Discovering me in her

I have written about this subject before. I will probably write about it again in the future. Sorry. But I find it therapeutic to note all the lessons I learn about myself through Mya. She is so much like me in every way. Sometimes...most is painful to watch her act like me. Yes, she has Tim in her, but both Tim and I agree she is more like me. I struggle knowing she will probably have to endure many awkward and lonely phases in her life while she learns to smooth out her rough edges. I am definitely a rough rock with many sharp and jagged edges; however, life has really helped me smooth out the blemishes. I am still a work in progress. I doubt I will ever resemble a river stone, but it is my goal to come close.

I am a little embarrassed to expose some of my character flaws, but I figure most of you who read this blog already know about them. I will begin by talking about Mya. Mya had a hard day today. She had some friends over to play and just couldn't find her rhythm with them. Instead of interacting with them, she avoided them for most of the morning. When they did play, they fought. Well, she fought. The other kids watched her melt down and looked extremely confused. After about an hour and a half of being around them, she decided to become downright defiant. She screamed, spit, rolled her eyes and walked away from me for a good half an hour. No matter how I tried to soothe her troubled soul, she rejected me. Three different times I noticed her balling her hands into fists and shaking to release some frustration. It wasn't until the kids left and she was left alone in her room that I saw her calm down. I thought a nap would help. It didn't. It only seemed to energize the demon inside her. She screamed at the top of her lungs all the way to Tim's work. She did it ONLY because she knew that it would drive me crazy. When we arrived home, she didn't get what she wanted and began hitting me. I just sat there and let her hit me. Why? Yes, I would've loved to have turned around and smacked her bum while laying down the law. But that doesn't work with Mya. She just shuts down if you yell at her or punish her. And when she shuts down, nothing penetrates the surface. (I should clarify that we do punish her, we just know when to do it.) As she hit me, I just looked away and avoided eye contact. She DOES NOT like this. She kept trying to turn my head toward her so she could see if I was hurt or sad. For some reason, knowing she has hurt someone shocks her out of her crazy rage. Finally I turned to her when the hitting slowed down and pretended to be sad and she finally calmed down. She was fine the rest of the night.

You may be asking: What does this have to do with you Janine? It has everything to do with me. I have been Mya in way too many situations in my life. I am not a pleasant person if I am a. tired, b. hungry or c. sick. In the case of today, Mya was very, very tired. I also struggle to fit in with certain people. If I don't instantly fit, I find a way to phase myself out. Pretend I am not there. Be invisible. It usually works. And I normally feel better being invisible than being someone I am not. Like Mya, I am strong willed. Someone once used the adjective: aggressive. That one word has haunted me ever since. That one word sorta changed my life. While I am still stubborn like Mya, I choose my battles. And I choose fewer battles. However, like Mya, I am down right mean when I fight. I say things I know will hurt. I stay mad only because I know I make the other person involved uncomfortable. I push every button just because I know it will annoy them. And annoying them or hurting them oddly makes me feel better. Well, it does for a minute when I think the only important thing is to be right. Then reality sinks in. Tears are shed. And I am shocked out of my rage. Only then do I finally realize that it is more important be kind than it is to be right.

Somewhere inside Mya, she knows that. She knows that kindness wins in every battle. However, she does not know how to let go of her anger when she is in the thick of things. I am very much like that. I choose to be mad. Isn't that ridiculous? Tim has often asked me, "Why would you choose to be mad?" In his attempts to make me smile when I am in the thick of things, he will say, "Let it go Janine. It is easier to be happy. You are wasting so much energy." Inside, I know he is right. But sometimes it just isn't that easy for me to let things go. However, I always let go after a long and silent inner battle.

I am trying to let Mya discover herself. I know she is two but I think she is very aware of who she is. She is also very aware of others. This can work to her advantage and disadvantage. Because I can see the end from the beginning, I usually let her alone for awhile before approaching her to comfort her. While it hurts me to see her hurt, it has to happen. I know from experience. When enough time (time varies with situation), I go in and without even addressing the rage, I hug her. I tell her that I love her. And we just sit there. No words exchanged. No words needed. I get it. However, she almost always (95% of the time) utters the words "I'm sorry mommy" before the hug is over. And in my attempt to teach her, I ask, "Why are you sorry?" And she will list the reasons. And the reasons are always detailed and exact. She knows what she does.

I am acutely aware of who I am. I know I am not perfect. I apologize for my imperfections and weaknesses. Motherhood is changing me. It is teaching me to bend and stretch in ways I didn't know were possible. I am grateful for my little discoveries. They make me want to improve more. I feel that if I can find solutions now, perhaps I can help Mya later.

1 comment :

  1. i think its great that you know her so well (and noticing the similarities between you two). I wish I knew my kids as well. Michael is throwing me through a loop. maybe meeting friends at the park or for shorter periods of time might help her?


"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley