Perhaps not if your kidlets are still young, but I think it has changed me. For the better mostly…
See I learn life lessons when things are brought to my attention, when I am made conscious of them. Otherwise I just carry on regardless. And like most bloggers- I see a potential blog post in just about everything that happens around me!
Wait, hang on a second. Lemme lay it out for you so you can see where I’m coming from.
I was 17 when the knucklehead was born. I lived with my parents until Damien was four and a half, and my parents were- and still are- immensely helpful and supportive, without interfering. I am so SO blessed and lucky to have them as my parents! My mommy darling would ask if I needed help before taking Damien when I battled with him as a baby, my daddy darling would give Damien a talking to or something ONLY if I was desperate for someone to step in, or if I wasn’t around. I never once felt like I wasn’t Damien’s mother, and they never made me feel as if they thought I was incapable! But when it came to mothering, to actual parenting- I had a tendency to shout. I shouted and screamed instead of just talking. I have a vague idea of what I must have sounded like because I have heard myself in other moms… my parents mentioned it often, and for some reason I ignored them. Then the one evening after work Damien and I were having a screaming match and slamming doors and swearing, and my then neighbour lady (a divorcee with weekend access to her kids who drove me nuts, and with whom I shared a mutual dislike) knocked on my door and asked us please to keep quiet! I was mortified! I still shout occasionally, but I keep in mind what I must sound like and I try not to.
And when Damien was much younger, I developed a tendency to push him away when he tried to give me a hug or ask for a snuggle or something. It was always a “not now” thing. I knew I was doing it and I cannot tell you why I did it, and “people” obviously saw me doing it too… and one day my daddy darling brought it to my attention. He told me it made him heartsore to see me push the knucklehead away. He warned me- gently- that if I continued to push him away, he would stop asking for affection. That scared me more than a little, and when I couldn’t tell my dad why I was doing it- I stopped it.
I also told Damien to stop doing something, or said “no” to his asking for something, when I had absolutely no reason to do so. It took me a long time, but it occurred to me that it was something I had picked up from my dad when I was growing up. I literally said “no” or “stop it” to anything and everything, no matter how simple, and I often realised once I’d done it that there was no reason not to say “yes, okay”. I couldn’t tell you why, though I have an inkling it may have simply been a “power” thing… that I was in control! I managed to get myself out of it slowly by thinking before I answered him- or told him to stop doing something- by starting to logically think about Damien’s requests and my answer… if there was no real reason why he couldn’t do something, then I would make myself say “yes”, even when “no” was already on the tip of my tongue.
So what am I getting at?
Well, blogging about my life with Damien has made me stop and think about the way I handle things with him, because I want to come back here and tell the blogosphere what I did.
See, once I accepted he’d been diagnosed as an ADHDer and started trying to work a way through it I already started making changes to the way I parent him- but blogging about it has made more changes than I ever anticipated.
Wait, no- scratch that- I never anticipated any of the changes that blogging has made in my life.
Blogging about parenting the knucklehead has made me more aware of how I speak to him and about him. At one stage, I realised that all anyone ever heard from me about Damien was negative. So now I no longer talk about him much at all to others, except close friends and family, and people who know him for who he is. Even here- you guys don’t get to hear about every single argument or back chat. Some days it doesn’t seem to end!