It’s one of those thoughts that I suspect many of us have, from time to time. Driving shame and /or guilt and compromising our ability to connect.
Even if it’s that flash in the pan, and not ongoing resentment, it can be scary to think that we resent our child/ren.
I recall that there were many times when my dynamic whirlwind child was little that I just wished life was easier. Seemed like I had to be “ON” all the time. Barely time for breathing before the next issue happened.
Lots of self-judgement around, why couldn’t I “control” this kid. Why couldn’t they follow instructions.
What if instead we can accept that not liking our kids from time to time is human.
We tend to put our kids into a different bucket than the rest of humanity. Like we’re supposed to like them all the time.
The reality is, we are human. They are human. We have human responses.
Sometimes our kids trigger feelings that can overwhelm us with guilt, frustration or shame. After all “good mothers” love their children all the time.
LOVE v Like
Of course we LOVE them all the time, that doesn’t mean we like them always. They are two different emotions.
We can still love them and not like their behaviour and that is a really important differentiator.
Being able to recognise that love is unconditional. It accepts our child for who they are, not what they do.
Unconditional love separates the deed from the doer.
Unconditional love means we see our child first. It’s the key to connect before correct.
Unconditional love is not authoritarian, nor is it permissive.
Unconditional love empathises with their challenges.
Unconditional love is not just bigger and stronger, it’s wiser and kinder.
Unconditional love does not judge. Accepts where they are at.
Unconditional love is curious to learn more. Understand them and their problem.
One of the keys to being able to love unconditionally is to LOVE ourselves first in the same way.
So many of us get caught by the “shark music” of all the conditional love we received growing up. We get mad at the kids for all the things they trigger in our emotional circuits that have us feel terrible.
I know non-compliance was a bigger for me. There would be huge consequences if we didn’t do as we were told. My mum would become a screaming banshee and totally loose control. Super scary for little kids for sure.
I was “gifted” a child who was going to be testing me on my self-management regularly.
Some of us don’t even remember our childhoods, and so it can be more difficult to make the connections between what we feel with our kids, and the feelings that were programmed into us when we were kids.
It’s another one of those “don’t know what we don’t know” scenarios. It limits our ability to feel confident as we parent because we can’t connect the feelings with our historical experience. We end up resenting ourselves and/or our children because of the feelings that well up.