I’m not the typical girly mom. I always knew I’d have kids and longed to be a mum but never dreamt of dressing them, or styling their hair. That’s just not me. But in saying that, I simply adore having a daughter.
We were recently at the First Thursdays Market in Hillcrest and all of my friend’s kids were having their faces painted. Someone suggested that I get Se’s done. I just laughed and said not to worry.
You see, Sarah is feisty, strong willed and determined. Nothing happens smoothly or easily with Se. She has a mind and will of her own and is rarely swayed by others desires. She is independent, energetic and dynamic. She has many a trait that so many admire in adults and that will no doubt make her stand out above a crowd, but SHIT, parenting a strong-willed kid can be hard.
She eats 5 foods, yes, only 5. And YES we’ve tried it all. She sleeps lightly and little. And YES we’ve tried it all. We’ve known about every tooth that has ever cut and every illness has seemed that much worse!
I will never forget being 35 weeks pregnant with Noah and Se struggling with nasty tonsillitis (she was 17 months old). After a Saturday doctors visit, we finished a full 3-day antibiotic in 1 day, as she simply refused to let it enter her mouth. We mixed it with choccie milk, used the trick dummy, added it to her bottle and eventually held her down and squirted it in, after which she vomited it out, 3 times. This landed us up in casualty (her 3rdvisit there) with me sobbing for 2 consecutive hours, whilst Se was administered a full antibiotic through an injection. This is our kid in a nutshell.
So no, she has never had her face painted and point blank refuses too. As does she with getting her nails painted, although she forced me to buy her nail polish (she literally carried it out the door or the shop).
Whilst sometimes her strong-willed-ness has brought me to tears, mostly, it has resonated with everything within me. She is me. In so many ways.
Few can force me to do anything I don’t want to. I live my own life, with ym own set of rules. Unless it’s competition. Then I’m game.
I have lectured in psychology for 5 years and yet never have I learnt more about personalities that I have with parenting Sarah. There are certainly elements of who we are that are learnt, nurture, but gracious has she showed us that a GOOD portion of who we are, is simply how we were made.
I learnt a saying a year ago that one should “Choose your battles as a parent”, and this has become my mantra with Se. I don’t fight with her or force her to do things, unless it’s something that actually harms her. I mostly let her do her thing. And she thrives for it. She is naturally independent and I feel that giving her the freedom to make choices has allowed her to flourish. Her little mind doesn’t stop and I’m pretty sure that is the reason behind her poor sleeping patterns.
Just yesterday, she came up to me holding her nail polish and said “Mommy, you paint my nails”. Which I did and she loves them. She then told me, “Mommy, it isn’t sore”, and I realized that she had thought that painting nails would be painful. What I loved about this moment is that she choose it, not me. On her own terms, she convinced herself that maybe painting nails was a good idea, and in return the reward was so much higher for me.
My encouragement to all the mums reading this to get to know your kid and their make up, and run with it!!