Why do we push away those who mean the most to us? Or is it just me? Here's the funny part… each day I feel like I learn more from my children then I could ever hope to teach them. Recently I found myself discussing this very topic with my 8-year-old daughter. And yet another quandry…. how is it then I can explain such things to my daughter, and understand why she is testing me and yet not understand why it is I do the same thing? To be a kid again…
My daughters are very resiliant, adaptive, strong and sweet. Everything I had hoped they would be back when they were very small… those days when you wonder if you'll sleep again, wonder if prolonged sleep deprivation causes insanity, wonder why you had children. Not really. There is a very good reason why baby everythings' are so darn cute. To only worry about feeding, changing diapers and how to get that baby to sleep through the night is the easy part. As they grow, you realize that you are also responsible for all aspects of their well-being. In other words, don't screw this up, you could very well put that kid in a therapists chair some day, ranting about the time Mom did this or that. Such responsibility.
And for all that responsibility comes great rewards… and other times…
Last weekend my ex-husband remarried, a whole separate entry I am sure. Being a child of divorce, I thought I knew what to expect as far as my children are concerned. And yet, I was ill prepared for the inevitable "I wish (insert new step-mommy's name) was my Mom" that was uttered from my darling daughter's lips when I asked her to simply brush her teeth. Ouch. So the push and pull has gone on for several days…. Mostly pushing. When asked why she is doing this her tear-filled reply was simply "I don't know." And so I told her in no uncertain terms that no matter what she says or does, I love her always. She can try her best, I am not going anywhere.
Children, when faced with uncertainty, will push away the very people who they trust and love the most. They need to know that the rules and boundaries still exist and will push and test as a way to feel safe and secure. Yes, Daddy got married. Mommy is here and loves you no matter what. Some things will never change.
So I ask myself this question…. very few people in my life anchor me, provide the voice of reason, know me so well and love me anyway. And yet lately I find myself doing the same thing and hearing my anchors asking me, why are you pushing away? Telling me, do what you will, I am not going anywhere. I am not sure if I deserve such friends… and yet at times it is like beating your head against a wall when you feel so frustrated and nobody seems to understand.
Like I would do with my children, the best solution for me is a self-imposed time-out. Maybe a good thing for us, as so-called "adults" to do from time to time. So I am in time-out, perhaps grounded for a month without phone or Tivo… and I know when I snap out of it, I won't have pushed too far away as I am anchored to this time and place by those who love me and need me anyway.
-Not so Charming… I am Sure.