Lael’s been having a hard time lately.
The newness of having a baby brother has officially worn off. While she does love him and love playing with him, the jealousy bug has set in.
She’s been acting up lately and I’ve been coming down on her hard. I don’t even recognize the child she has been lately. Talking back, deliberately ignoring me, doing the opposite of what I tell her to, rolling her eyes, huffy breathing. I’m used to her showing out here and there but it’s been a little out of control.
My first thoughts are always, “it’s a phase”, but I thought a little harder about it this time. I had to figure out what was really bothering her.
Then the other night, I snapped. I had had enough. She pushed me to my limit and I spanked her. I haven’t spanked her in a very long time. I had given up on spanking. Swore it off forever.
I was wrong. While her actions were completely out of control, how were mine any better?
Later that evening we snuggled in bed and we talked. She cried about how everything is about Kobi. She explained how she was upset that she was the small cute one anymore. That she always has to be quiet because he’s sleeping. We can’t do certain things because Kobi is too small. Kobi, Kobi, Kobi.
She broke down in tears and my heart hurt. This is the exact opposite of what I wanted to happen. I wanted her to feel the love of having a sibling at home full time. I wanted her to learn the responsibility of helping out.
I once again question my decision. Have I ruined her. She told me that she doesn’t want Kobi to get in the middle of our love and friendship. What do you say to that? I was speechless.
I need to do better. I am filled with so much guilt. If she only knew how much I love her. How nothing could ever take away the joy she has given me. How I am a better mother to Kobi because of what she has taught me.
She’s too young to understand now but I hope one day she will.
In the meantime, I hope she’s forgiving of me.
Moms are flawed too.
#tbt: friendship in the ethiopian countryside
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