Jason is finally home after a week of being away. It's been a very long week with long days and lots of ups and downs. It's not so much that I can't manage with Jason gone because I can and I do... with help from my folks. I feel fortunate and grateful to have my mom and dad living so near because Liam stays with them when I go to teach.
What makes the time while he is away hard is not really having time for myself. This whole last week, Liam woke at about 5:30, sometimes earlier, and had a difficult time getting to sleep, so I didn't get out of his room at bedtime at the end of the day until around 9:45 p.m.. My only time away was to teach and then back home again to do what needs to be done. Today followed a similar trend.
Liam did share with me this evening that his ear hurts so it seems an ear infection may have developed either following the cold he just got over or it may be due to the fall into the pool, which is a story for another time. Either way, this may explain the more challenging than usual behavior and difficulty sleeping. Who knows? Some days these things are a mystery to me.
I have noticed that when I don't have some time to just unwind and recharge that it is much harder to stay calm and conscious when Liam gets worked up or when he is fighting his nap or simply not willing to work with me to help him. And what it comes down to is that parenting or being a good mom is a learn-as-you-go sort of thing. It doesn't matter how many books you read, though, I do find great ideas and new approaches to parenting that I am not familiar with, so I don't want to discount the value of educating oneself and investigating things further. In the end, though, each little person is unique and you have to get to know your little person and just try different approaches to see what your little one responds to.
I have definitely felt a need for a change in my/our approach to parenting. Some of the things we, Jason and I, are doing is working and some things... not so much. Liam is certainly pushing the limits and working it a bit if you will. I suppose he's playing the boundaries a bit out of curiosity or something.
A woman I know shared with me that we have moved from the terrible twos to the horrific threes but that by four things are much easier and better. That is a relief, I think? Truth be told, every time I have heard someone say something like the 'terrible' twos, I sort feel bummed by such a description and worry that thinking about this phase or age group in such a way may actually create that. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to be naive or discount the fact that maybe there is some validity to the challenges that come at this phase in childhood but calling something 'terrible' or 'horrific' makes it all the more difficult.
I still don't know what I am doing as a parent but feel I do a good job most of the time. On my less than stellar days, I am quick to apologize for my impatience or inability to stay calm. The good news is that Liam understands so much and we can actually talk about things and that is awesome.
Over this past week, I realized that there needs to be some change... I must do some investigating, some searching within myself and do some exploring or experimenting with different ways to help Liam, me and Jason grow and deal with what comes up whether its plain old stubbornness, emotions, cooperation, or lack there of, with as much awareness as possible.
I have discovered that in working with Liam that I need to be creative, playful, conscious, aware, compassionate and consistent. Some of these things I do well already and, well, other areas need some work.
So my task now is how to integrate all these aspects in a way that works and helps all three of us. I can see how the UPA's can come into play... At the moment, I am feeling the need to focus on Alignment Principle number one... Open to Grace... Surrender.... Soften.... I must allow the answers to come to me and move through me.
One thing I do know is that I am someone who needs time to myself to recharge. Also, I am and have always been very sensitive to the energy of others. Meaning, I feel what is going on beyond what my be said or portrayed. I suspect that Liam is the same way. This is why I must be aware of how I am handling things in the moment. I need to be aware of whether I am responding or reacting to things as they arise.
For example, when my little guy gets worked up, it bothers me. I need to keep that in check because he is having his own experience. I just want to be able to help and to reset the balance. I suppose the only way to help is to be present and stay centered within my heart so that I can respond in a loving way versus reacting out of frustration. However, try as I might, there will be times when I fall short so I need to learn to be more loving and forgiving of and with myself. Okay, clearly there is plenty to work on.
Phew! For some reason, I thought that this would be a short entry. Oh well, it's good to get it down on virtual paper. I do feel better and have a more clarity than when I began. I love it when that happens!
Love and Light,