Sunday, June 25, 2017

Parenting my growing child, letting go and finding myself.

For a long time... I am afraid of letting go, epecially when Tyler, my number 3 was born. Every milestone he achieved I felt a mox feelings of happiness and of sadness, sad of losing that precious moment, my last time experiencing or witnessing that moment.

I love parenting a baby. Maybe because that is something I am confident in and have success in. I absolutely love the early years of nursing, quietly observing their every expression and movement, discovering that they have acquired new skills and milestones. Now that they are all growing up and Tyler has turned 4. I realised there's  no more baby in the house. There's a void in my heart, a kind of a loss. I am no longer breastfeeding, changing diapers, wearing a baby in a sling. I now need to learn how to be a parent to my growing children of 11, soon to be a teenager, 8 discovering new talents and thoughts, 4 wanting to grow up too soon as he plays with his elder brothers and their friends. I wish I can freeze time and enjoy their baby and toddler days, but no. Time does not stop. They will continue to grow and it's time I let go.

Being a stay at home mom, I feel that I need to do more for them. Coach them and guide them in their school, Every subject... and prepare them for life. Plan for their every areas of development, interest, explore and experience different things and learn different skills. I try to equip them with skills and values to help them succeed in life and to function well and contribute positively to society. But I come to realise that the early years for the older ones have passed.. and most of the hands on parenting days are over. I need to trust that I have done my best and start letting go and letting them make their own decisions, make their own mistakes and learn from there.  So many years of just managing and parenting that I don't seem to find the time to connect, really connect and have conversation with the kids. I need to re-learn how to listen and talk to them. I realised I have just been pushing or rather I feel that I am dragging them along from one task to another, forcing them to complete their work... do revision, clean up after themselves...etc.
Everything revolves around getting the checklist done. Even prayer feels like just completing a task on the checklist rather than really spending time and connecting with the spirit and talking to God.

For this I feel like I have failed... I want to slow down but there's so much to be done and I am always feeling behind in everything. Chasing after the expectations... of society? Of my own?

Is it because I have 3 very different kids and all needing my attention? Is it due to my terrible time management? Is it because I feel unfulfilled and therefore I place such high expectations on my kids as a measure of my success?

I am not sure... I am still reflecting and trying to work it out.

Motherhood has taken a toll on me. As I give up my career and postpone striving to achieve my dreams to care and nurture the kids, I have somehow lost my identity as a person. I have become known as a mother of 3 and... a teacher. But now... I am not sure who am I anymore.

Parenting is a time for self reflect and I think I can only be a better parent if I can find fulfillment and my own path in life. When my cup is empty, I can't fill their cup with love and reassurance.  That's where I constantly feel strained, frustrated, impatient and unable to connect heart to heart with my boys.

I love listening to how others hear the witty things my kids say. Sadly I realised I don't hear them anymore... not in the recent years. Maybe I shut them up and rush from task to task. Maybe they don't open up to me anymore or maybe I am not present mind body and soul when I am with them. It's ironic. I am a full time mom but I don't spend enough time with them. I realised quality and quantity time does not equate.

To say no and cut down on my wants and focus on within and build my self again.... that's what I need to do. Put an oxygen mask for myself before putting it for my kids. Pray that God send me confirmations of what I should be doing  with my life and how to be a better mom to my kids and a better wife to my husband.


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