I knew motherhood was going to be hard. I read about it. I heard about it. I saw it. All around me. I prepared myself as best as possible and then I was going to just learn as I go. Today, I am still winging it. More now than in the past six years.
I love my sons. There is no way to describe what they mean to me, how I feel for them, and the joy they bring to my everyday life. They are my heart and soul. They are the reason I wake up every day and attempt to be more than I was yesterday.
My T & G.
What I am struggling with now is how I have to love and parent them differently. I never really thought this would be a hard aspect of parenthood. I guess I never really thought of it. My G, who is newly four, is chill. Easy going. Good listener. Plays well. I get him. Parenting him is clear. The normal consequences work for him. Rarely does he challenge me. Yes, he is your typical preschooler. I have loads of material on why he has cried today. But he is easy peasy.
T. Oh my T. My first born. The one who made me a mommy. Since day one, he and I have been on a roller coaster ride together. From pregnancy, to birth, to NICU stay, to the horror of a CPS case, to everyday in between, I am constantly questioning what to do with him. How do I make him listen, not have meltdowns, and on and on. And I need to stop. I need to stop trying to change him and help him grow to who he is. My T is strong willed, stubborn, independent, funny, loving, caring, compassionate, kind, athletic, smart, and quick. He comes across as bossy only because he knows the rules and doesn’t want anyone to get in trouble. He is a rule follower, leader, and a good friend. He wants to please others. He seeks perfection. He can be impatient. He tries so hard to hold it all together. He is not like most.
Already, he struggles with feeling like a failure, disappointing others, and losing the perfection game. T is six and a Kindergartner.
He is angry. All his emotions. All the pressure. All the rules and expectations. It builds up inside of his little body and he just explodes. Always at me. Some days my patience is on point. Other times I lose it. I can’t handle the meltdowns, the fits, the aggression. And I am the adult. Yet I expect him to hold it all together. I expect him to adjust quickly to how life is. Divorce is a part of his life too. Sometimes I forget this.
I rack my head over and over again. I read books and articles. I seek advice from my therapist. I talk to his teacher. I reach out to other moms. What do I do? How do I help my child?
I love him. I love him in the way he needs to be loved. Not how I want to love him. He needs me to hold him after he has his meltdown. He needs constant reassurance I am not going anywhere. He still needs to curl up in my lap and be my baby. He craves words of affirmation. He seeks my physical touch. He needs to see me lose it, give myself a time out, and then say I am sorry. He needs to see me make mistakes, cry, yell, and be calm. Yes, he needs me to repeat over and over again, we don’t hit, kick, throw, or hurt anyone when we are angry. I have to show him the correct ways to channel his energy. Positive and negative. Every day. Every minute. I have to remind him the expectations in our home. We are truth tellers. We are kind. We love. We have responsibilities. We are a family.
This child does not let me sit back and relax in my parenting. He constantly challenges me. He exhausts me daily. He has stripped me of my pride, my prejudice, and my unrealistic expectations of motherhood. Because of who he is, I am a better person. I want to be better for him. Finally, I realize I can’t change him. God has made him this way for a reason. Now I need to help him become the best version of himself.
Although he is not the easiest child to parent, I am going to wake up everyday showing him that he is worth it. I will prove to my son that how God made him is perfect and amazing. I will work endlessly, day after day, demonstrating to him and the world that he is loved, he is valued, he is worthy. I won’t be able to take away his struggles or pain. I won’t be able to protect his tender heart. I won’t allow his personality to make him ever feel inferior. I won’t try to change him.
He has changed me. He continues to change me everyday. He pushes me to grow, to learn, to apologize, to humble myself. He is worth every heartache, uncertainty, tantrum, slammed door, heated word, and crying defeat. I will not change this world we live in. But I do know this. Loving my child in the way he needs and deserves will be my greatest accomplishment.
My T was given to me. He is my lovely. I will not let him down.
A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. it knows now law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path. -Agatha Christie