I see you, my child, the one I live for each and every day. I see you there, seeing me and yet I get the funny sensation that you aren’t listening. There is a stage of parenthood that I am going though, perhaps we all do and each of us at a different time wonders, is anyone listening to me? There are days when I would swear that momentary deafness has fallen over my family. In those moments I sometimes make a phone call, talk to a neighbor or say a few words out loud, just to make sure I am indeed making sound. Perhaps I can even go as far as to ask the question; if a mother speaks when no-one is listening does she really make a sound?
The thing to remember; that I must remember is that being heard and being listened to are very different things. My daughter doesn’t know that when she is listening to me asking her to “brush her teeth, wash her face and get into bed with books” that I need her to hear “I have had a long day, I am exhausted, my feet hurt, I have to put laundry away, make the bed (because of the bloody nose that woke us up at 5am this morning), do dishes, catch up on work and maybe even get an hour in there for myself before bedtime”. No, all she hears is “brush teeth, wash your face and get into bed with books” to which she might think, “na, I don’t want to do that right now”.
Every mother, father, child, sister, brother; we are all human. We all have breaking points that put us over some invisible edge of which we cannot see (until we are looking at it from the bottom). As a mother, when I am not being listened to I often feel extinguished, because of this: I challenge each and every parent reading this to allow a moment of being done, of seeing your child as a budding human that is looking for that limit of which s/he does not want to hit again but certainly wants to prove is real. Allow yourself to speak the words you want to be listened to and not just heard and give your children the benefit of the doubt that they will understand, cherish and admire you for being human.
I am a mother, not a wizard. I share what is hard, what is scary and what is real. The rest I leave to you.