Monday, February 27, 2012

Feeling Controlled By Kids

When you become a mother, it's true that a certain part of your life is committed and controlled by your children.  Feeding, clothing, nursing to health and loving are non-negotiable.  But as life goes on and they find their voices, it's so easy for their needs to be confused with their wants/whines.  Then the conflict begins to grow - when do I take care of my business?  We've all heard it (and probably said it) - "As soon as I get ready to {insert personal task here}, somebody wakes up, wants to eat, needs, needs, needs!"

So, we can all agree that it's normal to feel out of control sometimes when children are involved.  The question I keep asking myself is is it always necessary? The other day Jude just wanted to be around me.  I needed to be moving from room to room or focusing on a task on the computer.  It was so frustrating that he couldn't be occupied with something other than me! Instead of pausing to look for some wisdom in the situation, I just kept resisting him.  It wasn't until I sat down in the middle of the floor with a task that he calmed down.  He grabbed a book and cuddled up next to me for a good long while.

This taught me a few things:

-Toys and entertainment are no substitute for human/parental interaction.

-Control is largely a concept in our mind, dictated by our attitude.

-Life with kids is integrated - parent things and kid things should frequently be combined, not isolated.

Some days I catch myself expecting J to be an adult and understand what I'm 'dealing with' and act accordingly, but he's a child.  He just understands that he wants to be with me and things feel better when he can sit down next to me, 'doing' what I do.  When I focus more on my 'burdens' or long to do list, I shove us both in the wrong direction.  If I feel out of control because he wants to be with me, that's my issue and attitude to deal with, not something he's done to me.  Why do I feel out of control?  Usually because I'm not managing my time well, I'm trying to do more than possible or I'm just nursing a bad attitude.

When you have children you are shifting life automatically to life WITH children.  That means both parties will be accommodating to life with the other.  Kids do kid things with parents.  Parents do parent things with kids.  Sometimes we just need to be reminded to balance needs with wants and check our attitudes at the door.  And equally as important, remember that the days are long, but the years are short.  He won't always be satisfied to cuddle up with me and a book.  Shame on us (me) when we don't drink in moments like that.


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