Care Bear is at her dad’s for his week of vacation, plus the half week she’s with him during a normal week. She’s been gone since Wednesday and won’t be back until Friday (9 days total). I don’t always agree with the statement, but in this case, absence does make the heart grow fonder.
I want my kids to feel more connected to me than I do to my parents. While I realize the teen years are not the ideal time to expect a fruitful connection, it is the time to build the foundation for a strong connection in the future. In my case, I also need to repair some of the foundation I have laid in the past. As a single working mom, I had quite a bit of room for growth in the patience department. Now, I am working on my patience, and asking for Care Bear to show some understanding and empathy. In sha Allah we can work on this connection from both ends, her and me.
This time away from Care Bear has also allowed me to see what life is like with just the little ones, and to appreciate their age and this season in life. Oftentimes I’m trying to bridge the large age gap, which is not always easy. It feels like trying to please everyone pleases no one (a lesson I have been learning very well this past year or two). I’ve been able to focus on simple things like going to the park, seeing a puppet show, and doing simple crafts. It makes my heart feel whole to focus on my kids and take in each day slowly and with intention. Multitasking work, school, and family was exciting for a while, but slowing down and taking it all in has definite benefits also.
The little ones just want Mom around and giving them lots of attention. It’s quite simple to build a connection at this young age because it only requires being present. Not just in the room, but playing with them, reading, interacting, pretending, etc. Alhamdulilah, Little Miss is now in a nice routine of heading out for an activity in the morning, coming home for lunch and going down for a nap. The plan is to start building in very casual lessons (AKA intentional playtime) and continue having a good flow to the day. I think if she can know what to expect from me, and Tulip also, it will in sha Allah be easier for us to connect and have a beneficial relationship.
A good friend of mine told me quite a while ago that she felt a little closer to the son she stayed home with in comparison to the son she had when she was in school and working part time. She felt a connection with both, but it’s like she understood the older son (the one she stayed home with) a little better than her younger son. It’s too early to tell, but I wonder if this will prove true for my kids also. When Care Bear was young, I went to school full time, plus some, and worked nearly full time. I chose to sacrifice time with her while she was young so I didn’t have to continue sacrificing time with her when she was older and could remember. I wonder if that has hindered our relationship or not. Allahu alim (only God knows), and there’s only so much one can do with the situation they are working with. Alhamdulilah, I’m so grateful for the relationship we do have and hope to strengthen it as time goes on.
When I was working on my career, I was proud of being a mom, but I was a mom part time (given I only had Care Bear half the week, plus work and school). Now, as a full time mom, I feel a humble pride and just pray that the work I put in to loving and caring for my kids will result in a healthy relationship as we all grow together, in sha Allah.