………Her name is MOM
Raising children will pull out all of the sides of you that you never thought were there. Growing up, I was never an emotional person; I guess I can contribute that to how my mother raised me; “to suck it up.” In a way, it caused me to be tough; never did I stay down for too long because of it. Whenever an obstacle came my way, I heard my mother’s voice in my head, “mete fanm sou ou.” Translation: “Woman up!” Subconsciously that same thinking followed me into parenting, but God knows us better than we know ourselves, and He knows what we need. So, He blessed me with a super-expressive daughter; Abigail has no problem with crying, cuddling, hugging, telling you she loves you, or telling you that you hurt her feelings. The complete opposite of me!
Sometimes I envy how she can be so vulnerable with others and wished that I had the same vulnerability. The same daughter does E-learning at home. Of course, to all the mommies that reluctantly signed up this year to be part-time teachers, we all know how that goes.
This morning, in particular, I asked Abigail to put a shirt on while in class; she says to me, “my camera is turned off, it’s okay.” I said, “okay,” and allowed her to make her own decision. Less than 5 minutes later, she comes up to me and says, “mommy the most embarrassing thing just happened to me.” Immediately I knew what happened, so I say, “the class saw you without a shirt huh?” With tears coming out of her eyes, she nods her head, “yes. I forgot that I didn’t have a shirt on and turned on the camera and the teacher said, ‘Abigail what are you doing? Turn off the camera!”
My first response was, “one day you’ll learn to listen to me when I speak.” She said nothing but continued crying. Then a still small voice said to me, “she doesn’t need that right now, she needs you to comfort her.” Sometimes, as parents, especially when our kids know better but don’t do better, our immediate reaction is to reprimand them for not listening.
If you are anything like me, you might raise your voice when you’re doing the disciplining, but I am learning that I speak to my children now is how they will talk to themselves in the future as adults. It was really hard for me not to yell at her because I did tell her to put on a shirt; I responded with a hug and told her, “it’s okay. We all have embarrassing moments. Moving forward, make sure you have a shirt on for class, and when I tell you to do something or don’t do something, it’s because I am trying to protect you.
Thank you for coming to tell me; “I love you.” A moment I will never forget because it was a teachable moment for both of us. Through my children, especially my oldest, I am learning that mistakes are okay; being open and vulnerable is not a weakness but a strength to trust others. Most importantly, that sometimes you won’t feel like “sucking it up,” and that’s okay too.
What are some things about yourself that motherhood is teaching you or has taught you?