Moving to St. Kitts, for me, has meant giving up a lot of things I’ve been very used to. I’ve never been a huge fan of long-term change. But also feel like I have an adventurous side too. So, even though it was a hard thing for me to give up my job (where I felt like I was an important part of the team), time with my family, and my friends, I felt like this move was a one time chance to experience life in a whole new way.
One way my life has changed is the fact that it’s made me realize that my husband and I are solely responsible for our daughter’s upbringing. I know, right? Who’d have thought that parents should actually raise their own children?? Just kidding. Although, I will admit that I relied on our families a little too much at times and used work and exhaustion as an excuse to give in when I probably shouldn’t have.
It’s hard to feel like you’re always the one saying “No” to this little being that you’ve brought into the world and who looks to you for not only guidance but also reassurance. But, when there isn’t anyone else around to do it, it’s all up to you. So I had to suck it up and learn to be a mom because it’s now my job to be important in her life instead of anyone else’s.
It’s been a struggle at times and I still have to remind myself daily that if I’m saying “No” that it’s because I feel like that’s the best thing for her in the long run. Needless to say, I’m learning just how strong willed and sassy my girl can be at times and it’s no fun at all. But, we keep plugging along and there are days that I actually feel like she’s starting to understand. Then there are days that I feel like all we do is argue with each other and that I’m the worst mother in the world. It can be pretty exhausting.
I know all this sounds negative but it really isn’t meant to be. It’s more about me learning to cope with the changes in my life and learning that I don’t need reassurances from others in order to feel good about the person I am. I just need to be confident that I’m making the right choices for my daughter.
I am so proud of my little blue-eyed girl in so many ways. She is funny, intelligent and sweet (when she wants to be). She’s talented in ways that I would love to be. At the age of three she’s singing songs in Spanish and starting to learn some French. I’m amazed at how quickly she’s picking up on the different languages. She even watches cartoons in Spanish and I have to wonder just how much she understands.
Even though I have to be the disciplinarian I want her to have good memories of her time with me when she grows up so occasionally I’ll let her do something that I normally wouldn’t do (as long as there haven’t been any tantrums leading up to it – don’t want to start giving into those). For instance, after being sick for the last week and not eating much because of it, she looked at me with her sparkly blue eyes this morning and asked very nicely if she could please have an ice cream sandwich. She’d had a few bites of dry cereal and had taken her medicine without a fight so I told her “sure” and unwrapped it for her and we went about our morning getting ready for summer camp…
So, even though she’s almost four, I still feel like I’m new to this parenting thing because she’s been a relatively easy child until recently. However, after getting dressed and starting to head out the door, an unholy meltdown began which lasted all the way to camp. Here we were driving down the road with a thrashing child in the back seat screaming that she wanted to go home (or that she was thirsty, or that she wanted me to sit in the back with her, or just whatever entered her mind at the time). Remember in my previous post I talked about crazy things I’d seen on the road? I’ll bet there were people talking about us today!!
Thirty minutes later with all the tears dried up, Kylie happily gave me a hug and said goodbye with my promise to pick her up later. No mention of the “episode” from either of us. I do wonder what she’ll remember about today though. Will she remember that I’m the cool mom that let her have ice cream for breakfast or that I was so mean that I wouldn’t sit in the back seat with her? I know on my part there was a HUGE lesson learned: No more ice cream sandwiches for breakfast! 😉