I used to think it was all my fault.
Every temper tantrum. Every freak out. If it wasn’t my genetics, than he was yelling because he had seen me yell.
Nature and Nurture together right?
I am sensitive and emotional. I also have a flair for the dramatics. Maybe some would say in my youth I was a drama queen. (I’ve matured a tad, maybe a tidbit is a better word. Which ever one means the smallest amount, that would be it.) I am also intense and an extremists. I go all out when I can. Not just a party, but a full menu, homemade decorations, all food made from scratch kind of party. That’s the just the way I like it. We won’t just watch a movie, we’ll plan for it. Pick a day, make stove top popcorn, eat dinner early, take baths and make a bed in the living room just for the movie. It’s a lot.
I’m a lot to take sometimes.
I just thought my son was like me. He’s intense. He’s sensitive. He’s emotional. He’s our drama queen. So if I didn’t teach him to behave the way he does, than he just naturally gets it from me by instinct.
I also often thought that our schedule and lifestyle was creating his instability and insecurity. That my traveling sometimes once or twice a month was too much for him. This past winter I actually consider stopping my speaking career because he needed so much of my time and attention and I took that on myself.
I blamed me.
Were we not disciplining him enough? Too much? Were we too busy? Did he not enough have structure? He hasn’t been going to bed on time, so he’s overly tired and we need to be better about our schedule. Maybe he watched something he wasn’t supposed to and that taught him to act out. Are we eating right? How much screen time has he had? How much reading time has he had? Does he need alone time? Does he need school? Does he need me home and not traveling? Does he need his dad home more?
The questions wouldn’t stop. The insecurity of myself as a mother was getting worse. The blame and shame and guilt of doing something wrong and how it was hurting my son started to feel like my new skin. I was never without it.
I would cry. A lot. I would call my mom all the time. I was praying constantly and in my prayers of asking for answers, I was repenting of all that I had done wrong to damage my son.
This is the place I was in.
It was a battle most days. In my head I knew it wasn’t all my fault. I really did. But I couldn’t figure out how to lay to rest with my fear and guilt.
Then we went to the doctor. Then we found out that something was really wrong with Noah. His intestines’ were damaged, and leaking out and his body was craving the vitamins it so desperately needs to function properly. It wasn’t my fault.
Saturday I saw a glimpse into who my son really is. It was an incredible day. He was listening, he was attentive, he didn’t overreact when all the kids got Doritos after the T-ball game and he couldn’t have any. He was disappointed and bummed, but was excited to have lime corn chips when we got home. If he didn’t understand our decision, he asked about it instead of falling to the ground whining, or folding his arms and getting what we call “Angry face”. His angry face is REALLY intense. He has very dramatic eyes. Paul and I looked at each other more than once in astonishment.
It was our Sabbath so we didn’t do any work. The whole day was spent together. At the end of the day we had family snuggle time in our bed. After Caleb went to sleep, Paul and Noah and I laid in bed for about half an hour. We talked, snuggled, and we prayed over our son. And then I realized something was different.
I didn’t feel guilty. There was no bad feelings between Noah and I. There was no fear or questioning or shame. Before even on good days, I would have this feeling, of “why can’t it be more like this? What am I doing right or wrong to get this reaction instead of the bad reaction?” The thoughts were always there. The questions never left. Saturday was different.
1. I wonder how often we make our children’s issues about us. If you notice, most of my response is all about me. Though I am, with my husband, the ones in charge of creating the atmosphere and controlling the hurtful things that come into house, the issue still remains that I need to see my children for who they are, and not my agenda or mistakes, or accomplishments.
2. I was allowing Satan to use my insecurity as a mother to change the relationship with my son. It was effecting how I felt about him and us all the time. The issue wasn’t even about me, but I made it about me and then in turn, it changed us.
3. We have to have more grace and forgiveness as parents. To allow God to work through our mistakes and insecurities. To know that he has a plan for our children even with our ability to fail. God is more powerful than our mistakes.
4. Always, always pray. Over your children, for your children, for yourself and over your spouse.
5. It is important to look at all aspects of our children and ourselves and our home. To look at what is going on spiritually, mentally, physically with our kids. The best way to love them is to evaluate everything going on their lives and then pray for answers. Pray for wisdom. Pray for discernment. Pray for knowledge. Pray that someone who does have answers will speak truth into your life.
Kids still act up and disobey. They will still be rowdy and have trouble listening and still want to do what they want to do, not what you want them to do. Noah still does. But it’s not a battle everyday. Its hardly a battle. If it feels like a battle for you, then start praying. Something might be going on that you can’t see.
I had a friend say to me once, “maybe noah has sensory issues.” I was hurt. I didn’t think anything was wrong with my kid. He was just our drama queen. But that seed stayed. And I was paying attention. And I started to talk about our struggles more with other people, and the struggles were getting worse. And then we found an answer.
I want to repeat, that I don’t think everything is fixed or perfect. Or that this is the only way to make things better, or that the fact that the sun is shinning and we get to ride bikes for hours every day doesn’t help. It does. A lot! But we have been GFCFSF for less than a week. We have quite a ways to go in our detox, but I see the light a couple times a day. That feels huge. It feels big enough to have hope that we could be on a path that helps our son physically. Helps me emotionally. Helps our family spiritually.