Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Control ~ Letting Go

So a couple months ago my youngest got hit with a viral crud that left him throwing up all day long.  Then a couple days later it hit me and my oldest.  I've personally only had the flu two other times prior, once when I was four and once after we lost Samantha.  My oldest has not been much for being sick like this very often either.  So when it hit the three of us, I was down for the count and then some.

When my youngest got it, he was clung to me for the rest of the day.  Then while I had the run with it and my oldest too, he was stuck by my side for the day as well.  As much I don't like to be sick, especially while staying at someone else's house, I was relieved to have to go through this and have the extra hands of my parents to help out.

While I had one kiddo stuck to me, my parents entertained my oldest while my hubby helped tag team my youngest.  Then when I was sick, they entertained my youngest while my hubby helped my oldest and me out.  It was a humbling experience.

After going through it it made me realize that letting go of the control can lead to such a big impact.  You see, since having Samantha and losing her, i have a very hard time giving up the control...even when I didn't have it in the first place or when it wasn't mine to have.  When you really think about it, how much control do we truly have.  I know one thing for sure, I can control my thoughts, reactions, and my attitude.  But I can't control everything in life and nor should I.

But after having become a mom and loosing my daughter, when T came along I thought things had to be my way because it was better, they had to be just right.  I needed to have the control.  I didn't want to loose another child.  While I knew in my heart that Samantha was in God's good hands, he was the one in the control seat, I didn't want to face that again.  So, I went overboard on the control factor, trying to control as much as I could and had myself convinced that I probably had more control than I did in reality.

Add in another kiddo and the realization of things changing greatly made me begin to notice I was loosing control.  In reality, I probably didn't have the control like I thought and trying to control all just ended up, well, it ended up going to one extreme or the other.  Either I was a push over and gave in to easily or I was too hard and had to high of expectations.  Neither area was good and neither was the swing between the two.  I thought I could compensate with things like frappes, spending extra money when and where it didn't need to be spent, toys, and the like.

The time we were all sick, my plans had changed.  The one day my mom and I were supposed to go get pedicures.  Something I was looking forward to greatly.  But with my son being sick, I wasn't going anywhere.  Then on the day I was sick and my oldest as well, we were supposed to be headed back home.  No way were we going to get into a car for five hours.  I had to let everyone around help out because there was only so much I could do on my own.  I had to let it go.

Me getting sick made me realize that it doesn't always have to be me, or my way.  There are other ways that work and are good too.  By trusting and letting someone else have the control I can put focus and energy into other areas of my life. Like going on a date night with my hubby.  Which we got to do do for the first time since T was born.  Even better, I was able to let go of some of the guilt I  would feel not being the one to be there, but letting family watch over the kids and the kids getting extra grandparent time.

It's a hard thing to do.  While I do want to be there to tuck my kiddos into bed at night, read them stories, and do their prayers, I know that there are others who can do it once in awhile.  By letting others in, I can work on making my marriage strong, dig deep and discover my dreams, set some goals, and soar.

There are many facets to life.  All areas need time placed into them.  If we focus to heavily in one area, the others begin to falter.  Putting too much control into one area leaves an imbalance in the other areas.  Our kids need to see us, the need to see their extended family, they need to see there are lots of ways to accomplish tasks, they need to see what it's like to dream and make those dreams come true, they need to have time to themselves.  They learn through us.  Through all our successes and failures, they learn. They need to know that there are some things that they can control and there are some things they can't.  They need to learn to trust.

We as parents need to learn to let go of the control.  Divide and conquer.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Loss ~ A Different Perspective

Y'all I just had a hard dose of reality recently.  After facing the depression and anxiety post, while slowly coming to terms with that I am on this path that just took a hard left.  The last time I had such a hairpin curve was when we lost Samantha.

You see, it was a loss.  We all face loss and there are many different kinds of loss throughout life.  I began to think a little more on things.  I lost a grandparent when I was in fourth grade.  That is the first loss I can really remember.  Sure, I am sure I lost toys and the like.  But that seemed kind of different.  That's when I realized something.  Loss, depending on how old you are can take on a totally different meaning.

My oldest, nearly four now, had been acting out in a different way.  Some would chalk it up age, language, emotions, changes...which I do agree with when I think about it.  Then, I began to think on it differently.  I began to think on it from a different perspective.  The perspective of loss.  It made me realize, in the past 18 months he has face a lot of loss.  While sometimes handling it well, sometimes not so much in the moment, and sometimes the proverbial "shit hitting the fan" in the moment he has faced a lot in that short time.

