Thursday, June 6, 2013

#Project30Days June: Enjoy My Child

Well here it is six days into June and I'm just getting around to putting up my project for the month. I could feel bad about that, but that is NOT what #project30days is about! I actually started on the 4th, so I will just go a bit into July and not sweat it!

I struggled a bit with coming up with a project for this month. The last two months have all been about exploring my inner self and my reactions to doing or not doing certain things every single day, but I kind of wanted to push outside of that box a little bit. In my heart I knew what I needed to do.

Now for the real talk. I have had a rough month with Ryan. His behavior has been extremely challenging and frustrating to me, to the point that I don't even want to be around him.

Yes, I said it.

I have no desire to spend time with my son. AT ALL. I dread practically every interaction I have with him, and I'm sure on some level he feels that. The other day I was so upset by this, I made myself go lay next to him in his bed after he was asleep just so I could feel connected to him. My heart aches for my child and for myself. I'm putting this out here because I think it is important as parents to be honest with each other. I know I love my son, but I have been struggling to feel that on a day-to-day basis. Does this make me a bad parent? Does this mean there is something wrong with me?

Some people might be shocked that I would put this out here for the world to see, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only parent who has ever felt this way. If you are reading these words and you know what I'm talking about, I just want to tell you are not alone. There is not something wrong with you. You are not a bad parent. Being a parent is hard. Being a good parent is one of the most difficult jobs there is and struggling for perfection does not make me a better at it. Hiding behind a wall of guilt does not make me a better parent. Being ashamed of my feelings does not make me a better parent.

What does make me a better parent? Recognizing my limits, addressing my fears and my doubts, honoring my true emotions, and holding onto my intense desire to help my son succeed make me a better parent. Mistakes make me a better parent. Failing makes me a better parent. Letting things go makes me a better parent. These statements are extremely hard for me to write, but I'm putting this out there because I know I am not the only one who needs to say them and own them. I am not perfect and never will be. I will make mistakes. I will fail. And even still, I am a good parent.

So for the month of June I will spend time each day learning to enjoy my child again. I plan on doing one thing, big or small, each day to show him how much he means to me. Yesterday I left a surprise note on his Kindle letting him know I love him. Today I'm going to take him to a thrift store that he loves. I have started a list and I am up to 12, so if you have any ideas for me, I would appreciate them. How do you show your kids how much they mean to you in a way that they will really get? Parenting is a team sport, and I need some serious help from the bench right now.

3 comments :

  1. While I'm not a parent and can't relate to that part of this post, I think it's awesome that you put this out there. I think some parents are afraid of saying stuff like this but I'm sure everyone goes through it.

    Way to keep it real AND figure out a positive from a negative.

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  2. I appreciate this post! I have been there done that! Thank you for your honesty. An idea that I just let some of my kids do was to do science experiments in the kitchen with them. We had a great time!
    Erin

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  3. I read this post the day you wrote it and took a few days to think about what my comment would be. And I'm NOT shocked at all coming from you. I would be if some others were to say/write those words. And I'm not ashamed to to say/admit that my daughter and I have very similar issues, I just don't have a blog to write about it. My daughter and I have daily battles and it has taken me about nine years now to realize I'm the parent and we are NOT siblings although we fight like we are. To be honest most days I don't think my daughter likes me or really wants anything to do with me, and on many occasions the feeling is mutual. But recently I've realized that's her being defensive. So a few times while in the middle of a screaming match I try to stop and look at what is NOT being said. In most cases this has worked, and the problem wasn't with me it was something else but Jordan didn't know how to talk about her feelings. Then I would hug her even though she didn't want to hug me and that's when she would calm down enough to actually open up to what was really the problem. I have started a little project of my own, and very similar to your latest. I'm trying to do at lease one thing she likes, "HER" way each day. I write her a note every time I make her lunch. She seems to like it when I compliment her in some way. Or when I write silly things which she shares with her friends who then think I am crazy! My point is there are more parents than you think that share the same feelings as you. You are just brave enough to put it out there, which I commend you for. I read almost all your posts, I just don't comment a lot. Anyway hope this helps even a little.

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Woo-hoo!! I want to hear from you!

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