I 'broke up' with my son when he was three. In one year,
- he weaned
- I got pregnant
- was put on bed rest
- he moved to his own bedroom (his choice)
- I was hospitalized for a week
- he potty learned
- his brother was born
I was so in the moment
with him, I didn't realize all this stuff was going on at once. All I knew was that my beautifully attached toddler had turned into a psychotic, abusive preschooler and I wanted OUT. That is the only time we have ever spanked- and I just didn't know what else to do, I was lost. I knew it wasn't the right thing, but I didn't know what else to do. I cried and screamed too. I feel like we both abused each other during that time, unknowingly, unwittingly... and so our bond was damaged during that time. His brother came along and he was sweet and tiny and didn't spit on me (with anger lol), or pull my hair or run from me in the street, and I tried to lavish as much attention on my older son as I did my baby but I felt so detached from him, it was very difficult. I was not the mom I wanted to be, but I was doing the best I could at the time, with what I had. I did the best I could.
I didn't even know I had a problem, much less that I could ask for help.
Now my son is 8 and we are still repairing our relationship. My son is so amazing, everyone who meets him sees it. He is an incredible person and will be an incredible man, and I am working every day to make sure that our bond is strong, and loving, and healthy.
Someone told me that some detachment has to happen to care for the next offspring and I don't know that I agree with that, but who knows, maybe it's true. Either way, I am consciously choosing to re-attach in a new way to my son. How am I doing that? When I feel the wall shoot up between us, instead of seeing it as part of the landscape, I am bringing it into focus, looking at every brick and deciding which ones are loose enough to poke out. I can't knock that whole wall down at once but I am dismantling it over time, with love, piece by piece.
I think it is critical that you are charged so that you can put the energy into your family that they need you to provide. What are YOU bringing to the table? Are you showing up with a package of Chips A-Hoy or are you bringing a home made family recipe... does that make sense?