If i could give my kids just 3 things, it would be the confidence to always know their self worth, the strength to chase their dreams, and the ability to know how truly and deeply loved they are.
I can recall a lot of situations where I have been looked on “negatively” by others, purely because I am a parent and I have mental health problems. I’m not one to let things get to me very easily and will always prefer to walk away than engage with such ignorant people. But there was one occasion when something happened, that it truly broke my heart. Not because of a word or phrase used against me, but because it had an impact on my daughter who had only just turned 2 years old.
Rushing about on a Sunday afternoon to take my kids back home to their mum was never an easy task. My daughter grew wise to these times and knew herself it was time to go and would of course turn the situation into a game. As much fun as it was, it was also at times very stressful. One thing I always did was to get my son ready first, that way he could chill in his pram with his bottle while I got his sister ready. Now, the thing my daughter would always do when her brother was placed in his pram, was to look at me with the biggest grin possible and then disappear before I even had a chance to reach for her.
These games where all great and fun, until it came to a point it was time to leave for the bus and we where nowhere near ready. Either that or my daughter would run into the door as she turned around, or trip over one of the many toys still laying around. My daughter still needed to take naps early in the afternoon just so she could get through the day with as little grumpiness as possible. Except with it being a Sunday, she would rarely settle down to have a nap because she was already excited to go and see her mum. So, I am sure you can imagine the ensuing eruption and chaos from a sleep deprived 2-year-old girl when she either ran into the door or tripped on one of the many toys she refused to tidy up earlier.
The thing is, my daughter has no off switch when she throws a tantrum when sleep deprived. Cuddles and distractions just do not work, but there is one way that will eventually always calm her down, and that is to pick her up. Now, when we are pretty much rushing for the bus, I was usually left with very little choice but to pick her up, but the downside to this is that you cannot under any circumstances put her back down! If you do, well, let’s just say the word “tantrum” does not cover the new wave of chaos that hits like a bloody tsunami.
Sorry guys, I was getting quite carried away there and going off subject. I guess even the stressful times become times you miss to when everything has changed.
Its now 17:18 and the bus is due to arrive in 3 minutes. As we are now getting close to missing the bus, and the fact my daughter has gone into meltdown mode, I quickly grab the pram and head off to the bus stop. These kinds of situations are never easy, purely because I am carrying my daughter in one arm and pushing the pram with the other, while its fully loaded with all their stuff. But luckily for me, the bus stop is only a minutes’ walk away.
The bus literally just arrived as we got there and there were also a few people already at the stop. My daughter as always though stuck her hand out to signal to the driver to stop, even though it was already stopped, and as always, I held her a little tighter and said, “thank you for stopping the bus.”
Getting on the bus was simple and straightforward, luckily there was only one other pram on the bus so this time we didn’t get turned away by the driver as is often the case. Placing the pram next to the other, I sat down and placed my daughter on my knee. I noticed my son was fast asleep as I heard his dummy fall to the lower part of the pram, which meant a far easier journey taking them both home, or so I thought.
Sat across from us there was a woman with another child. Although a little older than my daughter, I recall them looking at each other, and then every now and again giving a little wave. My daughter had the biggest smile I had seen for most of the day, and to be honest, the other little girl was beaming just as bright as she was. They also had a little game of peekaboo and made each other laugh. It was such an amazing feeling seeing this, as my daughter was usually somewhat quite shy with other children that she didn’t know. These little games would soon erupt into little giggles of laughter between them both, and I recall the stress from earlier just leave me and be replaced with happiness and feeling content.
As we approached the bus station in town around 20 minutes later, I received a call. I purposely hung up but received another call straight away from the same person, so this time I answered it. It was a call about some life insurance that I had asked for a quote from and I just needed to confirm a few details. After briefly confirming that I had bpd, the women sat opposite us suddenly changed her whole attitude and body language to my daughter and hers playing together. She grabbed her daughters’ arm and quickly walked to the back of the bus, speaking really fast but under her breath so I couldn’t properly make out what she was saying. My daughter looked a little shocked and scared, so I hung up the phone and gave her a squeeze while trying to reassure her that its all okay.
I knew exactly what had just happened and I was shocked. Shocked at how she could just do that when both kids where having so much fun. But I was also deeply upset because of how it effected my daughter. I knew she didn’t understand what had just happened, but I couldn’t help feeling like she blamed herself for it. Like she thought she had done something wrong but had no idea what.
The rest of the journey was relatively quiet, and although my daughter and the other child kept exchanging looks, they both looked rather sad at what had just happened.
When we where roughly 5 minutes away from our stop, my daughter had decided it was now that she was going to fall asleep. No matter how much I tried to keep her awake, it was too late, she was zonked. I knew she was tired, but I now had the daunting task of trying to carry her home whist pushing the pram. And although it was only a 10-minute walk, it may as well of been the other side of the world with how tired I felt myself.
After dropping my kids off at home, I am already thinking about the next time I am going to see them. That countdown started as soon as I left them.
My time with my kids is so precious to me yet goes by so fast when I have them. At the times I am away from my kids, time almost seems to stand still, one minute can feel like an hour has passed but when I’m with my kids it’s the complete opposite.
Thanks for reading guys.
As always, take care and stay safe.