Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My First Born

John is my first born. I love him madly, but I often wonder if I show him how much I love him. I have noticed that because he is the first and the oldest, we (I mean, me) treat him as if he is older than he really is. I expect more out of him (probably unrealistically). He has to be my guinea pig and put up with all the faults and mistakes as I go through this parenting training. Because he is the first, he is the first to go through phases, test boundaries, exert his will, say mean things, which often make his younger siblings seem easier and more delightful. But the truth is, he is a good kid. He's smart and loving and wants to be loved and accepted as much as the next kid. And I am always wondering if I am taking all of these opportunities to love him. Hold him. Hug him. He's getting so big so fast. Soon he will stop asking to hold me. I am realizing as I am typing this as I go through the events of the day, the times I got frustrated or upset, the behavior I found disturbing could all have been attempts to get my attention. To divert my focus away from any number of things. And I could kick myself. I do this almost nightly where I replay the day in my mind and wish I could have done things differently or reacted differently or forgotten about cleaning up or doing dishes and just spent some quality time on the couch talking or reading. I struggle with the balance between daily family life maintenance and time spent focused on my kids, not on Instagram or email or dinner.

A friend told me that when she had kids this age her goals for the day were to make sure the kids were fed and that they knew she loved them. Everything else was a bonus. I hope my kids go to sleep knowing how much I love them and not how much I hate that they throw food on the floor or make a mess of their room.

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