I have this daughter that is virtually a clone of me…and that’s not always such a cute thing.
Camryn Mae Hedgepeth was born extremely Type A, high achieving, free spirited and creative and with a work ethic that tops anything I’ve ever seen before. She has tasks to do, things to make and she’s very determined to get it done. When she started to go into my drawers at a very young age, she’d find markers and pens and paperclips and sticky notes and labels and just go-to-town. Totally making adorable things left and right but really into the “work” part of creating, I mean…the girl is busy.
I am very much like this and honestly it makes me not want to always share my “stuff” … my office supplies. I know, I’m an adult, she’s a kid…but you know what, they’re my damn sticky notes and if I can’t go to the bathroom by myself, ever, can I at least keep my pretty little sticky notes? LOL??!! No. She wants them, she takes them. And last week, I ended up being a total drama mama and snapping about it.
She came up to me and said PLEASE let me have these sticky notes and labels. PLEASE. They are SO pretty! I love them, please, I need them. And then there I went off in front of Mike and Cammy…”UGH why do you always have to take them? Cammy no, they are mine. I don’t want you to keep taking things out of my drawer. Please stop going in there and use your own kid paper.”
Well….she did it anyway. And I was so busy setting up the house, I just hardly glanced when she went to show me she took them and drew on them anyway and I didn’t pay any mind to what they said…I just got upset. “FINE CAMRYN. TAKE THEM ANYWAY EVEN THOUGH I ASKED YOU NOT TO. I DON’T EVEN CARE.”
It felt good getting that annoyance out at the time, but looking at it now makes me kind of sick to my stomach. Want to see why?
I had to take a quickie from typing. I’m just bawling. I’m alone in a hotel room pre-blogging this for Friday morning and I am so upset with myself knowing I can’t go in the other room and kiss her and say sorry, again, even though this was last week. I feel awful, I feel ashamed…what kind of an ass mom am I? I was so, so, so wrapped up in my task (and I get that way, I LOATHE being interrupted working and it’s one of the big struggles as a working mom at home but I also was only doing house set up stuff) that I didn’t even see why she stole my sticky notes and labels.
The girl was writing this…and I yelled? I need to get a grip. I need to stop being so unbelievably goal oriented that I don’t know how to stop for ONE second to give my child the minute or second she deserves no matter how stressed I am and no matter WHAT is going on in life. I regret this more than I could ever tell you but I have to share to hold myself accountable for future times when I may almost do this again, and to let you know if you’ve done this before…snapped on your child without really communicating fully or paying attention…you’re not the only one! It feels like crap. I am crap. I mean….please, look at what she drew me. Look at the ones of us standing together with our names. I-can-not-even.
Amanda……………YES you’re in the middle of painting/putting up curtains, but you can look Cammy in the eye when she is telling you something. Look her in the freaking eye like she deserves.
Amanda……………YES you can stop and actually listen and not give a half-assed general answer when your kids are telling you something even if it is about rainbows or unicorns or the same song they’ve sung 390430 times that day.
Amanda……………YES you are kind of a crappy mom for ignoring her and snapping, but tomorrow is another day to give her more love.
Amanda……………YES you are human for ignoring her and being driven and task oriented, but getting things done and having things “perfect” and done is never going to happen, and it’s not what matters…so live in the moment and choose love over labor whenever possible.
Let’s all take a deep breath in the middle of tasks and remind ourselves to look up. Let’s give eye contact. Let’s communicate genuinely, they really really deserve it and good gosh we may be missing out on something really sweet! Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t do it all the time, you can’t be perfect…but just try to give yourself friendly reminders.