I am guilty of inflicting the, “That sucks” bug into my family. Apparently, for the last few years, when my kids would tell me a story about something that didn’t go their way, or another childhood problem, my response has been, “That sucks.” It has been my “go to” mom phrase. You know the one. We all have at least one. Yours may be: “That’s fine.” “Oh my!” “Uh-hugh.” “Sure.” “Oh Wow!” “No good.” “That’s too bad.” Or any other version you have said a gazillion times to the kids in your life.
Mine bit me in the butt a couple of weeks ago. It seemed like everything out of my children’s mouths was, “You know what sucks?” “You know what I think sucks?” “It sucks that…” “It sucks when…”
I thought I was going to crawl away from home and never return. It felt like a Dyson vacuum was sucking the will to live from my bone marrow. I couldn’t take it anymore. Where did this terrible frame of mind come from? What do my kids speak out loud about everything that sucks?
Then, my daughter came home and told me about how she couldn’t find her favorite pencil and I said, “That sucks.” I wanted to slap the words back into my mouth. So THAT’S where they have gotten it from! It’s all my fault! Holy fresh hell, how many times had they heard, “That sucks” in their very short lives?
Family council followed. I started the meeting with the question, “What doesn’t suck?” I am so tired of hearing about all of the things that suck, all of the crummy, unfortunate, sad, terrible, stories that make me want to stick my head underwater for 30 seconds just to drown out the sounds of all the sucky stories. I told my kids how that saying made me feel and asked them to start to think about the opposite of what sucks. I went so far as to write in chalk in our kitchen, “What doesn’t suck?” My kids’ friends have thought it is funny. They come over and read it out loud with a puzzled tone of voice. I make them tell me what doesn’t suck in their life. It has been like a reset button for a frame of mind I have unconsciously raised my children by the last few years.
So Tribe of Women…tell me please, if you will, What Doesn’t Suck?
As we hope you know, Tribe of Women wants to share the stories of women. Women of all ages and stages, from all walks… stories with happy endings and stories with endings that are difficult to share and accept. Even stories whose endings have not yet been realized. We are sharing this story from our friend Juliet, and we would love to share yours in this space as well!