Monday, November 4, 2013
The Weight of Responsibility...
I have a 3 year old and a six month old now – I have to pinch myself to believe that we made it through the wilderness and now have the two most gorgeous kids on the planet. I am not exaggerating either – let me tell you, the Thai people are a beautiful looking people and mix up the Thai genes with my husbands anglo genes and you get some divinely gorgeous looking kids. Not only are they beautiful on the outside, they are lovely on the inside. JBB is a wonderful kid and a fabulous big brother. He takes his time to warm into a situation but once he knows you, you feel like you are standing in the sunshine of his smile and that is an awesome place to be. Boo2 is a happy little fellow, even in the middle of the night, his ear splitting smile of greeting is enough to melt away any tired grumpiness that you might have. He loves to give strangers a smile and I tell you, this kid never stops moving, it is a work out just to hold him – his legs and arms are going ninety to the dozen!
That being said, I am very conscious that we very deliberately brought these two boys into the world. I know that any parent (barring an accident, of course) has deliberately brought their children into the world and I am sure that they feel the weight of responsibility too, I am not saying that they don’t, I am just saying that for me, it is generally in the forefront of my mind. For the most part, I think that this is a great thing. The feeling of responsibility makes me look at everything, weigh things up to see what the best option is for the boys and then make a decision with this in the front of my mind. This is good because usually I am a very ‘bull at a gate’ kind of person.
Sometimes the weight of responsibility to honour these boys’ existence weighs very heavily on me. I feel like I am a terrible parent if I impatient or short with them or even if things haven’t turned out right, then I feel like I am failing them. This is all about my perfection stuff though and I have to talk myself down quite a bit of the time. I try to keep in mind that these can be teaching opportunities. If I am short with JBB, I try to make sure that I sit down and explain to him what has happened and of course, apologise. None of us go through life with everything going exactly as plan to, staying on an even keel emotionally and everyone being super nice to us. I am hoping that I am helping to teach JBB how to cope with his emotions as best as possible. Very early on, JourneyMan and I instituted a ‘hitty bag’ – if JBB gets angry or frustrated, we encourage him to pound on the hitty bag to channel his emotions into it (we both try to do the same thing!!). Generally, it helps to get him laughing again after awhile and all the frustrations out too which is great!!
It is also easy to become ‘mummy bear’ whenever something happens that upsets JBB. His language skill is excellent now and he can tell me what’s going on at day care which can be really great but also can make my blood boil. A few weekends ago, I was joking that JourneyMan had been ‘mean’ to me and JBB asked what ‘mean’ meant. I told him that ‘mean’ was when someone said or did something that made you feel bad. The next week at day care, he told me that there was a ‘meanie car boy’ there. I asked what he meant and he said that there was a boy who didn’t want to play with him (and then he pointed him out to me). The ‘mummy bear’ in mean wanted to go up to that little boy and shout at him for hurting my JBB but thankfully cooler heads prevailed and I said to JBB ‘I really love the fact that you want to play with everyone but some people aren’t like that and they just want to play with certain people, that’s okay because you have heaps of other friends that you can play with’. We talked about his feelings and I think I was able to make him feel better. The issue with Boo2 too that I have are about whether I am giving him all the attention that he needs or am I more apt to let him cry a bit longer than I did JBB because of everything I know more now. Sometimes, it is beyond my control (ie. pooh is spreading from one place to another and JBB needs a change ASAP, Boo2 is crying and I have to leave him until the pooh is changed). Sometimes I worry that I am stuffing him up because he doesn't get attention straight away.
The hardest thing that I find is that I am forever unsure of what I am telling or doing to them ie. I am always asking myself ‘am I helping or f&*%ing him up?’ – I really hope I am helping!!
How do you guys feel about the responsibility, have you got any good techniques to pass on?