Thursday, June 18, 2015
When C was two years old, she went through a night terror stage where every single morning 3 a.m. she'd wake up and cry. Right underneath us lived a couple in their 50's, with no kids. One week into the night waking crying routine, I got a rather rude email from our downstairs neighbor, complaining about the crying. Of course, I felt sorry that their sleep had been disturbed because of my child. I am usually an applogetic person but being a mom has made me sensitive when it comes to issue like this. The waking and crying was uncontrollable and there's little I could do. It's not that I left her in the room by herself, not at all. I gave a very straight forward reply and left no room for further correspondence.
We've since moved to a house when C turned three.
This is what happened a week ago. Two houses down from us lives a family with two young kids. So one day when one of the kids was throwing a tantrum for about a mere ten minutes, the neighbor that we share went to knock on her door. This neighbor, too, has no children of his own.
These two similar scenarios triggered my deep down voice today that came with the "mom package". I, too, had no idea what it would be like to spend day in and day out with children. It's something that you only learn once you've become a parent yourself. Do we, as parents, like the sleep deprivation? Negative. Do we enjoy the unpleasant tantrum our children throw? Of course not. But we have learnt to understand that it's part of their growth to eventually being able to control their emotions like us. When those tantrum were bad sometimes I could literally feel my veins popping out and a headache brewing instantly. On rare occassions, I got so frustrated that I sobbed with my daughter and thought to myself "It's really hard being a parent." Now the last thing you want at this fire-spitting moment is for someone to tell you that you should control your child. Luckily, C is in a tantrum diminishing phase. In fact, I can't remember when she had a meltdown last time.
We are all ignorant in one way or another. I once read this picture book about a guy called Shon who did all the field work but thought his wife Sian had a much relaxed time working around the house, until one day they swapped duties. He made a huge mess in the house, only to discover churning butter and rolling oats weren't as easy as how his wife had made them appear to be.
One of the many many things that being a parent has taught me is to be more understanding and to try putting myself in other people's shoe. I feel humbled already at the thought of putting down that disgusting I-know-better arrogance. However, it doesn't mean to give in every single time. Principle is principle people. :D