My first daughter is just like me. Ever since she started to walk and talk she was full on. Knew exactly what she wanted and would battle me for it with everything she had. To be honest I struggled. It is quite common to struggle with children who are just like you. I guess you see the parts in them that you don’t like in yourself and it reminds you of that and you don’t like it.
When my first daughter was just about to turn 3 I had my second daughter. At this point, looking after a new born baby, I was just not available for daughter number one. She was a good kid overall but she just wanted your attention for 100% of the day (extreme extrovert). I remember buying her lots of toys because she would never play with them. Sounds crazy I know, but I thought it must be the toy so maybe this other toy will grab her attention. They never did. All she ever wanted was people.
I often felt overwhelmed like I just wanted to get away and have some space. I would find myself trying to avoid her with this constant sense of pushing her away rather than pulling her in. My guess is that this made it worse. I ALWAYS ALWAYS loved her but there were many days where I felt like I didn’t like her because I was so overwhelmed by her energy and demands.
Boy did I feel guilt. Everyday I carried around this guilt that somehow I was damaging my daughter for the rest of her life as she would just feel rejection from her mother. I was pretty good at dealing with it within myself but somehow I thought she had to know I struggled.
I am writing this because I want to give any other mothers out there who can relate to this hope. Something magical happened when Miss 5 started school this year. She changed. I changed.
To be honest I was so scared school was not going to work out but boy was I wrong. The first day she was a bit hesitant but by the end of the first week she had fallen in love.
We are now nearly 6 months into the school journey and it’s like I have a different child. Whatever needs my daughter had that we were not meeting are being met by the school environment. I have found myself missing her and wanting to spend time with her. Planning days of just her and me together and connecting with her in ways I struggled to when I was looking after her at home.
The guilt has lifted and we are developing a beautiful, connected relationship and it is awesome. The last 2 years have been really tough but what I am learning is things are constantly evolving and nothing is set in stone.
The sense of relief I feel that I look at my child and not only love her but like her and want be with her after struggling for many years is amazing.
All I know is there is always hope and nothing ever stays the same. Hang in there if you are struggling because you never know the changes waiting around the corner for you.
UPDATE: One year on since i wrote this article all I can say is that things are getting better and better!! Age and time is a beautiful thing and I feel like my hopes and dreams for a great relationship with my kids are unfolding!! The struggle is still there in moments but overall it just keeps getting better and better!!!
Written By – Sam Shazzam