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Motherhood

It’s been a while since I have posted to my blog.  I haven’t made time to write nor have I been particularly inspired or moved to write about anything.  But today that shifted.

For the past few months, my sweet little girls have been doing what kids do best – testing and pushing the limits of what they can and can’t get away with.  It’s all a very real, fun and exhausting part of parenting – well, unless you have the perfect child.  😉

I have been parenting in the best way that I know how.   Yes, it’s a lot of my yoga that parents through me by continually reinforcing the idea to remember to take deep breaths, to know when they feel frustrated and to question why.  I have been trying, in as patient a way as I can, to keep feeling, talking and breathing our way through the terrible two’s – except that my girls are five and seven. 🙂

Of course months, actually years, into this style of parenting, I have been pushed to take away privileges and even more severe action when called for.  My husband always reminds me how his mom once broke a rolling pin on his behind, at which point I always remind to never try that on the girls.

So tonight was another normal night in our house.  Dinner was done, baths were in process.  And Sonia, my five year old, refused to listen and insisted on refuting everything I asked her to do.  I tried to reason with her, asked her why she wasn’t listening, at which point she threw her clothes on the floor and began to stomp away from me.  Well an hour into this and my patience had experienced a new low.  I grabbed her by the arm, walked her down the stairs, in her hair still wet, pajamas only half on and proceeded to leave her outside, locked out of the house for ten minutes.  Mind you it was dark and cold and quite dramatic, as she screamed loudly for the first several minutes.  I was determined to keep her there despite the screaming and was expecting CPS to come knocking on my door at any time.  But a few minutes in, the screams subsided.  I finally walked out and brought her in, at which time her Dad came and took her to her room to have a stern talk.

I was at a loss.  I had no more tools, nor patience or energy to give.  I walked up to her room, asked everyone to leave and sat down on her bed.  I looked at her and asked her what I needed to do to get her to listen to me and to stay calm.  And before I knew it, I was sobbing in front of my five year old like I had never before.  At that moment, I felt pathetic, looking back now I’ll prefer to use the word vulnerable. 🙂  I bawled for a good two minutes, which felt more like two hours, considering my  five year old was watching.  I finally wiped my eyes and looked up at her.  Her eyes were red and welling with tears and her cheeks swollen.  She looked at me and started to cry, but it was that soft cry, not the loud one she uses to get my attention.  The kind that you really don’t even want anyone to see.  I moved closer to her and held her.  We didn’t say anything else.  I asked her to get into bed and if she wanted to read.  We read for a while.

I told her that I loved her and I wanted her to help me help her.  She didn’t let go of me for almost an hour.  She gave me more kisses than I could have counted and told me she loved me more times than I could remember, eventually lulling herself to sleep with her arms wrapped around me.

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jeanne Seetin Gaaggero #

    Have you read Karyn Hall’s book, Validation? It is wonderful and is not just for parents, but for parenting ourselves. Take a look. She has been one of my doctors for almost 10 years and is here in Houston.

    December 13, 2012
    • Thank you Jeanne, I will check the book out. Love.

      December 14, 2012
  2. Wow. My eyes are filled with rain drops reading your words. Thank you for sharing your mothering truths for those of us who have come into motherhood after you XO

    December 13, 2012
    • Dear Sanieh, thanks for reading my truth 🙂 Motherhood is the most amazing thing I have experienced yet, even in the moments that feel the most difficult. I really want to come and see you & I can’t believe I haven’t yet. I will get in touch this week. xo

      December 14, 2012
  3. Thanks for sharing such a personal moment. I’m sure I’m not the only new parent who found it deeply moving and relatable. Those are two very lucky girls you have.

    December 13, 2012
    • Thanks Mo, I felt the impulse to write but almost didn’t blog it because it felt so personal. But alas I know it’s something many parents can relate to.

      December 14, 2012
  4. so these are the moments i get to look forward to with my child? 🙂 thank you for sharing.

    i don’t think you were pathetic to show your emotions. i often wished my parents showed me their vulnerable side even when they disciplined me. it would have showed me their feelings get hurt too – something i didn’t get to see until i was an adult. those are powerful lessons in compassion i could’ve learned at an earlier age.

    December 13, 2012
    • I completely agree Terri. In the moment I felt at a loss, but being soft & vulnerable allowed Sonia & I to have the most meaningful and moving interactions yet. And yes there is this & so many more beautiful and amazing things down the road for you 🙂

      December 14, 2012
  5. So honest and beautiful… thank you for sharing. This prompted a nice, open conversation between me and my husband about the parenting challenges for us ahead – very inspiring.

    December 14, 2012
    • Thanks Lauren. It turned into the sweetest, most gentle moment that I have had with my 5 year old. Parenting is one of the most rewarding & beautiful, while at the same time difficult things I have done in my life. Of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way – Lots of love to you as the due date approaches!

      December 14, 2012
  6. I agree with the comments above. I know we talked about all this the last couple of weeks. I’m really glad you wrote about it. You and I are going through almost the same thing, and many a time, I have wanted to journal about it. I’m sure it helped you. The incident you describe above (was going to call you about this later today), was word-for-word EXACTLY what happened to me last week with my 5 year old. We lead such similar lives Sheila Singh!

    December 14, 2012
    • Yes, writing helps for sure. And I know this will phase will pass & mostly really really lucky that I have my 2 girls.

      December 15, 2012

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