I’d love to write to you today about how much I love my kids.
And I do.
The moment I saw my first-born my heart broke into shards, and I felt like it would never be put back together. I discovered this unfailing love where my heart ached and burst from loving. It hit me so hard that I was winded by my own heart beat. It hurt. It was a love, that up until that point, I thought I would never ever understand, the sort of love that God would feel for us. Undying. Unfailing. Unfaltering. Always forgiving. Eternal.
I didn’t think that I had room in my broken heart to love like that again.
Then I had my second. And my single heart, made a brother for itself, and it broke into pieces alongside its sister. My breath was taken and I was winded again.
That second heart was undying, and unfailing, and unfaltering. It was always forgiving, and it was eternal.
And although that love is always there and my heart is always broken, I’ve become some things as a parent, that as a single human being I never would have dreamed I would be.
I yell, and I have smacked, and I storm off rejected by my child’s defiance. I am a cross, angry person. And I dislike it.
I hate being interrupted. And I grow frustrated with the growing lists of jobs that I (now realise) give myself.
I’ve spent a large part of this last year changing that. Trying to be better than what I was.
I’m still not perfect, obviously, but I am a darn sight better than I was. And it is because of this. I realised how scared my daughter was when I yelled. I don’t want my kids to be scared of me… like a wrinkled old scary Davros. I want to be slow to get angry and quick to listen. I want to hear them and truly understand why they are upset and what they need from me to help them.
A lot of it is because of this blog post on yelling. It is so good! The first time I read it, I could barely read it through the tears, knowing that she was writing about me.
I’ve learnt to count my blessings amongst the normality of life.
I’ve read a lot more, and prayed a lot more, and calmed myself. I have lost distractions and enjoyed this last year of having a child at home.
I’m happier a lot of the time. and less angry most of the time. But I still struggle with the tantrums and defiance. But I am doing better at understanding them and considering everything from my child’s point of view.
Then one day my brother brought me this book. He found it in my Mum & Dad’s things and he thought I would like it. It is a book of poetry my Mum wrote for my Dad in the Christmas of 1980.
And I realised, I wasn’t the first woman who found frustration and anger when they were forgetting to be thankful. When they were counting the frustrations more than the joys. When their “lists” were more important than their kids happiness.
For those that can not read my mother’s beautiful handwriting, let me translate: