2012 at 2:29 am

Ha! Ha! HE better not screw this up! Love it! I must echo what several ladies have already said: gosh our children sure do watch EVERYTHING we say and do! Uh oh, it is only 6:30 am here–can I get a glass of wine too? (LOL)

BalancingMama (Julie) April 19, 2012 at 2:54 am

Don’t screw it up! :)

Diane@BeStillaMinute April 19, 2012 at 3:08 am

This reminds me of that Sophia Loren quote about motherhood: “When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”

Truer words were never spoken!

Katie April 19, 2012 at 3:58 am

Oh My, don’t break that promise……….

Andrea April 19, 2012 at 4:00 am

Making a promise to a child is very tricky, no matter what that promise is.

Delilah April 19, 2012 at 4:33 am

He better not screw it up!! I tell my husband that all the time. He almost DID screw it up and even though we shielded our kids from the fallout, I know they picked up on more than we intended. They just see and sense it all, don’t they?

Jen April 19, 2012 at 5:19 am

I have had similar conversations with Hayden… and made similar promises to him about his father and I.

And all I can do is make sure that I can keep this promise.

dumb mom April 19, 2012 at 6:15 am

A number of our friends have gotten divorced in the past few years. Dumb Dad & I have this running joke that we break up families. Since happily married people become friends with us and suddenly find themselves in court. It only happens if we are both friends with both spouses. So, you should probably never let your husband become friends with mine, if you want to keep that promise!

May April 19, 2012 at 6:34 am

We are of like minds about the importance of this promise. I remember watching Jon and Kate gushing in Hawaii to their 8 about their promise to never leave one another. What was it ….6 mos.? A year? Splitsville. All I could think about was how those kids were going to make sense of how little that promise had meant.

And seriously…..diced hash browns?! I think those are called cottage fries or something because they are simply not hash browns.

Stacey April 19, 2012 at 6:36 am

Man! Kids really back us into a corner sometimes. And who buys diced? See, this is why I don’t send the hubs to the store.

Debbie Day April 19, 2012 at 7:14 am

LOL … I can’t think of a better way to start my day then to read your blog.

Mommy Boots April 19, 2012 at 7:21 am

It’s terrifying and tricky business, this raising of children. We have to be so delicate with our words and promises; it’s hard getting used to the responsibility and weight being a parent holds. I find myself startled every day at how much faith my 2 year old has in me. I kiss her tears, I make her boo-boos stop hurting, I am her safe place.. It’s hard, and we can’t be perfect 100% of the time. We just do the best we can, try and keep our promises and forgive ourselves if for whatever reason we break them, I guess.. Thanks for sharing this post.

Wombat Central April 19, 2012 at 7:42 am

My kids are at the age where they know about other kids who have two different sets of parents. I nodded all the way through this post–I totally hear you. They better not eff it up. ;)

Arnebya @whatnowandwhy April 19, 2012 at 8:32 am

He totally better not mess it up. Take a picture of the correct bag of hash browns, dammit, but do NOT make me divorce you b/c I got sick of you coming home with diced. DICED. The hell?

My husband and I have a running joke that if either tries to leave the other, we are to hit the other with the cast iron pan, wrap him/her in tarp and duct tape, and stick him/her in the crawl space until sense returns. Feed when necessary and buy Depends. But you will remember that there is a reason you stay. It’s all moot anyway; I only stay with him because I’d hate to lose his mother and sister.

Marta April 19, 2012 at 8:42 am

I would be pretty terrified to make that promise to my kids! Also I love that you said, “he doesn’t cheat on my with a prettier woman” what happens if he cheats with an ugly woman? =)

Joanne April 19, 2012 at 8:43 am

I attempt to do the “comical” arguing with my husband too but he doesn’t really always get it and gets angry anyway.

hillary April 19, 2012 at 8:46 am

That will be the best promise you keep :) And kids are such convenient Jimminy Crickets, are they not?

Raine April 19, 2012 at 9:04 am

oh my. that is a doosey of a promise. I hope you can keep it :)

Bruna April 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm

If it makes you feel any better, I probably wound have done and said the same thing in the heat of the moment. Don’t stress over it.

Jo April 19, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Goodness, it’s been 4ever since I commented! Gurl, that’s real talk! Commitment just isn’t what it used to be anymore. People just don’t mean it when they say ‘Til death do us part’ anymore. I just don’t get it. Marriage is hard work, but if your willing to put in the effort, you can make it work. The hubs and I have been through everything a couple can go through. The loss of a child, infidelity, financial strain, you name it, we been through it and we are still together (19 years in this coming October). It can be done. You just have to have faith in God and each other. Blessings…

Janice April 19, 2012 at 3:03 pm

I applaud you for making such a promise to your child. It feels different, no? To make that promise to your child versus your husband on the day of your wedding? Is it because our children are more innocent therefore more believing in what we say? I don’t know. Don’t go too deep into it. Heh. But seriously, I hope he doesn’t screw it up either. Ha!

Adrienne April 19, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Great post! I have had similar conversations with my kids, and then I think the same thing. He better not make me a liar.

Jen {at} take2mommy April 19, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Your husband must be quite pleased to know that you and he shall never part :)

Heather April 19, 2012 at 6:36 pm

This sounds like the kind of a corner I’d back myself into with my oldest. Darn those question asking children ;) Love this post – never say never!

Patrice P April 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm

I agree with Heather…never say never.

Jennifer April 21, 2012 at 5:39 pm

You said the absolute right thing. She just wanted reassurance.

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