Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Who am I now?

Hubby said the other night, in response to me letting K eat some refried beans at the local Mexican restaurant, "I like the new relaxed Becca." Of course, inside I was totally calculating all the things that could go wrong and all the things that "eating beans" meant for K's little/short life.
They probably had lard in them (we're Jewish and primarily eating a plant-based diet), there was stuff in there that I didn't know about (because I didn't hover over the chef while he was cooking them), and beans are hard to digest for us, and probably a lot of people in general.
But K was making grunt noises (which, at the table, means he's ready to eat), we didn't bring his organic, parent-made, non-blended food with his special spoon, and both of us were tired and hungry and come hell or high water, we were going to sit down and eat.
Meanwhile, as K was happily eating and grunting, I was flogging myself for my "relaxed" attitude which might result in allergies, gas, finger-wagging, and whatever unforeseen stuff I'll read about afterward (so far, every time I have given K something on the fly, I have read exactly the NEXT day that I should NOT be giving him that). But I was also high-five-ing myself for listening to K's cues, giving him the least of possible offenders, and getting on with my life (and then getting a pat on the back for being relaxed---which is very hard for me to do).
What did I learn about this? Oh crap, I was supposed to learn something? I just thought the aim was getting food from the table into our mouths...

What DID I learn...I'm afraid to even say it...
I think I learned that listening to K (rather than trying to be perfect) is really important.
I'm pretty sure that if he liked it, and he was happy, that it was okay. BUT I project 15 years into the future at a therapy session (yes, I'm always thinking he's in therapy complaining about how I ruined some aspect of his life with my careless behavior) where he's upset about the fact that instead of bringing along his food (the proper food, of course), that I basically just let him eat Mexican food beans because I was too tired/lazy to provide anything better/more nutritious.
This pattern of thought runs rampant in my life. Sometimes, I wish K could talk not just because I want to hear his amazing thoughts, but would rather he say to me "Look, mom, I get it. You're living your life while trying to manage mine. No sweat. I'm flex. Thanks for the beans, they were yummy and worth the gas, and I just really appreciate that you didn't let me go hungry, or resent me for having to leave the restaurant because I was screaming, and you kept the family in good spirits." If he could just skip the mamamama dadada and jump right to that, then all would be good. :)
But that's not his job, right? He's new around here, and he doesn't need to get wrapped up in my insecurities. Technically, I shouldn't either.

I think I confuse how I act with who I am...if I give beans to my hungry child, that now I'm a Bean Giver, not a mama who knows her kid is hungry and beans would be okay. Or if I let him cry ever, I'm a Mom Who Lets Her Kid Cry. As someone who had a c-section, I hear and see the unspoken responses (that are just my projections, right?), "Oh, you're a c-section mama." But that's totally not true. I just tried all the other ways and c-section was the final method. When I married my hubby, it was me marrying him, not Previously Single for Too Long, Obsessed with Health, Reads Too Many Books, lady...I was just Becca. So Who am I now?

Well, for one, I'm just Becca who is K's mama, listening to him, watching, and hopefully sharing with him a relaxed version of me sometimes. I'm also not relaxed and protective of him sometimes so he'll know that part of me too, that likes to pay attention (sometimes too much). He'll also know that I am intuitive, that I listen to his sounds/words, and that I see our family as a unit (and not mom and dad vs. kid or mom and kid vs. dad) and try to work from that place.
The labeling, judging, and comparing is exhausting and THAT'S getting in the way of my relationship with K, not a bowl of refried beans. He won't remember the beans. He'll just know the mama that can't wait to kiss, hug and cuddle him when she gets home from work. And that's a pretty awesome mama, if I say so myself.

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