During the National Day long weekend, followed by Hari Raya, I had the opportunity to spend ALOT of time with my little boy.
As many may know, my little bub is full of joy and smiles. He is adventurous, he is also lovely. However, no one is 'perfect' right? We know he cant sleep through the night even though he is 20months now.
It has been a long struggle for my big boy a.k.a my hubby and I every single night to go through the same episodes of his frequent wakings and worst; a long gap of 3hours of his wide-opened eyes.
The lack of sleep plus seeing how tired the big guy is everyday gives me much pressure and stress to want to see my boy sleep through the night.
Though it does not happen frequently, but there were some significant moments in the middle of the night when I screamed very extremely loudly at my boy, banging the doors, the bed, kicking and throwing anything which comes my way.
The fury is real. It feels like real fire which burns in my belly. The fire which can spew flames out of my eyeballs. The disappointment is great and deep.
The disappointment derived from the fact that I did try to be a responsible parent by filling his day with decent amount of indoor and outdoor activities despite the fact that big guy and I are so tired and exhausted. And all these efforts in hope of a good night sleep for my baby boy and hence; we can also enjoy a good rest.
The sense of helplessness. This grabs me by my gut many times. No one to turn to and no one who offers practical help. I feel so bitter. But yet, really wanting to solve this problem.
All these mixed horrible negative emotions all poured out from my mouth unto my son. - Right in the middle of the darkness in the night.
It is true. There were some nights which were like these...
Fast forward back to spending the long National Day weekend. I observed and noticed that he was easily frightened. Sometimes when I exclaimed in excitement? That will make him stop whatever he is doing, quickened his feet and come running towards me. Or the fact that when we were playing in his room, whenever I stood up abruptly even if it just to grab something from on top of the wardrobe, it will give him an immediate trigger that I am leaving him. Because for many nights, we left him at the highest point of our anger and frustration, alone in the night, crying.
I was wrong. I saw how my loud screaming caused fear to him. I saw how my many walking away in anger, and worst to leave him in darkness caused him to have insecurity.
I was wrong to have been so overwhelmed in my emotions and yet have the inability to control my tongue.
I was wrong. To think that walking away could resolve the situation somewhat; when my every walking away was my own helplessness. I, as well, don't know what best I could do.
I sat by my window bay observing the evening skies today, and reflected. I recalled just last night seeing my poor baby in order to earn his credit in exchange of me; - to stay and sleep in his room, or at the least lay by his side, - He would lay down quietly, and stop moving about and look at me because he did not want me to leave him alone.
As an individual, it is somewhat alright to know that we are not perfect. Yet when after you become a parent, and these imperfections magnify themselves onto someone so small, young and innocent and pure; breaks my heart. For the nights of screaming at him, I had to deal with my aftermath of guilt and shame. Yet I still couldnt think of a way to resolve this sleeping problem for him and the lack of a good quality of life.
When I was just an individual, perhaps changing myself was not such an urgent matter. But now, parenting and mothering not only challenges me everyday, but it also forces an urgency to make a better me.
While my big guy and I are counting down less than 60 days to welcome our 2nd baby prince, I am determine to change for the better. Because at the same time while counting down, I know every day I am also counting down to the days when my little bub; my first baby becomes more and more grown and subconsciously build a life of fear or hate for my behaviour because of what happened to him when he was young.
While going through this, I encourage all you of you parents. It is not enough to know that we are imperfect. We do not live in that age where parenting is insisting you are always right. Parenthood is a sacred job. And who we are as parents impacts our children so much so that we should never just stay the same. Keep making a better you. - This is the true essence of the journey of parenthood.