Should and Parenting

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Saturday was a struggle emotionally, but not for the reasons my mind usually plays over and over.  Things have turned around quite a bit, so mentally, I’m feeling good.  I feel an openness I haven’t in a long time, I have a willingness to spend energy on things I normally don’t, I’m taking even bigger steps toward building the life I want.  In spite of all of that, Saturday left me incredibly drained.  My son was particularly demanding, and with a combination of bad habits we’ve given him as well as a tendency toward OCD, he’s been struggling with hearing “no” about anything lately.  We are in the process of moving and we aren’t able to be as liberal with the things he wants to do…and he is NOT taking it well.

I’m still in recovery mode and dealing with hormonal issues, so even if my mind is ready and willing, my body isn’t and I still tire very easily. I wore myself out after waking up really early, working, then moving things around in the garage while it was over 90 degrees outside. I didn’t have the energy to entertain my son after a while, so the tantrums were not helping at all.  I did not handle it well.  I felt like a complete failure because I lost my temper even after trying to explain the situation to him.  I looked up ways to speak to a toddler to help with the situation and it did NOTHING. 

I see so much of myself in my son and I’m working on healing my inner child through parenting him in ways I needed to be parented.  Some days are much better than others but there are days when I have no tolerance for the same habits and tendencies I have myself.  I worry that I’m causing him the same insecurities I have and I worry about what it will do to him in the future.  I hate seeing him hurt and I hate it even more when I have a role in causing him pain he doesn’t understand.  I know constantly giving in isn’t going to serve him either, so I’m trying to find a happy medium.  I hope that, in spite of the tantrums, he at least understands that I’m trying to explain things to him and that learning healthy boundaries early is a good thing.  I hope he knows (in the gentlest way possible) that the world isn’t always fair.  I hope he will know I’m doing the best I can with what I have right now.

At the same time, I know I need to remember that I am doing the best I can.  I’m working to be better physically and to give him what he really needs: attention, love, learning, joy, and memories with his mother.  I’m working on being less selfish and giving him the time with me he craves.  I want him to be secure in himself so I want to teach him self-sufficiency and using his mind.  I want him to explore the world and to use his imagination.  I believe he is craving the kind of attention I wanted as a child as well and I’m working to let go and do that.  He’s growing fast and I truly value the time I have with him—but I still need time for myself as well.  I hope that teaches him that we all need time for expression.

I know that once this move is over and we settle into our new life things will rearrange.  They will also settle into what we have been trying to accomplish and I know he will appreciate what we’ve done for him.  The nights of being told “no” to going shopping or to watching T.V. will make sense.  I know it hurts in the moment, and I feel terrible as well, but we will get through it.  We have a wonderful life and we are incredibly fortunate—we are simply shifting now.  Transitions can be bumpy but that doesn’t mean they’re bad.  For a toddler, I can imagine this is scary.  But I will do my best to love him and let him know he is supported no matter what we are doing.

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