Monday, November 15, 2010

Loving them when they're difficult

Last week, a friend posted a link to this blog on her Facebook. I read it over and was struck by #7) Today, the moment when I am most repelled by a child’s behavior, that is my sign to draw the very closest to that child.

I'm not a perfect mother, and I don't think anyone (no matter what you may see) is. I've been frustrated by my kids, have yelled at them, enjoy my time away from them, and feel generally overwhelmed by them, especially when they're clinging to me like their lives depend on it. But this part struck me, mainly because of one child:

Surprise, surprise. Sarah is great when we're out, she's very social, smiles and waves at everyone, laughs, plays by herself...but at home, it's a different story. She clings to my side, if I walk out her sight she cries, and her most used word is "MAMA" said very sadly. And yes, sometimes (often), I am frustrated and repelled by this behavior. I've been ignoring it for months and it doesn't seem to be working, so I'm switching tactics and am going to draw closer to her. God give me strength, because this is not my default reaction - my default is a 'suck it up and get over it' type attitude.

She's growing up so much - her vocabulary is amazing, and she tries to say almost any word you ask her to. Of course, most of her words are still baby talk, but Shawn and I both think she'll be speaking quite a bit by her 2nd birthday. It's hard to believe she's not 2 yet - she's so tall and big, she's easily in 3T for tops and bottoms.

Jeremiah is also frustrating, but on a different level. He argues with me over the most silly things, and then has the nerve to tell me he's not arguing with me! Argh. But he turns around and tells me that he loves me and gives me a hug and a kiss. And he never stops talking. For instance, this morning he woke up and has not stopped talking about his new dragon, who was in our fridge but is now gone. He loves to learn, and I feel only a little bad about not having him in preschool, only because I think he'd have a lot of fun and do well.

Just posting this blog is an exercise in patience! It's 630am and I've been interrupted I don't know how many times...even though I've been a mom for over 3 years, I'm still learning to adjust my expectations.


Anonymous said...

Oh, good luck Rachel and let me know how it goes. I find myself giving D so much more attention due to guilt which is due to my negative feelings because of her clinginess. Sigh, even that sounds stressful. At this monet she is pretending to be a bat with a cover round her shoulders. Right now she is sweet. In 5 minutes though?... x

Danielle said...

Rachel, thank you so much for posting this! I think Rachel and Lauren have a LOT in common. Lauren is already saying a bunch of words, she is typically really good in public although she has now officially thrown two big crying fits at Target, and she is a handful at home! She cries when I leave her sight too. She throws a fit if I take something away from her, if I'm not paying attention to her, sometimes she will say "OW" and start pinching me! I am so frustrated because both sets of parents say that my husband and I NEVER did anything like that, so I'm just racking my brain over what I'm doing wrong to cause this! I was thinking to wait it out like you were, but that is discouraging to hear that there was no sign of change. I'm so paranoid that these bad tendencies could become permanent, even if managed with maturity eventually, it would be better to not even have these traits to begin with. Anyways, I really appreciate your statement about adjusting expectations, because ever since she was born a colicky baby (which I mean, I didn't believe in colic, I had my whole life prior been thought of by so many as being talented with children)I have definitely had to learn humility, struggle and adjustment! But, it's ok :)

Kim F said...

Thank you for being open and honest Rachel. I can relate to so much of what you shared about Sarah and how you feel parenting her. I've begun a similar approach with Lily lately...but oh my is it difficult and exhausting. Motherhood never ceases to challenge me. It's comforting to know I'm not alone in the struggle.

shanna said...

To encourage you, you will never get this day back. She will not always be clingy and scream at the fact your not right next to her. These moments are but a glimps of what kind of relationship you will have. I love to be reminded that whatever I'm doing at the moment if NEVER more important then what my baby needs. Our children don't bug us cuz they know its inturrepting our current task, they are doing it cuz they need something. Remember they still have needs that we as mama don't fully get. So I encourage you to embarrass this moment. Don't think of it as a reverse psychology. But a opportunity you will never get back. Rememberyour not alone we all mamas have some much on our table and sometime need to be reminded of this. Enjoy your new outlook and praying with Sara will have a new presents of God!

Jennifer said...

You could not have posted this at a better time, Rachel! Thank you so much. Last night I was so frustrated with both Asa & Lexi that I literally threw my hands up and walked out of the room screaming and just short of riping my hair out! For a fleeting moment actually thought of getting in the car and driving away - leaving Daddy to deal with them. I went downstairs and gave myself a time out on the couch in the dark. Didn't take them long to hunt me down though and when they found me they were so sweet and hugged me and kissed me and told me they were sorry and that they would be quiet and not be mean to eachother. Of course, then I felt bad about my tyraid and yelling at them. I know they just want to be close to me especially now that they have Jacob who consumes so much of my time as a 2 mo old. It's hard on all of us and we all make mistakes and feel guilty. But we learn and move on and hopefully we get better as parents. Ugh - so much harder than I thought it would be, yet, way more rewarding than I ever thought it would be too.

Amber said...

I admire your honesty and can totally relate! That's one of the reasons why I deactivated my Facebook account. Emily is VERY clingy and Ethan has his moments. So, I've decided to give them extra attention, which seems to be paying off. This week they've been playing SO well together. It's an answer to prayer! Being a mom is hard work and I think you're doing a fantastic job! I can tell by reading your blog that your children are VERY loved. :)

Amber said...

P.S. That is an adorable picture of the two of them together!