Thursday, December 08, 2005

A Parent's REAL Job

In my last blog entry, I made mention of feeling unimportant in the lives of those around me. I guess I should clarify that as to mean mainly with my friends and some neighbors and family, but not my immediate family. I know that my job is very important with my kids and I know my husband values me. And, after writing that I actually got a really harsh awakening as to just how important my job as a parent really is to my children.

Yesterday was a hard day, as I'm sure you could tell by my writing tone. I'm not sure why. But, it sounds like a lot of people were feeling similarly, based on the comments I got back. So, when my son came home and started in on the latest new trends to drive me insane (harassing his sister until she squeals, whining incessantly, going into super hyper-mode followed by super crying/tired/sensitive mode), well I just didn't handle it very well.

I was snippy, I was gripey, and I let him know quite emphatically that I was tired of the behavior that had been going on almost every day when he got home from school the past few weeks. I told him he was six years old and he needed to stop acting like a two year old. I was quite unhappy with him.

And, a few minutes later was when he said it. And, I am still reeling from this today.

Mom?
Yes.
I know who you don't like now.
What?
I know who you don't like now....(he pauses and his precious smile immediately falls as he holds back tears)
...ME!
Then, he began to sob. And, in one short moment my heart broke into a million pieces all at once. I felt like the absolute worst Mom in the world.

Then, I began to cry a little too. I cried at the fact that he would think for one second that I don't completely adore him. I took his face in my hands and told him that I didn't just like him, I loved him forever and always and no bad behavior could ever change that. I told him he was my favorite boy in the whole world, and I thought he was the smartest, most handsome, most talented, and most wonderful boy I had ever known. Then, I hugged him close, and mentally cursed myself for doing anything that might have contributed to his thinking I didn't like him.

My son has had a rough go of it recently. And, I understand why. He has a little sister who is adorabley cute and he gets to hear everyone gush on her. (Granted, she has her moments of complete tantrum-city too, but because she's a little girl with curls and a single-dimple. And, people seem to find even the tantrums cute most of the time.) He's had to endure being in class with a child who calls him a loser all of the time behind the teacher's back, and laughs when he gets corrected or is less than perfect. And, to top it off, he has had a family member who he adores suddenly comparing his intelligence with his baby sister's, and jokingly saying things about how she think his sister is smarter than him. (Yes, I was quite unhappy with this.)

It's not easy being six with a much younger sibling. Your parents suddenly expect you to act more mature and help out and you have all of these new rules at school you have to follow now too. And, I just hope to remember that for him in this coming year. Because I never want him to ever think for one minute again that I don't like and love him completely.

As parents, we get so busy with the day-to-day and with trying to adjust to what life brings us. Sometimes I think that we forget how just a few critical words can completely level our child's self esteem. We worry about neighbors and friends, paying the bills or keeping up with the Jones's, but actually we should concentrate on hugging and praising more, giving our kids what they need to go into the world and feel important and valued.

And, in thinking about this, I realize that I have just found what will be atop my resolutions list this year, way over the tired and unachieved weight loss goals--making sure my kids know they are loved and valued by me every day of their life. And, I only hope that I can meet the challenge for both their sake and my own.

5 Comments:

Blogger Karen Rani said...

That is a wonderful goal to have and I hope you achieve it. We've all had those moments, please know you aren't alone! (((hugs))) <--- I know that's cheese-deli but I mean it!

3:32 PM, December 08, 2005  
Anonymous Angela said...

Poor little guy. And poor little mom too! I hope that as the holdiay approaches you start to feel a little better. He knows you love him, and you do a great job of showing it. Sometimes I think kids just need reassurance, and you've given him that in spades. You are DEFINITELY up for the challenge!

4:45 PM, December 08, 2005  
Blogger utenzi said...

Growing up ain't easy--and it's unfortunately easy for adults to forget that.

7:02 PM, December 08, 2005  
Anonymous Theresa said...

ARGH! I just accidentally deleted my comment!

Don't be too hard on yourself, ok? Six is a tough age period, and he has a few other things making it harder. He knows you love him!

That's probably the best New Year's Resolution I have seen.

8:26 AM, December 09, 2005  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

What I tell mine is that I didn't like their actions but that I love them. Being a good parent doesn't mean being a push-over. Sounds like you are doing a grand job of raising young'uns.

9:41 AM, December 09, 2005  

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