Friday, March 13, 2009

Give me a break! *Theme post* lol!

"Give me a break" is a phrase that is used a lot in the UK. Not as much as it was, having been replaced with the ubiquitous "F@£$ off and die!" (joking!) but still used a fair piece.

Often, I get told that having the AC away at his fathers on a Friday night, all day Saturday, home at 6.30, must be lovely, because "it must be nice to be given that break."

Actually ............... no!

I can't stand it! It's taken the best part of 2 years for me to tolerate it as much as I do. It's not the loss of control over my child, which has been suggested, nor yet the fact that he goes to his fathers, which has also been suggested, and which has some part to play if I'm honest - we parent in such different ways, and I am expected to give in to him on all things, whilst he goes his own way being a brave single Daddy. In all honesty, he was a good father to the AC when he wanted to be, and the rest of the time he ignored him or passed him on to me. It took the AC almost 2 years to get hold of the idea that he could interrupt R if he was on the computer and that the thing he needed would happen, as opposed to being palmed off onto mummy or whatever. R keeps telling him, "It's only a game - you are far more important than any game or computer." and now he understands that.

But I digress. (I do that, you know!)

I could not imagine, even when he was smaller, wanting a break from the gorgeous little creature in my arms. I just couldn't. When he was ill, and doing the screaming every 40 minutes day and night part of his life, I still didn't want a break from him. We lived at Benson at the time, and Alex often offered to take him for a little while, but if he suddenly gripped, he needed his mummy (or specific parts of her anatomy as the suckling helped the pain!) Those were the longest, darkest days of my parenting, because I didn't know what was wrong, then I did have a thought but the doctors wouldn't listen, and as it happened I was right! (Low tolerance of dairy, for anyone who doesn't know!)

There are days when I want a break from the pain in my hips, and thankfully I'm getting it. I think the flare is almost over, and so life will go back to normal for a couple of years I hope! I know the warm weather is helping and the exercise and weight loss are helping, and the positivity and prayers from others is helping as well. I can and do sometimes need a break from that as it stops me doing things - or tries to!

I look forward to being given a break from work with the holidays that we have. As a teacher, I'm lucky enough to be able to fully access the school holidays, and spend lots of time with the AC during them. This Easter will be almost totally AC and I, which is cool, but we both wish R could have some holiday time with us. The AC has already made plans for what is happening, and, whilst he had to amend them slightly so that they had less R in them, we are going to Grandma's on the bus, we are going swimming, we are going to picnic in the park, we are going to play at Ellens house (not sure Ellen's mummy knows this yet lol!) and obviously he will spend several days at his fathers, although not all in one lump.

Other parents are very anti-holidays, saying they are expensive, children get bored etc. Maybe it's the working mother in me that relishes the time with her child. Maybe that's it.

For the first time yesterday I met someone in the workplace who parents the same way as I do. Who, like us, takes the children's views and opinions into consideration when doing things, and like us, gives them a voice in what is going on in their lives. Like me, sometimes it's a "no" lol, because actually, this kind of parenting isn't about giving a child everything they want, but everything they need - and children need firm, consistent, lovingly set boundaries more than anything! They need them applied by parents who are gentle voiced, but firm. I found a post on an old blog yesterday that said I was struggling to speak to the AC in "love and gentle firmness, but so far, so good!" LOL!

To find out K's views on things was such a refreshing change from those who put over that the children are a burden, that they are a drain on resources (as that irritating advert puts it) and that they permanently do annoying and naughty things. Give the child a break from shouting and moaning and complaining at and about them, and you'll be amazed how they improve! Put them first, where they should be, and give them the feeling of being valued, and they will respond to you!

The way K and I parent, I think, is summed up in this.

If A Child Lives With. . .

by Dorothy Law Nolte

If a child lives with criticism. . . . . . . .he learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility. . . . . . . . he learns to fight.

If a child lives with fear. . . . . . . .he learns to be apprehensive.

If a child lives with jealousy. . . . . . . .he learns to feel guilt.

If a child lives with tolerance. . . . . . . .he learns to be patient.

If a child lives with encouragement . . . . . . . .he learns to be confident.

If a child lives with praise. . . . . . . .he learns to be appreciative.

If a child lives with acceptance. . . . . . . .he learns to love.

If a child lives with approval. . . . . . . .he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with recognition . . . . . . . .he learns that it is good to have a goal.

If a child lives with honesty. . . . . . . .he learns what truth is.

If a child lives with fairness. . . . . . . .he learns justice.

If a child lives with security. . . . . . . .he learns to trust in himself and others .

If a child lives with friendliness. . . . . . . .he learns the world is a nice place in which to live.

The AC gets all those things, even when they are an effort, I choose to give them to him, and through my job I choose to give them to my class whilst we are at school, but because I choose to give those to him, and have done since he was born, I don't have to be given a break from the Adorable Child.

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