These days I live for that moment when I get to pick up my little boy from daycare. There is that quick happy shout of “Mom” in the most adorable voice I’ve ever heard. Followed by the pitter patter of little feet racing to meet me.
Sometimes he has to be restrained from leaping down the stairs to get to me, and at other times he comes flying into my arms for an amazing hug.
My heart expands, and I get that brief glimpse of how I imagine other people live most of their lives.
You see I struggle with the after effects of abuse, compounded by some funky / interesting wiring in my brain that makes almost everything in life connected some how. And when I hold this little bundle of excitement and joy I get a break from that.
The Mental Buzz…. A Mother’s Moment of weakness
Most people to some extent have “mental buzz”. These are the quiet thoughts that bounce around in our heads and cause an inner dialogue. Most of the time we are not fully aware of what these thoughts are. Let alone how they are impacting us.
For me I’m not that lucky, I hear each one. Getting a sentence out sometimes feels like I’m walking through water and getting bogged down in the mud and muck below.
Then there are times when the buzzing wants to come out so badly I get this “verbal diarrhea” that drives people around me nuts and can be embarrassing in the information I share with out meaning too.
It’s why I prefer to write then talk on a phone.
Most of this mental buzz for people will be created in their formative years. It’s made up of the “interesting” things we learn and the beliefs we hold about who we are and what the world is.
For someone (like me) who has been in an abusive situation, we tend to take on the negative talk of our abuser as well. If left long enough our negative abusive chatter will take over.
While I’m in the process of working on changing this, it isn’t the easiest of things to do. And the respite that comes from the simplest pleasures (like picking up kiddo) is only a fleeting respite.
I’m told most people try to calm this with meditation techniques. Unfortunately for me, that doesn’t help 🙁
The little Treasures in-between Moments
I am finding more and more that as I look for ways to control or let go of the buz, I end up looking forward to seeing my little man.
There are moments in every day where I feel tiered, and exhausted, simply from the harsh reality of dealing with the mental load that goes on in my own head. It take a lot of energy to let that process happen for me.
And it takes a lot of energy to not let it get me down. Today for instance is a day when the buzz feels like it’s winning. I’ve written and re-written this post multiple times, and am feeling like I just may as well give up. My thoughts are telling me to back off, take a day off and rest/relax and come back when you are inspired to write something “properly” (what ever that means).
But I know that if I take that break all I’m going to do is end up taking a longer break then I intend to. And at the end of it the buz will come back anyway and say the same thing.
So I plug on, I remember the feeling of holding my baby boy for the first time. And yes the disappointment that I didn’t have this instant hit of huge level of love for him. But also that moment, between heart beats, when I heard a small voice inside me say, “You are his, and he will love you always”.
Or the first time I heard him say “Mama”, slightly garbled, in a beautiful sing-song voice. My heart stopped, the world quit spinning, and life felt like nothing could go wrong.
I often remember the time when I felt comfortable saying “No” to someone who wanted to hold my baby just 3 weeks after he was born.
And sometimes the intensity of the emotion washes over me, to a point it overwhelms me. Then I feel the buz go quiet for a time.
It’s moments like these that I continue to stock up on. Filing them away in the back of my brain to be pulled out and used when I need to get through the moment, day, week, month, or year.
No matter how tiered I am, or irritable, or angry, or what ever I’m dealing with. Seeing his smiling face, and getting a whole body hug from that little bundle of curiosity. Is more then I ever thought I would deserve in this life. And it’s those in-between times when I feel the most connected to him that I find the peace I need to remember who I am.
And to at least one little man, I am the world.
What I’m learning from my Son in the Mommy/Son Moments of life
As a parent I often thought about what I would teach my kids, I never really stopped to think what I would learn from them.
However with all the buzz that has been going on in my head the last little bit I’ve had to learn ways of dealing with it and the sources it comes from.
- Other people’s opinions are not as important as your own.
If you watch kids for any amount of time, it’s pretty easy to see which ones want approval from others and wich ones don’t really seem to think about it. Case in point, this last weekend my son fell and bumped his head (nothing serious, he basically rolled over and his head hit the ground). There was someone there who told him when he got up that he should be a “strong boy” and that he “Didn’t need Mom”. (Needless to say I was mad and heading that way anyway) Kiddo just looked at this guy and said (loudly) “Mamma PLEASE” moving himself so he could get out of the grip this person had on my son’s arm, and promptly running over to me for the needed cuddles and kisses.
If my son had felt that this person’s opinion was important I likely would have missed out on 30 minutes of cuddles and snuggles, but as he was more interested in getting what he wanted… well I got some really great time with him.
- Emotions are ok to have and express.
I’ve been taught through out my life that my emotions are “unwelcome” and a “weakness”. I’ve spent much time focused on how to keep them under-wraps and away from places and people I work with among others. Needless to say kiddo doesn’t hesitate to express his emotions. And while sometimes this results in an expression that is unacceptable (like hitting). Most of the time he is respectful, and will pull himself into a space he wants to be in by himself.
- Alone time is good to have.
When kiddo has intense emotions he tends to pull back and not want to be touched or handled. Because I’m learning to create this type of safe space for him I’m also learning to do the same for myself. Suddenly intense emotions are not so tough to handle.
- Play time & the Outdoors are critical to happy days
My husband and kiddo are both “outdoor” type people. And I’ll admit, if I get enough time outside I tend to be happier and more capable of facing the next day. However historically I’ve been “boxed” into a corner by people who wanted to control me and keep me inside. With my son I tend to spend most of the time playing, the time flies and we have a blast. There is laughter and giggles, hugs and kisses, and messes like you wouldn’t believe. All in the pursuit of fun. And it’s totally worth it, to get out of your head and into the moment I highly recommend playing with a kid.
- Drink lots of water
Now compared to most people I know I drink a lot of water. I keep a water bottle with me that holds 24 oz, and fill it at least 3 times a day. As a breastfeeding Mom this is critical to my health. However when I’ve observed my son drinking water I’ve seen how he enjoys it. This is something that he knows his body needs and so he relishes that he is taking care of one aspect of his body. And honestly, I’m learning to love the water too, not just drink it cause I need to.
- Trust your body
This kinda goes with the drinking of water, but mostly goes with trusting that your body isn’t out to get you. I’ve been learning that kiddo takes all these risks around his curiosity because he trusts that his body will take care of him, and if not that Mommy and Daddy will be there.
- Love with your whole heart
I have to say this is a hard one for me. I’ve seen kiddo love with his whole heart, he gives hugs and kisses freely to those around him. And he is generous with his toys when playing with others. But as an adult I’ve been hurt so much that I’ve learned to protect myself from the pain. I’ve built walls and defenses to prevent it from happening again. And I know that kiddo doesn’t have these. So I’m learning to love unconditionally, especially myself.
As a parent if you’ve spent time with your kids I’m sure you’ve learned something about yourself in those little moments. Especially Mom’s who become the centre of the world to their littles, if only for the first few years.
I’m sure that as kiddo gets older I will learn more, and that each new thing will bring me closer to being the kind of Mom I want to be. In the mean time I’ll take the little moments I have so far, and treasure them forever.