Love Is a Battlefield: Part 1

My motivation to do my solo dates disappeared. Not permanently, but for a time…The end of last year was really challenging for me for a couple of reasons. The second reason will be another post, Part 2. The first reason was that my oldest son and I were really struggling. He was acting out a lot, and I felt like a failure quite often. I just felt ill equipped in dealing with what was happening. It felt like we were locked in a battle every day. I knew he was feeling hurt and angry. I just didn’t know how to get him to talk about his feelings instead of resorting to acting out, and, I think as a 7 year old, he wasn’t maybe consciously aware that he was acting out because of hard feelings.

He’s been through so much over the last three years. He went from living a sweet life as an only child to parents who had been married over two decades, to hanging out with his Dad and his Daddy’s “co-worker” while I was pregnant with his brother, to having a brother and his parents split up. His Dad moves in with the “co-worker”, and they produce 2 kids in less than 2 years… His family exploded and he almost instantly had 3 siblings.

I know he really mourns his old life. He talks about missing when it was just his Mommy, Daddy and him, especially around holidays. He also struggles with sharing time between the two homes, and doesn’t appreciate the pressure he feels instantly being the oldest of four kids. He feels lost and so hurt sometimes. We’ve just been trying to find our way through it.

Things reached a tipping point around Christmas time. He was really pushing things with his behavior and throwing fits. It got so hard. We had a moment on a hiking trail where I’d had enough. I stopped the hike and told him we were going home. He started to throw a screaming fit on the hiking trail. I pulled him off the trail and got him to calm down. We had some words. I explained to him that I could see he was going through a hard time and having hard feelings that were hurting him. I told him that it’s normal to have those feelings, it’s ok to talk about having them and tell people you feel bad. But, it’s not ok to mistreat people, misbehave, or throw tantrums because of those feelings.

All of a sudden, he let out what seemed like everything he had bottled up inside. He came in for a big hug and started to sob and tell me all the things that he was missing and how he was hurting. He has been different since that day. He talks to me and comes to me for support when things are bothering him. In times when he starts to act out, I ask him if he’s having hard feelings about something and he thinks about it and gets it off his chest. He not only comes to me for support, but started to come to me for snuggles again. Things have gotten so much better.

This has all been so challenging. He and I are in a really good place right now. I feel like we’ve grown a lot closer. I’m really proud of the little man he’s becoming. Dylan is a sweet, brilliant and sensitive soul. He’s the best big brother and a very loving and loyal friend. I love watching him teach his 4 year old brother gymnastics and putting him through workouts. I love watching him around his friends too. I love watching him grow. I love being his Mommy.

The challenges we were having, along with the stuff that will be in my Part 2 post made my dating myself challenge feel burdensome. I wasn’t motivated to look for solo date adventures, execute and write about them. I found diving more into my boys, my friendships and adventures with them was most important. So, I’ll catch up with Part 2 of this post, and have a couple of adventures with friends to write about. Then, I’ll get back to my solo adventures.

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