I hear you....

I have a four and a half-year old who "doesn't love me". No wait..., no, now he wants me....no, needs me....

...no... yeah, he's pretty sure he doesn't love me anymore....

....and now he needs a hug.

The above is a fraction of a 'conversation' that is happening on a daily basis at our house right now. Interspersed within this 'conversation' are the ear-piercing screams and stomping of feet and crying and a myriad of other rather unpleasant behaviours. The boy's, not mine (I swear)!

And I know it shouldn't, that I should not let this get to me, that it is a 'phase', but I can't help it...

....it is breaking me down.

Today after the third incident of screaming and 'I don't love you'/'I need a hug' and I want to do everything MY way or else, etc.... I had to walk away and go and have a good cry myself.

And I just don't know what to do. I wonder every day where my sweet boy went and who this defiant, mood-swinging maniac is??

We try to talk to him, but when he gets worked up it is completely useless trying to communicate with him. He can't even hear himself, let alone what we are trying to say to him.

Our usual reward system is not working (he earns points for good and loses points for bad behaviours, and once his points have accumulated to a certain level he gets the reward of his choice). He has lost ALL his points this weekend!

We talk to him after the fact and once everyone has calmed down and he seems to understand what went wrong and that his behaviour is unacceptable. We offer him alternative ways to express himself at the times when he is getting worked up and angry and he says he will try harder.

This past week I had my Reiki practitioner come over and do a session with him before I had mine (I am seriously willing to try anything at this point).

C was very excited for the session and was so calm while Kim worked her energy flowing and balancing magic on him. One of the main things that came up during his session was that Little C seems to be having feelings of 'not being heard' lately and mainly by me.

And as much as it pains me to admit it (on a lot of levels), the kid is not wrong...

I have been extra busy with a lot of other things lately. Work, volunteer work, more volunteer work, and then more work have been dominating my mind and my days for the past few weeks. There has been no time for proper scheduling of work hours versus play hours because it all just has to get done and as a result our play hours have suffered.

And so, it seems, have my children.

I fully admit that the TV has been on too much, I have asked them to go play by themselves too much and my mind is always on a billion things at once and my phone or laptop never leaves my side. Little C has said to me on more than one occasion..."Mom, turn off your computer and come and play with us." and he has even modified it to, 'Mom, come play in my room...you can even bring your computer with you." And I have said, "just one more email, or "just one more phone call", more times than I want to admit.

(heart breaks and sinks to stomach. BIG sigh.) 

So what is a Mama to do?

Something has to give. And soon. Because it can NOT be my kids anymore. We are all suffering because of this now and I don't want to continue like this.

I think I also need to re-read a few of my go-to books again:

Playful Parenting to get my head and myself back into the games (and off the computer all the time)!!

and Discipline without Distress to help us all find better solutions and ways to deal with attitude, anger and frustrations.

In the end, no amount of work, or anything else for that matter is ever going to be as important to me as my child. And perhaps {publicly} admitting that I am not doing such a great job at this Mommy gig at the moment is what I need to get me back on track.

Well that and I visual reminder too...

...one of the very cute reasons why I get up in the morning...