Today my daughter and I went in search for muddy puddles. And it was fun! Actually it was the most exciting part of the day! These are indeed lovely, happy memories. But in reality lately I have been struggling to reconnect with my eldest girl. Connection is the key to happy parenting and I had lost it.
As soon as my youngest was born two months ago, motherly instinct immediately kicked in and it told me to be more protective of my baby. That is how it should be according to nature after all. However, I was losing all the quality, collaborative and beautiful relationship I had built over the past four years with my first love.
I did not realise up until this past week or two, how far we had lost it. She had started acting out, like all children do. The honeymoon period was over. The excitement of having a new baby sister had washed away and she realised I’m not hers to the full anymore. That’s normal too. But it’s sad. No temper tantrums really, she’s past that age, but we have been going through an opposition crisis galore!
A lot of “NOs” and a lot of struggles to get along – angry faces, stumbling of feet and short tempers. Eventually, even from my end. Let’s be real – giving undivided attention with a baby screaming in your arms repeatedly can really, truly and undoubtedly drive you nuts!
So this week we have tried to start our road to recovery. I drove her to school for the first time since the baby was born, accompanied her to her dancing lesson, and today we went out in search for muddy puddles, only ME and HER.
In my work as a social worker, I have been discussing individual time with each child and its importance with many parents, and now I have to do it. I have to get organised and find the time myself and practice what I have ‘preached’ for some years. And we have started.
On a final note, having such reactions from our little ones, means that we have done a great job up till today, we have built a bond that is important for them, so much so they try to get us back close to them in every way possible. And we have to grab these opportunities and re-build, re-think and reconnect!
Hope this helps other mummies going through a time of transition and let’s remember that after all, we are humans.
We make mistakes but if we think and choose right, we have the possibility to redeem ourselves and find again that little slice of special heaven we had with our children before the change took place!