ATTENTION!! Yes, attention.
We all crave it, we all want it, but yet, we find it so hard to give it to the ones who crave it most of all, our kids.
Now, before you get all Mama Bear on me, let me clarify.
We find it hard because the level of attention kids need (or want) on a regular basis is practically insurmountable. Of course, in the very beginning, our almost constant attention is needed just for survivals sake, and it is a super intense time because it is usually our first experience of being so tightly tethered to someone..
BUT, as our babies grow, there is a shift. A shift from them ‘needing’ us to them just plain old ‘wanting’ us…. and that’s when we begin to walk that wobbly line. ‘Should I get her out of the crib?’ ‘Should I let her cry?’ ‘But she NEEDS me…’ ‘Grrr she’s just pissed I’m not running in there again goddamn it!!!’ and that’s just the beginning.
We then enter in to the mommymommymommymommy zone where we can’t cook a meal without a million ‘Look at me’s!!!’ , don’t even THINK about talking on the phone, and you’d be lucky to get one sentence out to any mom friend you’ve arranged to meet up with. (I have many times greeted my mom friends at playgrounds by saying “HI!! *kid running off* BYE!”)
I think the reason it’s so fucking frustrating is because we ALREADY dedicate endless hours to them reading books, playing with blocks, answering questions, playing peek-a-boo, etc., and so this sort of guilty resentment grows where we can’t help but to have those ‘You little greedy jerk..’ thoughts and even blurt out ridiculous things like “ME ME ME!!! It’s ALL ABOUT ME isn’t it???!!!!” to a fucking three year old. derrrrr.
Additionally, just to compound things, many of us now have to deal with our men who are still adjusting to getting bumped down on the totem pole and who are now suddenly fighting for our attention as well! (usually in even brattier ways then the toddler but that’s another RANT..)
But here’s the kick in the ass, when the time comes where you say ‘Fuck it, I’m just not going to stop what I’m doing right now!’ what happens? They do some naughty ass destruct-o type shit completely on purpose like dumping every fucking book out of the book shelf, or emptying the toilet paper roll in to the toilet — and why? That’s right, because bad attention is still ATTENTION.
Now, my oldest will be turning 7 and I can tell you, it hasn’t gone away so far … in fact I’m betting that teenagers are probably the biggest and most worrisome attention mongers of them all (green hair and pot smoke anyone?) So what to do? Well, you know I’m not huge on advice giving but what I tell MYSELF is that I give all the attention I CAN and when I see even a glint of independence on their part, I jump on it, and if I need a break, I jump on that too, and if I’m ‘On break’ and either of them do some stupid shit for bad attention, I jump on their asses and throw ’em in the naughty corner! WORD.
It’s okay to not be available ALL the time. Before you’re a mother or a wife, you’re a human — so, when you get a moment, after you put the kids to bed, have a glass of wine, put on some heels, lipstick, and your favorite song and give yourself a smooch in the mirror because what you did when you decided to make the ultimate commitment of becoming a mom, the most selfless job in the world, it automatically made you one sexy bitch and I guaRANTee, YOU’LL probably get some attention yourself for a change! And if you still don’t get it from your man…
get a goddamn jackrabbit.
What can I say? If you want something done right……