I want to believe that everything is fine and that I can attend to every want and need as it comes when it involves my children, but let’s face it, I can’t even handle my own needs half of the time. How am I to handle the needs of my children?
All Summer my Halona has been talking about being a big girl, going to a big girl school, being in kindergarten, how she was no longer in baby school. How happy and joyful she sounded; there was no way I could predict that the start of the school year was going to be hell. For me, that’s just what it was, hell. I wasn’t thinking about how nervous she must be feeling walking into an enormous school, to a bunch of kids she has never seen before, to a stranger that she was to now be spending most of her days with. Nope, I was just thinking of myself, and how every morning she was driving me crazy. With the crying, the meltdowns and the wanting extra hugs, wanting to sleep every night in my bed. I was in such a rush to make it to work on time and do what needed to be done around the house, that I never stopped to think of how scary this new life was going to be for her. Not all days were bad. There were days where she couldn’t wait to jump out of the car to see her new friends or tell her teacher about our exciting weekends or passing a swim level. Not all days consisted of her telling me her tummy hurt, that her chest was bothering her or that she was sick.
Over the next several weeks, since the beginning of kindergarten Halona’s teachers’ would be emailing me on a regular basis telling me of her meltdowns, or her needing to be picked up or that she needed to stay home and rest because she was sick. I had even made a trip to the hospital because of how much she was complaining of being sick. I was like surely something serious must be happening to my baby. What I know now that I didn’t know then was that Halona’s body was not only telling her something, but it was also trying to tell me, and I just wasn’t listening. Halona was having anxiety.
I didn’t know how to handle it. These meltdowns were becoming an every day thing. I was becoming angry, frustrated, losing my temper and of course, with all that comes guilt. Guilt for being that angry mom, guilt for yelling at Halona to just get her shoes on so we can get into the car and on with our day. How can I possibly be that mad at Halona for just expressing what she wanted to say but wasn’t sure how? How can I expect a 5 year old to be able to regulate her emotions and be on top of them every single day, when I have not yet given her the tools to deal with such a huge important emotion?
Believe it or not, it wasn’t until I was thinking about blogging that it occurred to me that she was having anxiety. I wanted to start blogging about parenting, about everyday struggles that mothers go through. I wanted to blog it all, the ups, the downs, the good the bad. Especially the bad. I wanted mothers to know they are not alone. We all go through this. it was the urge to blog that brought me back to when Halona just started kindergarten and only then, did I begin to process the first couple weeks of her experience with school.
We are almost 6 months into the school year and things have gotten a little easier. she still has meltdowns here and there, but she seems to have the routine down pack. She can use her words and communicate rather than throw herself on the ground. I can’t help but sit back and wonder how her experience would have been in the beginning if I just took the moment to get down on her level and give her that cuddle that she so desperately wanted and just tell her everything will be ok. I am here for her. How would things have been if I had just given her that warm hug on those cold days?