Friday, October 16, 2015

New Favorite Quote!

"When a child is the most difficult to love is when a child needs the most love." -Dr. Laura Markham

I recently heard this quote and it struck such a chord with me.  There are some days that V is difficult to love.  Not saying I don't love her, don't mistake me!  I am saying she makes it difficult to openly and freely love her.

Days that I get phone calls from her school because she just can't behave. Days that I am exhausted and I still have to watch her as if she were three years old. Days that she can't keep her hands to herself, and will hit, touch, push, lick, or pick up her sisters when they are within arms reach. These days happen more often than the days where I can connect with her and enjoy her company. I feel forced into the role of a disciplinarian constantly.

I have had to learn new things about disciplining a child. This quote helps me to approach it at a different angle. When I am on my last reserve of energy and she is pushing every button possible, I wonder what would happen if I responded with love instead of anger.  I wonder if I modeled a different way of handling my  anger and frustration with her, would she would begin to use a different way of handling her anger and frustration with everyone else.

She has not been bringing home her spelling words. So we have not been able to practice her spelling words with her. I recently learned that she is failing every spelling test she takes, because she is not studying at all. I contacted her teacher and let her know that I am NOT getting the spelling list. She let me know that she is going to begin stapling it to the front of her homework packet every week so that we will make sure we get them. Due to her lack of practice she has been failing the spelling test and now I understand why.  She had a complete meltdown at school today when taking the test. The principal called me along with our little V and let me know what was going on. Because I approached this calmly and with love for the first time I could see that she was reacting out of fear.

I could see that she was afraid that she wasn't going to do well on this test because she had not studied hardly at all. That fear led to an anxiety and anxiety for her usually leads to a complete meltdown. The school did their best to intervene before it got too bad and in calling me and giving me a chance to talk to her.  I asked her to make better choices I told her how much I loved her and how much I knew she would do well if she just tried her best and I let her know that there was no reason to let this fear and anxiety lead her to making bad choices. I haven't received any more information from the school today so I hope that my words helped her. Only time will tell. This is an experiment in the making. But things would have to be better in my opinion handling it with love than with anger. I only wish I had understood this years before now.

As I was leaving for lunch today a coworker told me about a news story about a woman in New York City who threw a six month old baby out of the window of her apartment. The baby did not survive. I hate hearing things like this. I hate hearing instances where a parent's anger has led to the horrible acts of violence against children. I want to scream and yell at them.  I want to tell them,  "call me I'll take your child and I'll raise it before you do anything horrible to it".  Children are only children for a short while. It's heartbreaking to me that someone can destroy a childhood.  I wish I could stop it. I wish I could save every child in the world from everything horrible that could ever happened. I know our life experiences make us who we are today.  Maybe it is part of the master plan that we have to endure things to become the people that we are. But I hate more than anything in this world to hear about senseless violence against children.

I feel less like I need support and encouragement and using this blog.  I feel more like I need to take it in a different direction. Maybe I can reach someone who has a child with behavioral problems who needs an outlet.  A parent who needs someone to talk to who understands exactly what they are going through.  I've let my own imperfection stop me for long enough and I'm not going to do that any longer. I'm going to try to learn to embrace my imperfection. 

You aren't alone if you had a difficult child.  Never forget that.

Aunt TT

Thursday, October 15, 2015

It Is All Out There

I haven't blogged in months.  Actually...  I haven't blogged in nearly a year and a half.  I haven't blogged for a few reasons.

First, I honestly haven't had the time I have needed to gather my thoughts since our little Pippa was born.  I spend all of my time working, spending time with my girls, and trying to catch up on sleep.  I haven't been much of a housekeeper since Pippa was born.  I haven't been much of a seamstress.  I haven't been much of anything other than trying to be the best mom I can possibly be.

Breastfeeding didn't go as well as I had hoped, and I struggled the entire first year of Pippa's life to give her what I could.  It was no where near as much as I wanted, but I tried so hard.  I pumped as much and often as I could that first year of life (if I couldn't feed her directly).  I had to adjust my thinking from feeling like I was failing at one of the most important things I could ever do, to thinking that I gave it my absolute best, and that would just have to be good enough.  And since I am an over the top perfectionist (when it comes to me), that was harder than I could ever tell you.  That first year of Pippa's life a good 40% of my time revolved around providing her with the best milk possible, yet 70% of the time, she wound up with formula. 

