I am grateful for my sassy, opinionated, headstrong, confident, caring, bold and self assured 5 year old daughter. As much as I am teaching her and raising her, she is teaching me, and helping me grow through a different perspective.
When she is happy she shows it, shares it, feels it and lives it. When she is not, trust me…..she also shows it, shares it, feels it and lives it. We all live that in the house! She doesn’t pretend. She doesn’t fake smile her way through it. She’s not even apologetic or guilty about it. It is what it is.
“Mom I’m cross with you because you said x or you did y. Mom I’m so happy right now because I love my room and you are watching me play.”Miss Janey
She is next level. She knows what she needs to move herself out of one phase and into the next and get this… she asks for it!
If I’ve been away travelling for work, Ava needs more attention from me. She will say “Mom put your phone down and look at me. I need some extra loves and mooches time please. It will make me feel better”
It’s so simple. She just asked for what she needed. She made her intentions clear and I should take it just like that. Upfront and direct. It’s no point feeling guilty and upset that my daughter had to ask me. That takes me out the moment yet again, another distraction. Instead, I need to lean into it and appreciate the fact that she is able to express her needs without being passive aggressive, waiting for me to subconsciously figure it out.
Ok, so I have used a fairly easy and obvious example as I should be aware of it. However perhaps therein lies the point.
We assume others are aware of our seemingly obvious unmet needs and then proceed to get upset when they are not met, as if done on purpose. But we didn’t give them a fighting chance by playing a game of charades without even using any actions!
Yes it’s obvious that the kids need extra attention from me. I’ve been away. However what they don’t know, as I had never made it clear, is that even though I was away, I wasn’t on holiday. I was giving my time and attention to other people from morning to night, on top of travelling, which is not my strong area, and trying to keep up with my daily workload. This depletes my energy levels substantially making me tired, ratty and irritable. When I get back home, my needs are not to have demands placed on me by both kids fighting for my attention in a negative way at the same time before I even put my suitcase down.
Of course I understand how difficult that must be for my kids to grasp that or to help in some way. I feel like my progress shows up in that I am aware of this, it’s not an easy fix so, where possible, I try arrange to get home while the the kids are out on an errand with Jean. That way I can firstly put my suitcase down, then have a few moments for me to ground myself. Be that a shower, reading for 10 minutes, playing Two Dots, (I lost my progress when I changed phones last year so I’m climbing my way back up – lever 287 #justsaying) or just lying on my bed secretly eating a square of my Lindt chocolate. That way, when they do arrive home, I am ready and waiting with open arms and all the loves and mooches they need.