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The wheels on the bus…

on June 9, 2016

It’s finally nap time on a 5:30a.m. day *sigh* The last couple of days have been like a roller coaster, actually the whole past year has been like a roller coaster of emotions. Welcome to life with a toddler. And welcome to life with a toddler when you are a highly sensitive person. *double sigh* I’ve been trying to analyze the issue of why  being home with my sweet little guy for the summer seems to be so challenging for me and cause so much anxiety. And I think after today’s meltdown mania at a play date I’m finally beginning to understand it a bit…

This is life with Diego:

  1. He’s very observant. he watches everything and everyone and seems to be very intuitive with how relationships work. This is great when he’s understanding that mama and papa are two very different people and he can get different things from them. This is not so good when he knows exactly what to do to get attention from a friend such as pretend crying. But he’s only (almost) 2…there’s no way he really “knows”, right? wrong. He knows. This is so challenging for me personally because I’m the same way. I know exactly what someone “wants” to hear and who should say it if we are in a group. This is fantastic when i’m teaching a classroom full of students who I can read very well. Not so fantastic when it’s just me and the toddler and we are trying to “out read” one another.
  2. He LOVES people. Loves to hug them and kiss them and be around them. People always say he’s so sweet and I completely agree. He has such a sweet little soul…but the world is not so sweet and this thought terrifies me. Not everyone wants to hug him back (which i completely respect and applaud parents who do not make their kids give others hugs, etc) and this is very hard to teach. He is constantly in other people’s bubbles (including my own) and is literally in your face about everything. He just really loves people…but how do i teach him that not everyone wants to be loved with so much intensity. It might seem like a topic that shouldn’t even be circulating in my head- but it is. Constantly. One day he’ll realize that the world is not as intense in how they feel and how will i teach him to cope with that? This causes me anxiety because i’m constantly feeling like that. My feelings (as a darn HSP) are always too overwhelming for most people…which is why I only say 50% of what I want to say. So whenever we are around anyone (including strangers at the mall) I have a very detailed conversation going on in my head of all the things i wish i could say…which leads me to #3
  3. With intense feelings comes intense thoughts. I see him thinking very hard. He’s working so hard to make connections and studying the world like nobody’s business. I really do love watching this. But it is so draining. His intense feelings and actions are so overstimulating for me. And that really hurts. How can your own child be too intense for you? And then it hits me like a ton of bricks that maybe, just maybe, he feels the same about me. The crazy thing about him being so emphatic is that he soaks up other people’s energies, including mine. It’s like a double whammy and before you know we are both crying over picking up the toys. And then it transfers to other areas for me and I’m spilling paint on the carpet, burning the bag of bagels on the toaster oven and losing my phone in the car. Over-stimulation. Bleh.

So, what’s the deal with this post when we haven’t posted

(computer dies, I pray that everything i just typed is not forever erased, and thank goodness for wordpress because they automatically save drafts)

anyway, the deal with this post is that i’m just trying to process this whole parenting thing. Nobody ever wants to talk about how freakin’ hard this is because, well that’s super sad. I am so blessed with an awesome husband who loves to help out and does a much better with Diego in many different ways. And a group of mom friends who totally understand me and my intense loving child. And it is still super hard. This parenting gig is hard for me. I can’t study it more to feel better prepared (although I try by  reading way too many things about child development) I can’t take a break and come back to it tomorrow because even when I do get breaks (and I get them very often because I really need them- thanks mom and in-laws for watching him so much!) i’m constantly thinking about him and all of “things” that come from being around him. The reason why I keep bringing up this whole HSP thing is because for the very first time in my life I am beginning to understand that there is nothing “wrong” with me. There is nothing that can “fix” me. Being a mom has led me to the path of this amazing self-discovery that is hardest thing i have ever done. Harder than having a class of 50 wild first graders because we can’t get enough subs! All of my issues that i’ve avoided dealing with in the past 29ish years come up to surface every time he is on the ground kicking and screaming and I have no idea why. As a recovering perfectionist I’m learning how “not enough” is not only toxic but a feeling that I’m transferring to my very observant empathic son. So, if you’re having a rough parenting day just know that this s**** is hard. You’re doing a great job, even if it feels less than ok.  Ok, now I can’t focus because the husband who so lovingly went to check on our son during his nap is walking around the house. *triple sigh*

Lesson learned: get to know and love yourself. This is the greatest gift a parent can give to their child (I believe). I hope that one day Diego can read this and see me for who I truly am and still love me and to know that I will always feel the same way about him. We love our kiddos regardless of any “hardships” or bad moments, they are what makes everything worth it. So why can’t we feel the same way about ourselves?

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