Some of it comes with age and change, but broken out, it's a lot.  Let's run through the list.

We moved...yeah, great!  Definitely exciting and he handle it well, loves the new room and bigger yard.  However, he lost what he knew of the old house and familiarity as well as the ability to continue to go to some of the places we had been going easily.  Overall, a great change, but still the change was him loosing what he knew for the unknown.

We added to the family...we knew we wanted to grow our family.  We brought home his brother.  That in itself had a lot of loaded weight to it.  He now had to share mom and dad.  I couldn't, at first lift him like I could before because of my c-sec.  Then his brother grew and began to move.  So T's space got less and less his, and more and more ours. (Including that bedroom he loved so much).  There became no just T space if A was awake.  It happens, I know.  But still, a lot of small losses as we adjusted to a new normal and routine of another kiddo.

No more diapers!!!  Yeah, potty trained.  I can't believe how long he can go between peeing now.  I am pretty sure his bladder is bigger than a lot of adults I know. Any-who, on the positive side, yeah no more diapers.  However, on the loss side, he lost diapers.  Happens as kids get older, but sometimes I think, at first, he wouldn't have minded the extra him time and attention during diaper changes.  Now, he uses the bathroom as a quiet him space perusing books before bedtime.

Nuks...ufda.  Love hate relationship with the nuks.  I wasn't looking forward to the day we had to work through giving them up, but knew it was fast approaching.  And how unfair his brother got to have one and he didn't.  It was a dentist visit where they suggested that by age four for him to be done.  We had started planning ways to transition off, and then he said if I get rid of them today can we go pick out a toy and stuffed animal.  So, we went with it.  While maybe not the best way of doing things, especially for him and his personality, we went with it.  Well, four months later we are done with them.  Have been since that day.  While every now and then he asks for one, they are getting further from his mind.  Makes me dread having to do the transition with his brother.  Either way, a loss, especially when dealing with a comfort object.

His bed.  Don't worry, he still has a bed, it's a twin one.  But he did have his crib.  He loved his crib and never seemed to want out.  In fact, I am sure he would have stayed longer had we not needed it for his brother.  He never had an issue with making the switch. He has enjoyed the big bed since it arrived, despite it staying on the floor for over a year.  It didn't take long to make the switch.  He picked out sheets, we put them on the bed with a pillow and put it next to his crib.  Let him decide which one he wanted to use.  He picked bed and that was that.  The next day the crib came out because he found it fun to stand on the rails and jump off onto his bed.  So, while fun and exciting, still a loss.

Toys.  Toys galore and they are everywhere.  Same with stuffed animals.  But, now the kids have all the toys accessible.  Nothing is off limits to the younger brother like they once were.  Let me tell you, even after working with kids and dealing with sharing, nothing compares to siblings and sharing.  But it is a lesson we are all working on and learning.  But there is nothing that A won't get into, onto, or try out for himself to be like brother.  So we face toy issues and loss a lot and on most days.

Most of that stuff happens with life and transitions.  We face different seasons of our lives.  We have to sometimes face loss to make room for what is to come next.  Even if the loss is a part of life, the transition, or a good thing (especially in the long run) it is still not easy to have to face something every couple of months.

Growing up is hard to do.  We need our parents to help us through it all.  But we also need to remember to look at it from the perspective of the kid.  It may not seem like a big deal to us, but in the eyes of the child it can be too big to know how to handle.  What seems like a paper cut to us, seems like a much deeper wound to heal and fix to them.  So, how are we going to handle loss to help our kiddos handle it?  Sometimes we just need to change up the perspective in order to get a better and deeper understanding.  Loss happens.  Good or bad.  We face it and so do our kids.  Their loss is sometimes more on a simplistic plain that we need to get down on their level to understand.

It 's also why sometimes kids start acting in different ways with behaviors that are much less desirable.  We have to face the fact that these changes are going to happen, but we also need to face the fact that sometimes there is a deeper meaning and more understanding needed to figure out the behavior.  We can't always chalk it up to age, or because other's judgements of the how kids should be, or changes.

Life happens, change happens, loss happens, but through it all growth happens.  So how are we going to take this and let the growth happen?  Look deeper, look beyond the initial behavior, and look at what all is going on around you.  Step out of the box and moment, step back and observe.  Learn and grow.  Your kids are doing this every day, maybe its time that us parents do it more.  Maybe it's time to start growing with our kids.