>So I have a jumble of thoughts crowding and pushing around my brain. A tangle of them, if you will. Which means, once again, I have to type them to sort them out. But they seem to have some measure of need to be brought to light and examined, here, in this forum; my blog. Maybe so that others can help me understand them more clearly, I’m not sure. But, here goes and fair warning.
With several of my kids, but especially with my newest to the tribe, it can be hard to connect. For me. That doesn’t make me proud, in fact in humbles me, embarrases me and shames me; it brings me quite literally to my knees.
I desire to connect.
I desire to feel that squooshy goodness of warm loving feelings, and fierce mama love towards them.
But all too often, many days, it’s kind of, um, missing. And it’s all too easy to blame the kid.
This kid. That kid. Her.
And it’s all to easy to say, “She’s difficult. She’s so needy. She’s attention seeking, again. She’s/he’s whining. She’s angry, again, over nothing.” I know, awful, isn’t it?? And it’s all too easy to harrumph and sigh and throw a quick roll of eyes as I march over to meet the need, once again, resenting this imposition on my activity, my attention, my time. Me me me. Yeah, it’s not only you who noticed…me. It’s all about me. Sigh.
But, in a whole ‘nother way, that – densely – I am only just being willing to admit: it really is all about me once again. And not in a good way, if there can EVER be a good way to that (No, there can’t. So in an even worse way).
Ack, see a jumble. Sorry. Stay with me.
You see, I realize that all the things that make me most crazed about this girl in particular, ok, any and or all of my kids….are the things that are JUST. LIKE. ME.
I know, there’s that old adage: “The things you hate most in another person, are your own worst habits.” Or something like that, but that’s the gist.
Gah. I hate that!
Truth hurts, eh?
Yeh, this truth hurts….especially when you are trying to bond and grow into love with a young kid from hard places and trauma responses and survival skills. Those ingrained behaviors that you think are so foreign to you and your neat tidy family….maybe aren’t so much, maybe aren’t so foreign after all. Those annoying behaviors might be just more intensified and or frequented mimics of the very things that you do too, or ok, I do too.
But, think about it. That might be.
I’m thinking about it.
I am her.
I am the same girl who wants to crawl up into my husband’s lap after a tough day, and doesn’t always like to share that attention.
I am the same girl who wants to make sure someone, maybe lots of someones, know if I’m in a bad mood. Or very tired. Or angry.
I am the same girl who wants to make sure the dad sees her hurt leg, and looks at it, and preferably kisses it and hugs her.
I am the same girl who wants to lean against someone if her head hurts.
I am the same girl who gets frustrated and sometimes snitty if she is misunderstood.
I am the same girl who wants to have what she likes for dinner, and will kind of eat less if she doesn’t.
I am the same girl who needs a lot of sleep and if I don’t get it, might just get frazzled the next day and sigh and fuss and roll her eyes at reasonable requests.
I am the same girl who can cry when just so frazzled, when it’s too much and she’s past the point of coping.
I am the same girl who can be hypervigilant, because she wants to control….everything.
I am the same girl who wants desperately to be understood, and to understand, especially when she isn’t.
I might not use my skills for manipulation (which, if I say so myself, are rather impressive), so much anymore; but I’m older and I don’t really need those skills because I’m in charge and call most of the shots.
I might be able to withstand most discomfort now, but I’m older and have learned that most things pass.
I might be able to tolerate annoying sounds or people, for a little longer anyhow, because I have loved them from babyhood.
I might be able to trust because I know these people intimately; through and through over so many years (Heck, I can know what they will do many times before they do).
So, this is all to say….it humbles me that the very one that I fuss about because I am slow to connect….she is me. I am her.
I don’t know whether this means I need to forgive myself for these traits, or her. Or both of us.
Because I certainly want to be loved and believe I am lovable.
Isn’t it only fair that she does and is too?
I can only guess that, once again, God gave me this child, this one, so that I can learn to love better.
And I pray, every day, to be able to love better, more truly, less selfishly.
I am not so loveable, so much of the time.
I am sure I make so many crazy, sorry Tom, kids.
But, if I claim that love….so can she.
Because I am her.
She is me.
She has the same stake, the same claim.
We gave it to her.
God gave it to her.
She deserves it as much as anyone, certainly as much as me.
I daresay more so.
>Thank you so much for posting this.My heart has been pulled in the same direction recently. It's hard. Hard to admit how wrong I am. How often I am wrong. And how selfishly I love others. And how frequently I draw a line in the name of "discipline" when really it is frustration and selfishness driving me.You have encouraged me so much with this post. Hoping to live- and love- more graciously,g
>Your writing so often brings me to tears. I cry because "I am you." In fact, just before reading this I spent a good 15 minutes crying, complaining and whining to God about how tired I am, how sick I am, how I can't do this. And was the cause of my tantrum? My three-year-old doing the same thing to me. Now, she is cuddled on my lap just needing to be loved, needing to complain about her life and still feel loved…that's me. She is me too.I guess we're in this for the long run. I'm not sure how this can make me any holier…I'm not sure what God is thinking…but with this post of yours I know I need to just keep plugging along. Striving to do complete this task set before me. Run the race. Keep my faith in Christ.Peace be with you today,Holly
>Wow- I'm just….wow. What a deep, thoughtful comment huh? You are just so amazing and beautiful to me in so many ways, and your thinking just pushes my thinking, more than I share with you. SO many things stand out to me here, but this line, "I can only guess that, once again, God gave me this child, this one, so that I can learn to love better.", really really stands out to me today. This is something I need to say and think more. This is not the easiest path, it's often messy and hard and I often wonder if I'm doing things right, but this is my path, this is where I belong, this is the child God gave me to love. Powerful stuff. xo
>This is a beautiful post Michelle. Thanks you for sharing your heart.
>I think you must be more than halfway there, to the place you want to be. Lately I have taken to the philosophy, "There is no love, only proofs of love." I like it because it takes me outside of myself and I can be a tiny bit more objective and say, it certainly appears that I love these people. But when it is hard to act lovingly because you are not intrisically feeling it, then I guess that is when you know there is a lesson. I say you are more than half way there because I know you are doing all the right things, there is proof of love there! Your honesty is very generous. I keep learning from you, all the time.
>great post….beautifully written…wonderful insight…that need for love and acceptance is at the core of us all….good that you connected the dots.
>I just found your blog and I already want to get to know you better. Thank you for being so honest. I've been noticing similarities between my kids and their behaviors and myself a lot lately too. It can be frightening for me to realize that, but thank goodness we can right? Now we have somewhere to go. Something to work on. Thanks again for a great post.
>I have been thinking about this beautiful post all day. Thank you for sharing it with us.
>Thank you. Ugh. Convicting…and I knew it already, but, well, thank you.
>Michelle,I've been reading your blog for about one year now, but this is the first time I've posted.First, thank you for such a beautiful reflection. You've captured what motherhood is, and I can relate to your honesty because I've felt the very same things.I hope you continue to enjoy a blessed Advent and Christmas season.