Sometimes in order to change your own behaviour you need to ask yourself whether you are acting in exactly the same way as the person whose behaviour you dislike the most.
This realisation usually occurs once you become a fully fledged adult and have the opportunity to mentally go through all the people you met during your childhood and evaluate how they affected you and how it may have impacted your actions today.
It is without doubt that there are many special people who you will never forget, but there are others, who somehow morph into the wall of your memory leaving a darkened imprint; as the unheard voice of criticism you dare not to admit to yourself, let alone those around you.
"I ran into a stranger as he passed by, "Oh excuse me please" was my reply. He said, "Please excuse me too; I wasn’t watching for you." We were very polite, this stranger and I. We went on our way and we said goodbye.
But at home a different story is told, How we treat our loved ones, young and old.
Later that day, cooking the evening meal, My son stood beside me very still. When I turned, I nearly knocked him down. “Move out of the way,” I said with a frown. He walked away, his little heart broken. I didn’t realize how harshly I’d spoken.
While I lay awake in bed, God’s still small voice came to me and said, “While dealing with a stranger, common courtesy you use, but the family you love, you seem to abuse. Go and look on the kitchen floor, You’ll find some flowers there by the door. Those are the flowers he brought for you. He picked them himself: pink, yellow and blue. He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise, you never saw the tears that filled his little eyes.” By this time, I felt very small, And now my tears began to fall. I quietly went and knelt by his bed; “Wake up, little one, wake up,” I said. “Are these the flowers you picked for me?” He smiled, “I found ‘em, out by the tree. I picked ‘em because they’re pretty like you. I knew you’d like ‘em, especially the blue.” I said, “Son, I’m very sorry for the way I acted today; I shouldn’t have yelled at you that way.” He said, “Oh, Mom, that’s okay. I love you anyway.” I said, “Son, I love you too, and I do like the flowers, especially the blue.”
Next time you want to yell, stop, take an opportunity to tell them that you love them, and explain what it is you need from them at that moment… then try to work it out together.
This weekend has got to have been one of the most tiring weekends of my life. While my other half went away for the weekend I was left alone with our (near) three year old daughter and three month old baby boy. And it was hard. Hard, hard, hard. To tell the truth I only had to spend one night on my own without anyone (which, by the way wasn’t terribly difficult) and I did have adult company around me most of the time, but I honestly haven’t a clue how single parents do it all by themselves. I had already planned quite a few ‘fun’ activities; slumber party with the cousins, movie night, golfing, spending time with the grandparents, etc., but it just wasn’t the same without their Dad. I don’t think it ever is the same when one parent is missing.
Today I had a family friend of the in-laws come over for tea / late lunch, and her lifestyle was a bit of an eye-opener for me. Single parent, one daughter, working all hours, totally dependent on childminders, and barely any family members to ask for support. Her daughter was totally reliant on her and expected (quite rightly so) her mother’s undivided devotion. Consumed by guilt that the absence of a father or male role model may lead to an inadequately adjusted young girl, this family friend had perhaps over-compensated her love towards her daughter (if there ever were such a thing as to overcompensate a parent’s love towards their child); the little girl was attached to the extent of burdensome. It suddenly dawned upon me how naive and cocooned I have been for such a long time. Life is so unimaginably difficult for so many families out there and yet somehow, even with family surrounding me completely I can sometimes become so restricted in my view that I can’t see beyond my own little world to realise how utterly insignificant and trivial my so-called ‘problems’ can be. I felt bad for her, and yet in a way I felt very grateful that I still have so many people I can talk to and rely on. People who love me and my children very much and who I can trust to help out as often as I like.
I have suddenly have a new found respect for all lone parent families. I salute you all. What you bring to society is immeasurable, and I truly hope that your children take care of you in the same way you have looked after them.