Taboo Carnival. Our topic this Fall is I LOVE YOU BUT I DON’T ALWAYS LIKE YOU! This post was written for inclusion in the quarterly Taboo Carnival hosted by Momma Jorje and Hybrid Rasta Mama. This month our participants reflect on the concept of loving versus liking our children and their behaviors. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
You hear a lot about the terrible twos. Children who won't listen, who throw temper tantrums when they don't get their way. I think for Attachment Parents, two isn't that hard, mostly because you aren't expecting immediate obedience. When you give your children's wants and needs as much validity as your own, it's easy to work with your two year old.
Three was a different story though. Three, for me, was a nightmare. It didn't matter if I was trying to actively work with her to a solution, Moira wanted that specific thing, right now, no delays. If what she wanted a pink cup, and there were no pink cups to be had, there was no possible solution. She couldn't be distracted, she would never forget, she would not let it go. She also hit me, screamed in my face, pulled my hair, she broke things to get my attention, and then cried for the next three hours about it.
I hated her. I wanted to spend as little time as possible around her. I wanted her to just stop talking.
I am sure that she could tell, though I tried my best not to show how much my skin crawled every time she touched me. I made sure we did special things together, and had time cuddling. But I know she could tell that there was something wrong, and I'm sure that how I was feeling made the whole mess much worse. After all, the obvious way for a 3 year old to get your attention is to climb on you, throw a fit, need inexplicable levels of help and attention, and she only wanted more and more because she didn't feel a strong connection to me.
Then one day, when I was 8 months pregnant with her brother, and we were sitting at library story time, I felt an inexplicable need to sniff her hair. I assume I had a rush of Oxytocin at just the right moment, and it gave me a little bit of that automatic love you have for your sweet baby. Every day since then has been a little bit better. I'm relearning how to laugh with her, and not spend my whole day trying to distract myself with the computer. Every day, I like her more and more.
- How Do You Like Yourself? — Destany at They Are All of Me writes about teaching her children likability.
- Learning to Like and Love — JeninCanad at Fat and Not Afraid divulges the long journey it's been to learn to love, then like, her son.
- I hated my three year old — Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes talks about how much trouble she had dealing with her 3 year old.
- Love vs Like: How to Deal With Not Liking Your Kid — Amy at Presence Parenting explores an approach to loving what we dislike the most about our kids.
- You Can Love Someone and Not Like What They Do — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children reminds herself, just as she reminds her children, that unconditional love is not dependent on liking what a person does.
- Maternal ambivalence … and why it's ok — Lauren at Hobo Mama discusses how we can't live up to the "maternal ideal" as much as we — and our babies — might want us to.
- Miracles into Monsters and Back Again — Amy W at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work processes the pain and hidden beauty of a gentle mother's greatest weakness - when little miracles act like little monsters!
- When Mothers Love But Don’t Like Their Children — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama muses on the deeper meaning behind loving but not liking one's child. She argues that a mother never stops loving or liking her child. In fact, the dislike is rooted in the behavior and not the person.
- I love her, but... GRR — Jorje of Momma Jorje vents a bit about annoying behavior, but loves her children... even when they drive her nuts!