May 2nd, 2010

Sometimes I feel as though I’m spread too thin and I just don’t know how to hold it all together.

I want to be able to give my kids the kind of attention that they need without being manipulated by them.  I want to give them love and support, and I want to nurture them, but I also want to give them direction and I want them to learn to respect others and to be obedient.  I so want them to grow up to be good, upstanding people in this world.

I also want to be able to give due attention to my new found love, and to nurture this relationship so that it can grow and flourish.  I so want it to work.

And I’d also like to give myself some attention, in which I can somehow recharge my weary self so that I have something to even give to the people in my life.

I’m recognizing that when Skills is here, my boys behave badly; there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Clearly, they are competing for attention, and choosing the path of least resistance, which has the most immediate attention-winning potential, albeit negative attention.  I have to be swift and immediate when administering correction.  Everything is disrupted, and in the end, nobody is happy.  It’s exhausting, especially to my gentle, harmony-seeking soul.

Today I had some time alone with BB, and it was nice.  He behaved well, for the most part.  We painted some of the living room while LB napped.

I love his drawings

I love his drawings

He was so worried about getting into trouble, he didn’t want to tell me if he spilled a drop of paint, or got some paint on his fingers.  Bless his precious little heart.  The boy is constantly in trouble for not listening or helping himself without asking or not sharing or complaining about what’s for dinner.  He loves to draw, and I’m thrilled to see his confidence and ability grow as he draws and draws and draws.  He’s got great imagination, and I try to let him know how much I like his drawings.  I save almost all of them.  Some day when he’s older I will show him, and he will know that even though he may remember me barking at him constantly, I was always loving and appreciating him.

the artist at work

the artist at work

He doesn’t know that I watch him when he draws.  I see him, intent on his work, and my heart swells with a mixture of emotions — some joy, some wistfulness, much love.  My little boy, alone, entertaining himself.  I need to be more interactive with him, somehow.  Somehow.

Later, BB was tired and LB was wide awake, so I brought LB downstairs with me, snuggled him next to me on the sofa under a soft blanket and we nibbled on crackers together.  He was so happy, there in my arms.  It was sweet to have some one-on-one time with him.  I got to fill up on toddler sweetness, as he’d raise his beautiful little face to look at me and giggle as we ‘talked’ about how yummy the crackers were.

It’s amazing how small moments as these can be so energizing and healing.  To share positive attention with my children, to hug them, tell them I love them, smile into their eyes –these things are so fulfilling.  And yet, somehow, moments like these seem so few and far between.

How I wish I could figure out how to balance it all, how to see and assess the moments and deflect or divert situations before they escalate or explode.  It’s like I’m a bomb squad of one, under constant pressure to figure out whether to cut the red wire or the blue wire.  Or maybe the white one.  Unless there’s a green one.  Or it could be the black one.  It’s exhausting.

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 2nd, 2010 at 11:31 PM and is filed under children, me, mental health, motherhood. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “attention”

Stomper Girl Says:

Sounds like you made a good start.

aunty evil Says:

Sounds to me like you are all still in the transition period.

You speak of your children with so much love. I would be very surprised to see that you treat them with anything less than a firm, but LOVING, hand.

My mother was the disciplinarian in our family, my father never so much lifted a finger to hit me. But we grew up so close to mum and so distant to dad. She punished us when we were wrong, but the in between times she was the person who loved us no matter what.

You would be conveying the same to your boys, I have no doubt.

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