Friday, 6 June 2014

Fabulous Friday

Happy Fabulous Friday all! What's fabulous about today is coping skills.
I heard this horrible story on the news last night, about a man who threw one of his 5 week old twins into the cot, resulting in the baby having permanent brain damage. His excuse was he wasn't prepared to deal with twins. This was on top of another story of a man shaking his partner's baby to death. 

Hearing these stories bought tears to my eyes. I looked at Sticky and couldn't imagine loosing my cool to such an extreme I would even consider doing something like that. It made me wonder what pushed people so over the edge they felt such violence was their last resort.

The best way I can rationalise such behaviour, is to put it down to coping skills, or lack there of. Being a parent is hands down the hardest thing anyone will ever do. It is stressful, exhausting and frustrating - every parent will attest to that. The hard thing is you can never be fully prepared to be a parent because your experience will be totally dependent on your child and your choice of parenting style.

I can empathise with the fact someone wasn't prepared for twins. Managing one is hard enough, let alone two! But, I do believe that you can be prepared for not being prepared. In the moments I can't get Sticky to sleep, or she cries and cries and I can't figure out why, or she screams everytime I walk out of the room, I make a choice. I choose between becoming frustrated and loosing my cool or appreciating what's going on for her. To date, I've always chosen the later.

I can easily appreciate that she's tiered, or overwhelmed, or not feeling well or over stimulated. There is always a reason to whatever the behaviour is. Understanding that allows me to handle the situation cool and calmly. When I feel the frustration levels peaking, I put her down, let her cry, walk out of the room and take some deep breaths before I go back. So why can't others do that?

With my psychologist hat on, I think it's because we all have varying levels of emotional intelligence that allows us to respond to situations in a certain way. I've done alot of work on myself, sought out help, attended classes, studied and learnt how to respond to situations more appropriately. I still have my occasional meltdowns but I do that in appropriate company in appropriate moments. 

I know I had to have an emotional presence and self awareness to seek this help out, and I'm so glad I did. I know I will have many more moments of frustration in the future and I hope I continue to utilise the skills I've developed. Right now, I'm proud of myself for getting through the first few difficult months remaining calm. It's allowed me to be a relaxed parent, which helps her to be a relaxed child. Here's hoping we both continue the good work! 


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