Tuesday, March 30, 2010

When Littles fight

There have been a number of times in my life that I have found motherhood to be a difficult role to be in.  Times like the present.  Not-so-Little 1 & 2 are currently not getting along very nicely and I am feeling a sadness in my heart.  I can handle it when the littlest Littles bicker and argue.  It is short-lived and I consider it normal.  My two oldest are not just bickering, they do not want anything to do with each other.  I am torn, because I can see both of their sides and see that they are both being unreasonable.  They are both expecting the other to be someone that the other can not be right now. 

I'm not saying that they don't have a right to be angry at each other.  What I'm saying is that I don't know how to deal with the wall that they are putting up.  As a mother, I want all of my Littles to love each other and be kind to each other.  I know that fighting happens.  Siblings don't get along ALL of the time.  This rift between the 2 oldest isn't just a typical fight and I find myself desperately wanting to fix their relationship.  I can not do this.  They have to fix this together and at this point in time neither of them is going to take on that responsibility.  I am frustrated with both of them.  I also love both of them deeply and want them to be happy.  I want them to feel loved and accepted for who they are.  They may not be willing to extend that love and acceptance to one another, but I am able to give it to them.  I am able to love them both without picking sides and adding to the drama.

I don't know if they can or will ever get past this anger.  I know they can't do it today and so that leaves a bit of a hole in my heart.  I won't give up hope that someday they will laugh together and love each other unconditionally.

My journey through motherhood has been one of many ups and downs.  I readily admit that in the past there were probably more downs than ups.  During those downs I did not like nor did I want to be a mom.  My two oldest spent their early years with a depressed, emotionally distant and angry mother.  I softened as they grew older, and since I have set my Spirit free I am able to Love fully and openly.  With a free Spirit I am able to love being a mom during these times of conflict.  Yes, there is some pain, but ultimately I know that all I can do is be an example of Love & Compassion.  I will be a Warrior of Love for all of my Littles.  Yes, I will get frustrated when they are acting unreasonable, but I will still let Light shine.  I will still Love them for being exactly who they are at any given moment.  I will not be drawn in to any battle, but I will also not push them away.

Just my thoughts


Milk Mama said...

Having experienced being in a similar situation to your littles, let me say that you really are doing the best for them by letting them vent (however hard that is) to you but also let them know that you will not pick sides and still love them equally!

It took my little brother a long time (30years) to become friends and just recently have I been able to say that I love him unconditionally! We were too much alike and I know there was alot of jealousy on both of our sides.

I know it was hard for my mom to listen to us but she did. She didn't say much, just let us get the current frustration off our chests. Hugs to You, Jill!!


shiny mamaof6 said...

Thank you, Laura, for sharing the experience you have in this. It scares me to think that it may take 30 years for this battle to end, but I know that I have enough Love in my heart to endure. I'm glad that you and your brother have begun to heal this relationship.

Anonymous said...

As I read I think oh wow--I surely identify on so many levels. My heart hurts when my children do not love and respect each other as I love and respect them.
But, reading your words I cannot help but think that surely there is a life force bigger than you, bigger than I, ruling over our little family. And aren't we as moms a mirror of that light force to our children. You said it well--you love them unconditonally, do not pick sides, know that time will heal and all will be well between them. Much like whatever life force you believe in does with us when we squabble. You may be disappointed, but you still work miracles, still embrace your own life, still celebrate joy and beauty.
If you want them to love and accept each other unconditionally, you have to love and accept them unconditionally--just as you wrote that you do. But perhaps even harder, you have to love and accept *yourself* unconditionally; love heals all, and on the verge of Spring, new blossoms, fresh air....let love heal.
Lots of good energy:)

mermaid said...

Ooops. I posted the comment on the wrong post.

You are so courageous. I think I will call you Warrior Mother!

Would it help to have the whole family write down one thing that they are grateful for in each of their siblings, both parents, and each child?

I had a hard time letting go of many grievances against my brother, but as we went off to college, I shared not only the grievances, but also everything I was grateful for. It changed our relationship.

I hope you continue to support each child, and that they can appreciate something about each other.

shiny mamaof6 said...

Joy - Yes, there definitely is a life force much bigger than I guiding my family. Once I embraced that, it was easy to stop trying to fix everyone.

I am still getting used to loving myself unconditionally, but it is absolutely the most important thing I can do. Thank you for your thoughts.

Mermaid - I love the idea of sharing things that we are grateful for in each of us. I don't think my 2 oldest will be able to see anything in each other at this time, but it will be a good practice to encourage the others to do. Thank you for sharing this here.

sdsweetland said...

You are so right, Jill. I am similarly worried about my firstborn at the moment. I see her doing things that I know wioll make her unhappy later on and I can't help but project 20 years ahead and see the miserable place it will lead her.

