I hate you, I love you…the joys of raising kids
In a recent post, I briefly described one of our “crazy days.” Unfortunately, these days are more common than I would like. Days in which I feel like the only thing I do is nag and/or shout. Days in which I hear regularly “You’re so mean”, “I hate you”, “You hate me” and so many more emotive and hurtful phrases (luckily my younger fella hasn’t reached this age yet and I treasure the short break I have with him before he starts up too). These are the days when I am convinced my kids must hate me, see me as the worst mother possible and wish they had any other mother but me. But, something happened recently to offer me some hope. So I thought I’d share it with you:
We had had one of those “crazy days”, particularly with my older fella. I felt like I had shouted and fought with him all day. Nothing I did was right in his eyes, his homework was ‘impossible’ and he felt like I was placing unreasonable demands on him that he had to tidy up his dishes EVERY day. By the time I got him to bed, I was so relieved to have a break, but also so emotionally drained and convinced he was going to hate me for the rest of his life (ok, perhaps not his whole life, but surely his entire childhood). A short time later after I trudged up the stairs ready to hit the bed exhausted and wishing tomorrow would not come, I found a paper on my bedside table. At the moment, my son is going through a phase of ‘writing songs’ about his day or his feelings. While he is no Bono, I’m delighted that he has an emotional output for his feelings, so I encourage this and praise every ‘song’. Anyway, this one was titled: “Mother”, and my heart dropped a few inches as I was pretty sure I knew what was coming. But, instead of the expected “she’s so mean” phrases, the whole song was a beautiful tribute to a loving mother (I couldn’t believe he was talking about me!). While I will protect his privacy by not divulging his whole song, I will say that he used words such as comfort and love. After I had finished melting in a puddle of goo on the floor, I wondered how it was possible for him to write such a song about me on a day when we seemed to have nothing but conflict and I was reminded of one very important fact:
Love conquers all!
Children’s memories and experiences are totally different to ours and it’s delightful to know that underneath all that crazy day chaos they still see the love that shines through. Something I had done that day must have meant something to my son (I still have no idea what) and that stuck in his head more than all the shouting and yelling. Once, when he was complaining about his teacher telling him off over something, I pointed out that I would tell him off often but I still loved him, so his teacher still liked him even if she had told him off. His response: “That’s different, mom, you’re my mother. I know you’ll always love me”.
So, here is your hope:
Even if it doesn’t always seem like it, even if there are bad days (or weeks or months), our kids know that we love them and will always be behind them.