Monday, April 14, 2014

Things I'm Learning From My Children

One of the hardest things about losing Julian is not having him here to balance things out when it comes to parenting our children. I've always been nervous, loud and irrational - mostly because I am a worrier. If it can be worried over, trust me, I'll worry about it. Once the worry starts, the irrational thoughts move into my head and stay there. Julian was always level-headed. He rationalized situations in a much better way than I did. He thought things through and he was a talker - he talked things out, explained to our kids why things were this way or that way. I give into to fear and my fear turns to anger.

My relationship with my three youngest children is dramatically different than the relationship that I had with my two oldest. There are many factors that caused it to be so different; the biggest being that I grew and matured and learned not to be so hot-headed by the time the three youngest came along. A closer bond with the three youngest does not mean everything runs so smoothly. They trust me enough to speak out when they disagree with me, but speaking out does not make them any more in the right or myself any more in the wrong. Although, in this situation, I was most definitely in the wrong for handling things the way I did. 

My two youngest sons are growing up and finding their independence in this world and sometimes that scares me. My over protection of them looks more like obsessive nagging in their eyes. I don't know how Julian did it. He could calm any situation. Me ? I go nuts. 

Things came to a nasty head recently and I had to see myself through my boys' eyes. I saw that what I thought was good parenting was driving them away from me. I had to step back and see two boys who have held in the heartbreak of losing their father and then feeling as though they were losing their mother, as well. I've been in a bubble since Julian died. I couldn't understand why my sons didn't feel the pain my daughter and I felt over losing Julian. I was mistaken. 

What my boys needed was for me to understand their heartache. They needed for me (and my daughter) to step out of the bubble and see that they were hurting just as much as we are, but they were following their father's teachings. They were trying to be strong and brave and what they needed was for me to acknowledge that. 

I don't want to lose my children. I don't want this heartbreak to tear us apart as a family. Julian would be so heartbroken if his death drove my children and I apart. It's a tough thing as a parent to admit that sometimes your kids have it right. I love my children and I don't want to be the one driving a wedge in between us. 

Saying "I'm sorry" is never easy, but it lifts an incredibly heavy weight off of  the one doing the apologizing as well as the one receiving it. When we can't admit we were wrong, our children will carry that angry and pain around with them for a lifetime. I know that all too well, but that is a story for another blog. I want my children to grow up knowing they are loved and so I am learning that I can't always be right just because I'm the Mom.

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