No not literal baby steps, Ewan hasn't super humanly taken his first steps at 5.5 months, but I am taking baby steps as a mom.
Admitting I am wrong is hard. I'm a stubborn dutchy through and through. But I feel like admitting some mistakes you've made as a parent are hard to admit to yourself, your spouse and even harder to admit and discuss with the children you are parenting.
Before Ruslana was born, I remember feeling confidant as a parent. I had read books and books, and followed some blogs. I thought I knew what was up in the hood, motherhood. Just kidding that was lame. Sorry, thanks in advance for continuing on in this article.
Rusty looked at me and I took over. I had confidence changing poop explosions, herbal remedies for coughs and rashes. But the thing was, and is, Rus grew up and out of simple baby parenting.
Training toddler Rus through me for a loop. I read some books, and quickly my 'tough love' parenting ideals rose to the surface. I had small amounts of sympathy after a scrapes and bruises-Walk it off!- it was as if my dads voice rang so loudly in my ears I couldn't hear my cold voice rattle off my ploy for Rus to get up off the ground after her fall.
I had big standards for her. Shes so witty, and smart as a whip. Of course she should 'know better". I was hard. Impatient and let her personality rub me the wrong way almost everyday of our lives together. Surely she'd outgrow this 'push my buttons' phase of life. But recently, God has brought my attention to something, and it was Me. My heart, and I couldn't ignore what I quickly realized, and it hurt. Bad. And I was crushed.
7 years., and two more children later, I see. Holy cow, I have been the kinda mom I don't like.
I think it started when Killian was born, and grew with Ewan's birth. My heart felt so much more tender to the boys than to her. Her 'personality' I would tell myself. "We aren't friends today' I would vent to Rusty after a long hard day together with her. But I realized-its not her. Its not our circumstances, it has nothing to do with her and everything to do with me.
Recently during a break in homeschooling, she looked at me and we had a serious heart to heart. Over the course of the day, we worked through some of her hurt feelings and strong emotions and they hurt. Hurt me. My eyes were opened and I didn't like what I saw. My heart was broken and I couldn't believe what I had become.
I have expected so much from my little girl, and when she fell short, I took such offense that I was super quick to disappointment and anger. She felt unloved and unliked. And I didn't provide for her a safe place to fail and get up, learn and grow. I stifled her. In many ways. And stifled myself.
Here I am. So sad with myself, heart broken and my daughters heart equally broken.
So in the midst of these last few days, we as a family hit the reset button. Praying together, seeking forgiveness and grace and allowing the space to grow together has changed the landscape of our family life. Our home feels like it has a fresh breeze blowing through it and it just feels, I don't know, full of more joy.
We still have a ways to go, more hurdles to overcome and work on everyday. It has maybe been the hardest season of my life as a mother. (I just re-read that a handful of times, deeply and loudly exhaling after each re-read). Tough emotional stuff. Exhausting really.
But she is so worth it. All my children are worth it. They deserve a mother that nurtures, cares, loves, pursues patience and grace for her family. I will chose to Love fiercely these extremely beautiful and needy and selfish and wild room-mates of mine. They are worth it. All day, everyday of their lives. Rusty and will fight for them, and when we fall short, we pray that God will give us wisdom on how to pick up the pieces and heal bonds to bring wholeness to our home.
Here's to this beautiful girl:
So we get back to basics. Before I had the boys, we sneak outside for quick impromptu photo shoots. She loved them. So we started them again last week. She came alive in front of my lens. When we walked back inside from shooting she looked at me with a smile on her face and said, "Wow mom that was so fun, thanks for taking time with just me. I love you."
And my heart felt full!