Friday, December 16, 2005

Another one where I think out loud and babble on and on

This year has been our "lost" year in many ways. Throughout this year I have either been pregnant, ill or both and generally incapacitated in some way. It has been a year which should have been full of fun - the age of 3 where nothing and everything matters in equal measure and discovery and play are the hallmarks of accomplishment. In reality it has been a slide into something and someone I don't like very much, and the result has been a severing and jarring between me and my son. I thought I knew him, but I now realise I don't. I thought I had the parent thing taped, but actually I suck. Deep down I know my short-comings but today it hit home when my son said something which made me realise just how bad our relationship has become - on the surface it's all good, but below the water line I detect the iceberg of something more sinister is present. I detect hurt and resentment and I detect a barrier and hidden pain. And it was a jolt to look into a mirror and see the physical manifestation of subtle and varied "wrongs" being woven into a reality that I have been weaving, bit by indiscernable bit, for far too long. And I think I have to take stock, put my hands up and try to turn things around because one thing I don't want is to sit on my death bed and regret anything I've said or done; I don't want to see my kids and see a reminder of pain. And so much of my day is spent in regrets.

So here, quite poignantly, is my contribution towards a new and insha'allah better year. Things I have learned and things I want to change:

1. I handle illness very badly. I get stressed and snappy. And I target other people. I aim to work on a means whereby I can deal with stress that doesn't impact on other peoples' lives.

2. I handle frustration like a child who has had his rattle taken away. I rationalise a lot of my behaviour but in reality it is petulance pure and simple. I also inflict my wrath on those near to me on such occasions. So I aim to recognise when I am frustrated and learn to disassociate my feelings from those innocent of the situation.

3. I want to give my children good memories. This means seizing the moments and being there in mind and spirit. I doubt they will remember or appreciate how many dishes I have washed, but the bonding that takes place through play cannot be forgotten.

4. I need to learn to play better.

5. I must remember to be light-hearted and full of fun with my children rather than waspish.

6. I need to tell my children more often how much I love and appreciate them. I am quick to condemn and have forgotten the art of praising.

7. I need to re-instigate the ethos of respecting and valuing the essential self, to let people be who they are and love them for it rather than try to bend them out of shape into a mold that they weren't created for. I need to learn to love my family even when I am tired, ill, cranky and iritated, because I respect everything they are and everything they stand for.

8. My children deserve better than this. In a spiritual and human way - not materialistically.


9. I need to empathise more with my children and to try to get into their head and into world and see everything through their eyes. That may help me with patience and understanding. Something I may deem as not important may take on a new significance and add impetus to certain things which, from a child's view, may be for that moment the most important thing on earth. If I learned to empathise I could fulfill my children's emotional needs so much better and value them more too.

10. I must learn to assume the good in everything they do. Sometimes I am quick to label every act which falls outside what I consider acceptabel (by adults standards) as "bad" or "naughty" or "mischievious", but when seen from their point of view could actually be a point of expression, something creative, someone trying to help or impress or generally just mucking in in a three-nearly-four year old kind of way. I must assume the best from them.

11. I must give my children my time. I run around all day saying "I haven't got time" and really that is the biggest lie. Time is actually all I have. I have been allocated time from Allah and it is up to me how I utilise it. The truth is we give time to things we deem as important - we prioritize all we do - and when we say "I haven't got time" what we are really saying is "you're not important - I haven't got time for YOU", because if I thought it WAS important I would make the time. So I am going to try to get rid of those subconscious messages and make time. Work can wait, growing up can't.

I will add to this list when I remember things insha'allah.


At 9:53 pm, Blogger milkmumma said...

JazakAllah khair for this. beautiful reminder for us all.
i see some of these in myself and my own particular blend of failings...


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