My daughter is 4 3/4 years old and since she is born I see her as a magnificent mirror of what is going on for me. I want to share one of my recent enlightening.
We moved from Germany to Australia about 5 month ago. Maya has been very aggressive (hitting, kicking), frustrated and swear-y since then. Particulate the word “shit” was heard in our house frequently. And it was very uncomfortable for me to be called “shit Mama”. In the beginning I tried to reason with her and explaining why I or my partner sometimes use the word when we are really frustrated or angry and that I would prefer not to be called “shit Mama” because it hurts and I would never call her things like that… of course it did not stop her….
I am aware that Maya is thrown in a situation (the move) where she is very powerless and needs to have a lot of attention to make her feel powerful. I thought she uses the word and the aggression to feel powerful. I started playing games, power-reversal, silliness, and lots of wrestling. One of my favoured games is the ‘cranky-bug-game” where, when she is cranky and swear-y, I pretend to see bugs crawling over her who make her cranky…. Maya likes those games and sometimes she tells me that I need to find the bugs and eat them up…(they have different flavours and taste delicious or like earwax)…. So I played the games for quiet a while and life got a bit more fluid and more relaxed. When I gave loving limits Maya did not get to the healing cries and did not shift out of the “shit Mama” thing she still was feeling powerless, frustrated or upset often and she would swear often. So I needed to look at my feelings around it and had lots of listening around how I feel when I am called a “shitty Mama” and what I would like to reply and don’t say because I do not want to insult Maya back.
I expressed a lot and felt more OK being called these names and could be more present with her. It not really shifted Maya’s behaviour. I utilised all my knowledge but was clueless, powerless and utterly exhausted by trying to help Maya and my family to shift this uncomfortable behaviour and find more harmony again.
I knew it was something more vital, more core-ish that I needed to see in Mayas behaviour and I had a session with Marion to help me find out what it might be.
What I got out of the session was is that Maya and I are re-stimulated by an much earlier experience in our live. The move and the powerlessness around that, is just another opportunity to heal what I could not heal when Maya was younger. It is about my self-worth my appreciation of me as a mother and being. I will not go into details what it was in Mayas early live that made me feel similarly powerless, utterly exhausted and clueless. The main point is that I did not took the opportunity to see the way I can see now. And I am not implying that I am judging me in any way. I was just not ready to see and connect the dots. In being aggressive, swear-y and frustrated Maya gives me another opportunity to heal and step into reality.
In a Listening Time I had about two days ago something dropped for me. I was talking about a situation with Maya which in the past had made me withdraw and neglected my need or use power-over and gotten really angry and frustrated. I am going to describe the situation:
I had a friend who needed some LP time and I wanted to contribute to her. I asked Maya if she would be ok to entertain herself for about 20 min while I made the call. There was still time to the call so I gave her 20 min Special time to ground her and to help her find ways to enjoy her time by herself. Special time was over and I was sitting in front of my child which said into my face that I was a “shit Mama” and she would now make as much noise as possible so I would not be able to hear my friend on the phone. Wow, that was quiet a shock for me, and I felt the anger and frustration rise. I stayed aware of my inner self-talk “How am I deserving that?, She is a spoilt little xy!, How am I be able to do anything right?, What else do I need to do so she cooperates? I am sick of it!….” and so on. The beauty of it all was, I could really listen to me and I gave myself empathy, loads of it. And in doing that I could hear Maya and I could give her empathy about her disappointment of not continuing the game with me and playing by herself. I told her: “I really hear that you want to play more with me, and I really want to take this call”. I said that about 5 min long while she raved on what a “Shit Mama” I was. Then she just said: “Mama I really would like to make some noise” I replied that that is totally fine with me and I really would like to understand my friend on the phone what would she suggest? She came up with the solution herself. I was to go into the garden-house to take the call and she would make LOTS of noise with the pots and pans in the kitchen. What a brilliant idea. So I helped her getting everything set up for the big bang powerful noise and left to take the call across the garden. After about 15 min. she came to me, telling me she felt a little sad to be alone and snuggled into my lab and quietly entertaining herself while I continued the call. After that she was pleasant to be around for the rest of the day. She was empowered by this solution and I was relieved for it was again “just connection” what was required in the situation. Firstly connecting and listening to my reactions and thinking and wishes and needs secondly to listen to hers. In short I need connection first when I think Maya needs connection. And in listening and connecting to what I think and feel I can easier connect to Mayas.
What I realised in the Listening Time a few days after the incident is the deeper level. When Maya says “Shit Mama” it is time to listen to myself, to my self talk. Do I listen? Do I tell myself I am Shit? or do I tell myself what I am really am? Because in reality I am far away from being “shit”. Really, also when I lose it… I am light-years away from being shit.
In the past, I told myself over and over again in my head that I am not good enough, that i do need to do more, be more, shift more, be in any way different that I am appear to be now. There is no evidence that this is true.
What I did that day, listening to myself then listening to Maya. I proved again to myself that I am not a Shit Mama. I am so committed to myself and to Maya and my love for growth and truth is so great and so unconditional. My whole life journey is orientated on living my truth. My life is filled with therapy and self-help-groups, self-inquiry and meditation; I do so much in the past and in the present. Aware parenting is just part of the whole picture.
And in the situation with Maya I heard her saying “Shit Mama” and I took it and told myself: “I am not willing to call me that any longer. It is over to believe that I am doing a bad job here. I am an amazing mother I am doing my best and that it absolutely enough. I am no longer not seeing how wonderful, loving and dedicated I am.” And that made the shift in me.
I am not sure that Maya stops calling me “Shit Mama” but for me it lots it heaviness. The best is that when I hear her saying it again I can see it as a reminder; do I still believe I am shit at parenting or do I step up and see reality that I am doing an awesome job? And can I give myself a loving limit and give me a break in judging and punishing me.