Our house has not been a happy one over the last few months. Lots of crying, confusion, yelling and tension. We are facing big changes, readjusting and moving our goals. Realising that the life we started 8 years ago, in amongst the chaos, is not the one that we want now.
We got a therapist. One of the smartest and most adult decisions we have made as a couple. It has brought a lot of things to the surface. Resentment over things unsaid, anger over our complete lack of direction, sadness for mourning the life I thought we were going to have. The life that we did agree on all those years ago when we were young and romantic and completely unrealistic.
Reality sure can be a kick in the head.
It wasn’t until Olivia slammed the door in my face, while yelling, that I realised my reality. I had become one of those mothers, the one I swore I would never become. That woman who cries uncontrollably while having a panic attack in the car, whose not even three year old pats on the back and grabs tissues for. I was mortified.
How could I have allowed this to happen? How could we have been so selfish? This pure soul was screaming at us that she was unhappy. She was fighting for attention, some positive interaction. She had absorbed every emotion, every word, every action, every tear, every shit moment I had allowed to happen in front of her.
I needed to change. Not talk about change. I needed to do it NOW.
I pulled out my markers and a piece of paper and wrote out the new commandments. More outside, less screen time, more patience, happy tones, no more crying, no more yelling. Focus on changing the energy in our house and having the majority of our interactions be positive. I ran the list over with Matt and we agreed. I even hung it on the fridge.
When I woke up the next morning I started our new routine. We walked for hours, we played in the park, we had a ride on Bob the Builder, we chatted all day about the blue cars and the flowers. I put her to work, remaining calm and patient while we did the dishes, made the beds, folded the washing and cleaned up her toys. If I found myself getting frustrated or impatient, I cuddled her and asked for a kiss. We laughed and connected on a new level that I didn’t know we had.
Then I did it the next day. And the next. And the next.
This week we have walked to every swimming lesson, we have played in 3 different parks within walking distance, we have had two lunch dates, a thousand kisses and a million cuddles. Her language has improved, her spirits have lifted and the majority of our interactions are positive. Today we got in the car for the first time in 4 days.
I was not a negligent mother before this week. I gave her love and affection but I wasn’t being the best version of a Mother I could be. I wasn’t being the best version of a Woman I could be. I have been stuck in a low gear, letting life happen TO me instead of taking control and making the best of every moment. My head has been surrounded in a thick fog that is finally lifting.
I started writing this a few hours ago but a wedding scene came on TV and everyone was dancing. So Olivia went and grabbed some head bands and we danced around the living room. We are now watching The Sound of Music while I, very badly, sing every song to her. I am not going to lie. I have cried several times, overwhelmed with that feeling of love and nostalgia and relief. Relief that I making things better. That I am working hard to be a better Mother, Wife, Friend, Sister and Daughter.
That I am working on being a better me for ME. Someone I can be proud of.