The long awaited first Momma Talk is here! I am so excited to share this with all of you. This is me ending the summer with a bang, so enjoy just a snippet of my occasional treats of Momma Talk..See you in October!
I always believed in the advice to not compare your child to any other child including and especially to their siblings..It seemed like logical/practical advice and therefore simple enough to follow. But as I continue to grow and walk on this journey of motherhood I find that there are so many things that are easier said than done. Also, you may have every good intention to do things in a particular way , which includes a goal to never be that type of parent, but you can’t say what you will do for sure until you are actually in that position.
Sometimes it is hard to sit in a room full of kids who are on the honor roll and your child is failing, hard to be around toddlers who are talking, singing, and have good social skills and your toddler says three words and appears to be introverted, it can hurt to be around other children who are affectionate and loving and your child is distant and can barely give you a hug or to be around a child who has a great appetite and eats their fruits and veggies and your kid cries hysterically or complains at mealtime. Whether or not some of you want to admit it, this is a real issue that we all will experience! If you have NEVER EVER compared someone else’s child to your own or vice versa, trust me your time to do so will come and it’s okay and VERY normal. However, it is not okay to constantly do so and say it aloud to your child. By you doing so, they won’t be secure of your belief in them which will create a poor sense of self as they will not believe in themselves because they will feel like whatever they do will not match up to those that you compare them to, but most of all you are sending a clear message that they are “not good enough”. This can lead your child into a host of various problems to tackle right into their adulthood including depression, anxiety, shame, emotional instability and even anger management issues. Their shame will turn into anger towards you and that anger will spread to everyone who comes into their life thereafter.
I say all this to say that if you should find yourself having a desire to compare another person’s child to your own, essentially you want what they have. So instead of being jealous, bitter, frustrated or angry, why not ask them how their child reached certain milestones, gained a healthy appetite, stayed on the honor roll every year since 1st grade, etc. Keep in mind that no child is the same , so what may work for that child may not work for yours. But it’s worth a try to do something different because obviously what your child is doing isn’t working and it can drive you to that place of driving yourself crazy LITERALLY, because insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
In addition, talk to your pediatrician just to double-check that your child does not need supplemental resources, vitamins, counseling, etc. In conclusion, choose to be open-minded, choose to acknowledge that asking for help or advice doesn’t make you any less of a parent, but remember in the midst of all of that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. There may even be something you have/your child has that they wish they had. You just never know, so be thankful for WHAT YOU DO HAVE…
Sometimes my children like to tag team me with what seems like endless crying. It used to overwhelm me, but I have learned how to manage it. My son, who recently turned two, would cry and startle his 8mth.old sister, who in turn would suddenly start crying too. As his cries would get louder so would hers. I don’t believe her tears were compassionate tears for his unhappiness, but instead were tears of concern and fear for herself. But, hey you never know, children have their own language, so I’ve heard from many parents. And then there were times my daughter would cry and because she’s an infant that is her only way to express a need. A need to nurse, a need for a clean diaper, to express that she is in pain, a desire for love and affection, etc. All of a sudden my son would begin to cry. His tears seemed to be based on competing for attention because he feels neglected. So, there were times I would hold my 2yo, who has a build of a 4yo, on one hip and hold my baby girl on the other hip. It was a good workout for my arms, but began to take a toll on my back, so I no longer do it as often. Instead while seated I hold one in each arm and the tears stop.
However before I began “managing it”, I would often feel frustrated, annoyed and inadequate as their mom. I KNOW, I KNOW, my feelings of inadequacy were DRAMATIC, but it’s the honest truth of how I felt. Many moms don’t give themselves enough credit on the exceptional job they are doing, but instead are their own worst critic. I am guilty of this crime, lol, but everyday I make a conscious effort to tell myself something positive,count my children as blessings and declare that I could very well be a better mom, but I am just enough for them right now.
I also remind myself that their cries tell me I am better than blessed. While my children “tag team” me and cry, sometimes they may even scream for what seems to be for no apparent reason, somewhere there are women who are crying and sometimes screaming out because they miscarry:(, they have had a stillborn baby, they have medical conditions that affect their ability to conceive, their partner cannot medically conceive a child, etc. When my children have crying fits that sound like someone is hurting them and are piercing to my ears and sometimes my sanity, somewhere there are women who are hurting themselves even committing suicide because they are overcome with sadness. Sadness that pierces their heart, their sanity because they can’t have a child. When I am straining to hold my son and my daughter in each arm, there is some woman somewhere who would do anything to have a child in their arms that is healthy, breathing and even crying. The tears of my children are expressions, language, their communication to tell momma their heart’s desire and needs. THEIR TEARS REPRESENT LIFE.
Crying never hurt nobody! It does just the opposite, it is a release, it is a form of letting go, and often gets the person who is crying the attention they need to address their problem.
So my way of managing their tears is to say with a smile, “Ok you two, momma only has two hands, one at a time” and they look at me, sometimes the crying stops, sometimes the crying gets louder, sometimes the crying turns to sobs and whimper and then sometimes they surprise me and smile. A woman with tears and cries of pain of no children would trade me any day for tears and cries of a child. Even more so I have 2 children, a boy and a girl, what many people call the best of both worlds. So I am blessed! I am not writing this post to show off, but instead I am saying I am simply grateful, undeserving and favored with my heritage, my rewards, my precious gems from my Lord and Saviour. I won’t sit here and say that I no longer get frustrated, annoyed and sometimes overwhelmed by what seems like endless crying, I’m human after all, and let’s face it, for some interesting reason God has blessed these little people with some powerful vocal cords,lol, so ignoring is often not an option. However, I am saying that children are gifts of God and our responsibility to and/or for them is to take the whole package, the good and the not so good, e.g.endless crying, but God never gives us more than we can bear. Some days I watch what I go through most of the day through my husband’s tiresome and sometimes frantic eyes and stressful expressions, I can’t help but to ask myself “How do I DO IT”?!?!!! And the answer is simply, God’s Grace, He does it through me. Imperfect me. He chose me for such an influential and significant role for these 2 and I ought not take it lightly. I am no different than the childless tearful woman, I have other “stuff” that makes me tearful, so I will embrace my children and their tears because THEY HAVE LIFE!