Parenting does something in the core of you. It changes you deep inside. In many aspects of yourself you remain the same, but with a little, yet not so little, twist added.
For me, the move into motherhood happened very smoothly. I was waiting eagerly to become a mom and my firstborn was (and still is.. 20 years later) the angelic type of baby. We spent the first 2.5 years of his life pretty much unseparable. Nearly like one person. I slept when he slept. Sat on the floor near him when he was crawling about. Talked and sang to him all day. I realize now it was like we were in a world of our own. An external, extended womb.
Everything went really smoothly with him and I thought I had it sussed. I simply KNEW how to be a mother.
Then when he was 2.5, little princess Maya has arrived and the bubble burst.
When my son was around 3 and my daughter 6 months or so, he became jealous of her and used to find a moment when I wasn’t looking to hit her.
That’s when the bubble burst a second time and I lost it.
The mirror –
Being overcome by powerful emotions
It seems so logical to me today looking back. He was the sole prince of our domain for 2.5 years, then this ‘thing’ came along. Not only did he have to split our attention with her, at 6 months she began crawling and baby-talking, turning all heads, forcing people to stop to a halt in the middle of the street. She was a true beauty.
He lost something. Something big. He didn’t like it. He wanted her to go away. He was 3 year old.
What more logical solution could he have found than to show it by hitting her?
The art of parenthood brings all parents to a place like this. A place where you feel like you hit a brick wall. Like this just can’t be happening. Where you find yourself wishing there was a delete button to this whole parenthood affair.
Some find the first introduction to motherhood shocking. Some find it, like myself, with the arrival of the second child. Some will find it at a later stage.
No matter how great you are, it will come. The moment when you find yourself responsible for a situation that you have no clue how to handle.
Normally the helplessness and frustration will bring out some very strong emotions, so however you try to handle the situation it will be from a very emotional place, coloring your actions either too aggressive or too soft, to the point where you might find yourself asking permission from your child for your actions as his or her parent.
Help! I don’t know what to do!
It’s really important to come to a place where we can admit to ourselves that we simply don’t know what to do.
It seems so logical but it’s not. Admitting we don’t know what to do with regard to our children is scary. Our children are the most precious things to us and our responsibility. Admitting we don’t know what to do is like admitting we’re not fit to be parents.
It took me a long time admitting it to myself. I tried to gain control over the situation for a while. I was furious. My little beautiful angel had become the enemy. I was aggressive and impatient. I was acting from a childish place of my own, not being able to see the bigger, mature picture that read that he was simply acting out his own pain.
Admitting that we don’t know what to do, or that we acted wrong towards our children is really hard.
After a while my love for my child won over my anger towards him and my frustration for not being able to control him hitting his sister, and I took him to some kind of alternative healer that said he was perfectly fine, but asked me to come for a second visit..
So what makes good parents good?
Take care of yourself
According to my life experience, the most important thing you can do for your child is to look deep inside yourself and heal whatever you find in there that needs healing.
How would you know there is something that requires healing inside yourself?
The answer to that is actually really simple.
Whenever you find you are overwhelmed with very powerful emotions, that is normally a sign you have touched something wounded inside yourself. A nerve.
I was amazed at how angry I became watching my toddler, darling child hitting his sister. I felt like a bull that was shown red. I was hating!
The hardest thing is to admit it. Whether it’s anger, or fear, or great sadness that overcomes you, it’s worth checking.
You are so important
We are the nearest, dearest people to our children in the first part of their lives. We are going to be the ones they will look up to all through their childhood. From watching us, their behavior patterns will be formed – The way they will think about different matters. The way they will solve issues. The way they will communicate with other people. The relationships they will form in their lives. The way they will think about work, money. How optimistic they will be. The things they will enjoy doing in their spare time. The way they will handle setting boundaries and saying ‘no’. The way they will love and respect themselves.
Whatever is inside you that is hurting, that is not operating in its optimal way, is affecting your child too.
It’s a scary fact, I know, but you have the ability to take control over it and heal yourself. Every aspect of yourself, no matter how small, that you will manage to improve, will improve your child’s life.
The most amazing thing
The biggest miracle, which up to this day astounds me, is how, if you choose to dive inside yourself and heal old wounds even before you realize something has changed in you, your children will feel it and will change too.
It happened to me time and time again, it still happens today, and it’s always amazing just like the first time.
How do I start?
Searching inside of yourself when you come upon extremly powerful emotions will normally lead you back to your childhood days. That is why those emotions are likely to rise up in you while interacting with a child. Your child.
In the case of the appearance of very extreme emotions, it could be a good idea to search for counseling.
In milder cases, you can try and search inside yourself by yourself. This might help.
It’s the most amazing thing. I strongly advise you try it.
I hope this wasn’t too hard for you to read. It’s really important stuff.
I will be really happy to hear your thoughts on this matter.