Loving my kids is something that I have always found easy to do. Liking them …. sometimes, not always so easy!
When my boys were little, although my heart was often breaking for them, I felt like I could usually fix things for them when they were in need.
Not in a Christopher Pyne kind of way ….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hc9NRwp6fiI
Hungry? Easy – bread was my go to filler. Although frozen poppas and frozen tubs of yoghurt took a lot longer to eat!! Injured? Usually a hug, a kiss and sometimes a band-aid did the trick. Tired? A cuddle on the bed with a book was often enough. Lonely? I would sit on the floor for a play. Sickness? I was the one they wanted and I could comfort and reassure them and get them the medical help they needed. Of course with 3 boys, fights were a big deal. They weren’t so hard either because I had one that was quite happy to go to his room and be alone – so the reverse was required of him. He had to spend time out in the kitchen or wherever, with me! And I had one that always wanted to be where the action was – so, of course, he was sent to his room for a while! The littlest one was usually left to continue playing! Being 6 years younger had to have some perks!
As the years moved on, the needs were pretty much the same, with the addition of a few new ones. Transport, school requirements, money, sporting disappointments, broken hearts were added. But I still felt like I could help!
Now my boys are men! I still feel like I can help when there is a need. If they find themselves in the middle of a problem and they share it with me, I immediately want them close to me. I want to give them that supportive hug. That listening ear. That nourishing hot meal. That few extra dollars. Those familiar things that I did when they were young. I want to do the thing that will take the pain away from them and build them up with love and comfort.
So the question that I am posing to myself is …… Why don’t I do this to myself when I am in need?
The things that I do for my sons, are exactly what I need when I am feeling down. I need to do the thing that will take the pain away from me and build myself up with love and comfort. I need to be kind to myself. I need to eat nourishing food. I need rest. I need to listen to myself. I need to give myself a hug. But I find myself, thinking negative thoughts and eating crap (or not eating at all) and not sleeping and berating my attempts to move forward and isolating myself from everyone!
Recognising my needs and listening to them is the only way to love myself. That doesn’t mean that the needs of others are to be pushed aside. Never! But if I know how to and can recognise when to, take care of myself, I am much better equipped to serve the needs of others.