I got a promotion at work.  Our controller left, and I was promoted to her position.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, and have been thankful that I am no longer feeling so stagnant at work.  I, again in my perfectionism, try so very hard to be the best I can be at work.  Which has meant longer days on average, and a whole new level of professionalism and dedication.

I have still been working at DQ's dance studio.  Last year I picked up helping with book-keeping there.  I love being in the studio and around all of the children.  I really enjoy watching them grow and learn new things.  I feel truly blessed to have the opportunity.

All of these things haven't left me much time for the little ones who are dearest to me, let alone the time it takes to gather my thoughts, sit at a computer, crank out a piece of my soul, proof it, and share it with the world.  But in my absence, quite a few have asked me when I will blog again.  I have had quite a few say they miss my ramblings.

Which brings me to yet another reason I haven't blogged much.  I feel so naked when I blog.  When I read older posts, I am reminded how much I bear my heart and soul to my readers.  It is truly all out there for even complete strangers to read.  It is out there for anyone to critique.  Just after Pippa was born, I began losing modesty about my body (everyone and their brother got to see all sorts of things), but developing a deeper modesty about my thoughts and feelings being in black and white on the internet.  I mean what if I wanted to run for President some day.  Just look at all the fun stuff I am giving my opponent(s) to sling at me!

Okay, so I will never be President, but you get the picture.

I would be lying if I said that I don't love differently now.  Having Pippa showed me a deeper facet of true love.  Every single time I look at her sweet little face my heart is so full it could burst.  I was terrified of becoming a biological mom.  I was terrified that I might fall into a trap of loving Pippa more than DQ and V.  I was terrified of having to take dance away from DQ to pay for Pippa.  I was so afraid I would become less of a mother to these two little girls who were entrusted to me.   I felt lost.  I felt scared.  I tried to put on a brave face and I tried so hard not to worry but every passing day of my pregnancy, I contunued to.  I worried about who and what I would become once Pippa was born regardless of how much I tried not to.

It has been 16 months since Pippa made her hurried appearance.  I have had 16 months of sheer exhaustion.  I am so forgetful some days.  I have to make lists, put things in my calendar, beg forgiveness of others when I forget something that was important to them.  It has been 16 months of zero time to myself.  Of fearing that all the photos I take of our newest addition tell others that I love her more than I could ever love DQ and V.  It has been 16 months of V taking things to a new level to acquire any shred of attention she can get.  DQ has never had patience with V, but I have personally witnessed 16 months of DQ having amazing amounts of patience with Pippa.  And at the end of all of this, I can honestly say it has been 16 months of my life where I have experienced the most joy I have ever, ever known.

When I originally started this blog, I did so to have some sort of support group.  I was a 30 year old who overnight became a mom to a two year old and a four year old.  Not only did I become an instant mom, but it wasn't really something I felt I was ready to have to happen at that point in my life.  I wouldn't change it for the world, but I just didn't feel ready.  I felt lost, scared.  I tried to find support and most of it was for grandparents raising their grandchildren, and I just didn't feel like I belonged there.  I felt like an anomaly.  I wanted to find my own place to vent these fears, frustrations, and accomplishments.

Now that I have carried life inside of me for nine months.  Now that I know the pain of childbirth.  Now that I have had this life experience, my feelings... my emotions have been multiplied tenfold.  I don't watch the news.  It is full of stories of children being hurt and killed.  It honestly still to this day brings me to tears to hear these things.  Children are so precious, they deserve our time, patience, love, and support.

I am not perfect.  I am still learning every single day what I need to do.  My patience with V has been so thin lately.  It is the same for M.  We have been lost in so many ways.  I recently found a Mom Conference through Amy McCready's e-mails.  I was turned onto her website by one of V's former daycare directors.  I have flirted with the idea of purchasing her Positive Parenting to help me be a better parent for my daughters.  This conference was free, and I haven't had all the time I have wanted to listen to all of the speakers, but what I have listened to has been very moving.  It gives me strength to feel like I am not alone, and there are resources other than plugging my ears and singing "la la la la la" at the top of my voice right along with our obstinate V.  I wish I had heard these words 6 years ago.

But we can't live in the past.  We have to keep pushing on into our future.  We can only change our futures.  So here I am.  Trying to get back into the saddle.  M thinks I should change my blog title.... add our little Pippa into it.  So very much has changed since I established this blog that I would really like to think about that for a bit.  I will try to write once a week.  Update everyone on how things are going in our busy, crazy lives.  So bear with me.

Thank you for your support.  I am eternally grateful to you.

Aunt TT