This is one of those posts that can be hard to write, as I hope that people take it for how it is intended, with love. It’s a post about being challenged as a Mum. Sometimes our kids just leave us stumped. There has been a lot of tears in our house lately. Tears and tantrums. For the past year we’ve been dealing with a little boy who has been very unsettled, but in the last month he has really come out of his shell and found his happiness. I wish the same could be said for our little Ella. She on the other hand, has completely fallen apart. She is emotional, sensitive and will simply burst into tears for any reason. She has always had a tendency to easily shed a tear, but this week has brought it all to another level.
Those of you who are raising children who are sensitive will understand. At least I hope you do. At the moment, you can simply look at Ella the wrong way, and the tears will start. I truly believe that things have been made worse lately because of my operation, and the fact that I’ve been walking around on crutches. The kids have been minded a lot by our Mums, and I simply haven’t been able to run around and do things with the kids. Ella has clearly picked up on this, but it is feeling oh so extreme right now. Yesterday she cried through her entire ballet class. She cried when she got home. She cried when she ate her dinner. She is just so sensitive that it is starting to worry me a little. I have to admit that things got the better of me after her dance class, and I felt myself start to cry as her dance teacher and I were talking about both of us feeling sad for her. It’s just such an emotional roller coaster. Ella usually loves dancing, but so far has not left my side this year. She is generally a really, really happy kid, but lately the tears have gotten the better of her.
You see it is so hard raising a child who is emotional, especially when you are emotional yourself. I do love the fact that I care about people’s feelings, but sometimes it is exhausting. It’s really difficult feeling everything. When it’s happy and positive, it’s wonderful. But when its feeling lonely, scared, worried, it’s terrible. I’ve always felt each and every emotion in a big way. I’m worried (ironically) because I don’t really want that for Ella. It’s hard seeing in her, what you see in yourself. Especially when it is something that you wish you could change in yourself.
As a teacher and an educator I know that this is very normal for kids Ella’s age. However when it is your own child, the worry is heightened. I’m someone who needs outside reinforcement to make me feel at ease. I’m someone who has to share how I’m feeling. It’s hard for Ella because she doesn’t have the vocabulary to express how she is really feeling. She simply wants to be by my side 24/7.
Somewhat selfishly, I have to admit that I don’t want to be ‘THAT MUM’ whose child screams when you leave her. I don’t want to have my heart breaking each time we head to dance class, as she sits on my lap and watches the other kids. I want her to be happy and confident. I want her to feel good about herself enough to leave my side. So we’ll do what we need to. Ride it out. Praise positive behaviours. Talk her through what is happening each day. We’ll do lots of happy things. We’ll make her feel ok about how she is feeling. However we will also throw in a dose of tough love. Building resilience is so important and right now, it’s on the top of my priority list with her. I want her to feel good about herself, but I also want her to be a little bit stronger. It’s not something you can easily develop, but I’m hoping that we can.
This is a post that I hope we can read in years to come, and think about how far we’ve come. I hope that I can help my little girl to actually be a little less like me. Less prone to cry at the drop of a hat.