I truly hope you have all had a wonderful summer.
For me and my dudes, the past two months have flew by. I thought I’d be able to be a full time mother; write and work while my sons took their naps. Oh, boy did I fail. At least in Milan they go to half-day kindergarden to play and have some fun with other children and I get work during the morning time. Please do not get me wrong this is not a complaint it is just me stating that I failed my summer’s mission but I did discover something else that I will keep in my heart forever.
The 4 of us isolated for two months in the countryside gave our family a deeper connection, more than I could ever have dreamed of. My boyfriend was actually working a lot as his work takes priority and as a mother I take my job very seriously as well. I just love spending time playing with my sons. As beautiful as it sounds to play with my sons all day, every mother knows, it’s not always like dancing with flowers and chasing butterflies. My first born was born into a difficult situation, we were separated for just over two weeks from the moment he came into this life. The Italian hospital separated us and gave us no other option then for me to see him for just 4 hours per day!! Which made my heart suffer a great deal and I can only imagine how his felt. So to make up for all that separation every single time he made a sound I made sure he understood I was there. I gave him all of me and probably too much the first year of his life. I always imagined him alone in a hospital possibly crying for me and I was not there to feed or comfort him. I woke up every hour to pump milk so I would not lose breast milk as I was determined to breastfeed. I looked at his photo crying while pumping wondering how he was.
Crying? Sleeping? Hungry? Awake? Was there someone there looking after him? My fist born child. My son!
When the day came that I got him home in my arms I just could not let him down. I had to do the best I could to make up for this separation somehow.
We lived like a kangaroo for months, he was always in my arms or skin to skin in bed or in a baby sling wrap. I had a hard time letting other people hold him, just wanted him in my or his father’s arms. Any sound or cry he made during the first year I would jump and be at his service which taught him a bad habit – to cry when he needed something. He had become the baby that cried just too much. I could see it in my family and friend’s faces and I knew this was my fault not his, but I just could not help it. Somehow I felt like I was making up for the separation. In our daily busy life I never dealt with his crying habit, I just let it slide as I thought this was just the way it was and that his character was emotional and smart so he knew how to play me. It seemed like there was too much going on and too many interruptions to focus soley on this topic. In the meantime a baby brother had been born.
While in the Spanish countryside, the 4 of us got to break down the pieces of how to deal with this lack of communication. Plus he is dealing with 3 languages at home so this was his way of dealing and had developed crying as his own kind of language because it seemed to be working for him.
We told him over and over again, in situations where I usually would’ve given in, that we understood why he was crying and it was ok. Then I’d ask him if he thought this was a situation where he felt like he needed to cry? I told him it is easier to just talk with me and ask me using words and both me and him would be happier this way. He would not need to cry so often but the interesting part is I had also practiced this in Milano. Somehow in just 3 weeks time with the whole family slowing down. Sleeping together on mattresses cuddled up, my son slowly got his emotions under control as we finally gave him the understanding he needed. I had so much more patience for him and actually both of them. I also saw looking back how many mistakes I had made living a stressful city life. Busy! Even if I was not really working full time yet I had less patience for my children that I love more than life. I realize looking back that I did not give him the kind of attention he really craved. It is a fine art to understand the desire of a child from time to time.
So my point and my mission is to keep remembering to look at my sons from slow and peaceful points of view. I think this is often forgotten. Parents are always on a hurry or busy. Smart phones are taking away too much time from our children and I am guilty of this. I am so much more aware of this now and I try to keep it to when it’s absolutely necessary.
Summer times are most often so beautiful, especially for children. They get to finally run wild and play from morning to night. It is a precious time and will not come back. I will do my best to always understand what it is that my children need. We fail and we accomplish. School of life is good, in fact probably the best. Living in the moment of our children and our partners. Seeing life from their points of view. They are often so different from our own.
I am so happy to be back.