My son and I were talking tonight before bed. One discussion led to another in which my son let something off his chest that he had been holding inside himself for a long time. He told me that a family member told him I don’t love him as much as I love his sister. Repeatedly. After taking a moment to mentally digest what he just told me, I asked him if he thought this was true. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and replied no. He knows how much I love them both, equally and in their own ways. He just didn’t know how to tell me that it had been said or what he should have said to the person who originally said it.
My heart breaks right now for my son who has been keeping this to himself, who never should have been told something like this in the first place. I may have a lot of flaws, but I love my children with every breath I breathe. I want so much for them both. I may not have been ready to have a child when I did…newly married, recovering from an accident, and still in college. However, who is really ready for kids when it comes down to it? Even if you think you are ready, you are really not.
My little guy and I have been through a lot together. When I was pregnant with him, his grandparents divorced. The effects from that continued while he was a baby. It was hard and awkward on me and his daddy. In his first year, his daddy worked hard to get into the airforce, only to be sent home over scarring to the back of his eye. When my husband was gone for that, it was just me and my son for two months. We went through behavior issues that had me at my wit’s end and made me want to lock myself in the bathroom to cry because I was all by myself while my husband was in the oilfield. We struggled together with homeschooling when public school wasn’t the right fit. I held him close when he was being bullied by neighborhood children. When I lost my pregnancy last December, he was the one I worried about the most because I knew he would take it the hardest, and I held him against my chest and rocked him while my heart broke even more for the little boy who wanted another sibling so bad.
I don’t post as many pictures of him as I do of his sister. He doesn’t like having his picture taken. I respect that. I may not be the best mommy in the world, and goodness knows there are tons of things I wish I would have done differently, but I love them both the same. He isn’t very cuddly. His sister is, and sometimes I just need a good cuddle now and then when I miss my husband, when someone hurts me, when I have had a bad day, or when I just need a good cuddle. However, he and I have our own things together. We like to talk…about life, the future, television shows, and our favorite books. He is a brilliant kid, and I have no doubt he will go far in life. Do I get frustrated with him? You betcha! Do I get frustrated with his sister? Definitely. They are both so different, and what works for one, doesn’t always work for the other. I have had a lot to deal with in regards to being an oilfield wife, and I sometimes feel very alone. I have been hurt by a lot of people. I have trust issues, and I don’t always know who I can ask for advice or to just give me a break now and then. I am slowly learning, but it has taken time.
No one should ever tell a child that he isn’t loved or that his sibling is loved more. It’s so damaging for self-esteem, and it’s just not true. I am thankful that I must be doing something right if my son knows it’s a lie and thinks I hang the moon for him, his words not mine.
Has anyone ever said something to you or your children about your parenting that you found inappropriate? If so, please feel free to share in the comments below.