But I keep reminding myself that people grow and change so much in their 20s and ultimately all I can do is trust her to live her life, support her all I can and give my advice when I think she wants it, because if I try to be micro-managing Daddy I have always been right now I will force her to pull away in order to have her own life.

Reminds me of Jason Robard's line in "Parenthood" about parenting: "It's like your Aunt Edna's butt. It goes on forever and it's just as frightening"

shiny mamaof6 said...

Scott - You are very wise to pull back. Watching our kids on a collision course to pain is not easy, but they have to experience their own lives. Unconditional love will always be the comfort that I can offer. Love the Jason Robard line.

Tess said...

My adult children are 38, 36 and 34 this year and some still don't get along with others.

I grew up in an insane household of 10 kids. How could it be anything but insane with 10?!?

A couple of things I chose to do differently than my parents (because I was determined my kids were going to get along) is I wouldn't allow anything physical, not a nudge, shove, elbowing anything. Growing up my sibs and I had knock down drag outs.

The second thing I wouldn't allow them to verbally abuse or put down each other in my presence.

I can go on about all the things I thought I was doing to help them get along forever but it didn't work.

Maybe it was because they are all the same sex and so close in age? Who knows.

One thing I did do wrong was compare one to another. I wasn't aware of it at the time. I was so young. I was 39 when the twins, the youngest graduated from high school.

So I admit I made mistakes...

So let's go back to why siblings do this...
I do not know! Sometimes I think it's karma, sometimes I think it's jealousy and sometimes I think I don't see the big picture and there's meaning to it even I don't understand as their mother.

I know I can do what Joy says, love me and love them anyway. Parenting is the toughest job in the world. Don't blame yourself!

Like Joy I also thing there is a Higher Power watching over our families. I also remind myself they have their own guardian angels who will guide them.

I can only continue loving and that I will do until the day I die. And from beyond as well;0 )
Mothers Day will be here soon and I hope you'll give yourself one heck of a day off. xo

Oh I have to add more. One thing you can ask is what is your lesson in this...journal on it.

Watch what story you tell yourself about the situation...I failed as a mother...this will go on forever etc. Then drop the story.

You're the best Jill!

shiny mamaof6 said...

Tess - Thank you for sharing your experience with mothering. I appreciate all that you say. And I will think hard about what my lesson is here.

Anonymous said...

Your post completely described my life right now. I, being one of the littles, no longer have a relationship with my sister. I can tell you that the "rift" is absolute silliness and I know that. But I can also tell you that I understand at a soul level that it is necessary. And guess what? It has absolutely nothing to do with my mother - who describes her pain in the same way that you do. She just wants her kids to get along. Except my mother tries to force a solution so that she can be comfortable. I honor and applaud your non-interference. That is truly the most loving thing you can do.

Jill, I write all of this partly because I need to put my thoughts on paper with such a fresh incident that felt like a great big slap in the face. But also to let you know that whatever is happening with your kids has zero to do with you. You can want what you want for your children - which is the part that is about you. But like Tess said - they have their own life lessons and journey quite independent from what you would wish for them.

I seem to think that you want for your children what you have with Kristy. That's completely understandable. You two are very blessed. And maybe some day Megan and Zach will have that same unconditional relationship. And maybe they won't. But it won't be because they didn't see it modeled by you.

From where I sit, I offer this to you - Just keep doing what you're doing. Love them both. Love them whole heartedly and unreservedly and without expectations that they do or be anything differently than who they are. That is the biggest gift you can give anyone.

Love you, dear friend!!!

Nina P. said...

OOps I left a response on your last post for this one... So when you read it to go along with your last post and go... what the _ _ _ _ now you know why... (smiles -n-hugs).
You are doing a wonderful job and people do learn by example... Love, Kindness and Forgiveness are all keys to living... Experience is always a good teacher... Wrap them with your Love, Share with them your concerns, and Turn it Over to the Higher Being: God, Divine, Energy, Light... Things will be as they are meant to be... Blessings to you and yours. Love and Light, Nina P

shiny mamaof6 said...

Nina P. - Don't worry about the comment mix up, it happens all the time.

I love the idea of writing the letters. I am saving that for future issues that may pop up. My Not-so-Littles, sadly, are not open to any sort of communication right now. So I accept that what is happening right now simply needs to happen.

Thank you for your kind words. They are always very comforting.

septembermom said...

I know that your love is transforming. It will help heal their relationship in time. I think that it is tough for a mother to see a fracture in her children's relationship. But it can heal. They do feel your love. It will help them through this rough patch. Hugs to you my friend.

shiny mamaof6 said...

Septembermom - Thank you for leaving this comment. I am trying to remind myself that it is just a rough patch. And even if it lasts for many more years, I just know that in the end they will come together when the time is right for both of them.