I think one of the biggest challenges I’m finding since becoming a parent is seeing my boys in pain. Not physical pain – emotional pain. The sort of pain that comes with being hurt, embarrassed, let down, disappointed, or just ignored by people they love or adore. The people who do it, usually kids, have no idea the impact they are having, but my sensitive little lads get hurt all the same and mummy is always watching.
At this point in their development, when these moments happen, they take it out on Mum, and that usually means me getting smacked or yelled at. It is hugely challenging for me, because when they hurt, I hurt, and all I want to do is take the pain away from them, but I can’t protect them from the world and their character and moral fibre is being created by these moments, so I know it’s important – it just isn’t easy.
All I can do is love them and give them a cuddle when they let me, and continually speak to them about how they’re feeling, and as their communications skills develop, encourage them to speak about how they’re feeling, rather than reacting with anger or violence.
It’s a bloody tough road to travel and it’s hard not to respond with anger when they hurt me, but it’s also heart breaking to see their pain. The amount of times Steve and I are both close to tears watching them react in situations is increasing all the time, but there is no greater cuddle than the cuddle that helps them through their heart ache. Their bodies completely relax into you and they cry until they feel safe again. After that, they’re ready to take on the world again.
Sometimes I wonder why we choose this parenting malarkey, it is so challenging sometimes, and seeing them get hurt is one of the worst parts of it – and it’s only going to happen more. But I wouldn’t be without my vibrant, adventurous and cheeky little lads for a minute, because watching them grow into the amazing men they will become one day is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever experienced.
In the meantime, I reckon it’s my job to wrap them up in love, give them a safe place to be themselves and try to help them have a healthy relationship with their emotions – the good and the bad. But crikey, it’s not bloody easy!
Yours, without the bollocks