When My Son Told Me A Hard Truth
Our family was driving home with another family in their bus one evening and during a discussion my number 2 son says to all of us “I love my daddy this much.” He spreads his hands as far apart on his sides as they could get. “But I love my mummy only this much.” He holds his palms just about 12 inches apart, my heart sank.
The Truth Can Hurt Sometimes
For several days I reflected on my relationship with my children, just like I reflected before I wrote PROPER PATRICIA
and I discovered that I could not really blame them if they preferred their dad. Let me tell you some of the reasons why:
Why does he love me so little? He could even say it openly without any hesitation.
What have I done, what have I been doing? I acted very calm smiling, as I asked why, but I was very hurt. It was quite painful to hear my son whom I love so much describe his love for me in such a manner. He said it kind of jokingly but I knew he meant it. I was hurt.
Most times I am the one who says “Pick this up or pick that up!” Daddy only says it if I have complained a lot or a miracle just happens. He often times does not see the mess I see.
- Most times I am the one who says “stop making a mess!” when they are throwing pillows or other things around. Daddy lets them play all the time, in fact he joins them in the play even though it all ends up in a mess, and the mess is usually not cleared up soon after except for very few times when they hear or perceive me coming.
- Most times I am the one who says “No snack until after you’ve had your meal!” Daddy often allows them to eat most anything they want, does not really in-between meals and how it affects a child’s appetite when it is time for a proper meal.
- Most times I am the one who insists they finish their meals, daddy thinks they should stop once they say they’ve had enough, even if they just don’t want to eat because it is not one of their favourites, or they would rather spend that time playing.
- Most times I say no when they ask if they could go to the backyard to play, I am always concerned about all the dirt they would bring in and how I would have to clean up after them. But daddy most often says yes without a qualm. In fact, all three of my boys feel the same way, they referred to me once as a NO-NO-Machine…I just dole out plenty of NOs to their requests.
My Children Are Not To Blame
Do you get it now? If you were my children would you feel any different? I am sure they see me as not fun loving at all. But in my defence that is not true, I am just one mummy who is too very concerned and anxious over some many things. I just want the house tidy, I just want the children clean, I just want them to eat their meals at the appropriate time, I just want… And I hardly remember to play as often as they would have loved me to.
My wants are not allowing them to be the children they are, they cannot turn adults over night. I must mind my expectation of them, I too was once a child and I know how it feels to feel unloved because of too many UNNECESSARY restrictions. Love must have bounds, true, but when parents just won’t loosen up; it can misrepresent true intents of a parent and hurt a child.
Ephesians 6:4 (MSG)
Fathers (…Mothers), don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master. My emphasis
Ephesians 6:4 (NLT)
Fathers (…Mothers), do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord. My emphasis
I am learning to loosen up, enjoy the mess and even join in it…sometimes, try and have fun. Allow my children to be children and enjoy them, let them play even in the sands and enjoy it with them. They will soon grow up so I must savour these moments and give them pleasant memories of me!
How about you, are you making pleasant memories of you for your children? Do you think you are too serious with them too?
Copyright© Ugochi Oritsejolomisan 2017