What did I learn this week?

Advocating for number 1

There are a lot of advantages to living in a multi-generational household that includes grandparents. The most immediate and obvious being that there are two extra sets of hands around! It also affects the learning process of parenting. Instead of having a voice inside my head saying, “hmmm, you probably could have handled that a bit better, maybe try this next time”, there is often an actual voice which comes from my mother.

Now it would be easy to see some of the things my mom says to me as purely critical, but that is not the case. In fact, most of the time what she is doing is simply advocating for child number 1, who mostly voices her frustration and needs by screaming, hitting, or other anti-social and incredibly annoying means (otherwise known as “normal toddler behaviour”). When my mom says to me, “why don’t you try doing this instead…?” in the midst of one of the daily crises she is not trying to undermine my parenting, or to make me feel like I don’t know what I’m doing (which I often don’t), she is helping me see the reality of what is going on in toddler-world and trying to assist me in navigating it in a way that, looking back, I will be happy with.

Sometimes, when it happens, I can’t help but feel a little upset, but this is because I want to be able to do things right all the time, and I hate it when C’s behaviour makes me angry or upset, affecting my ability to respond the way I objectively want to. However, without exception, when I take a deep breath and think about what my mom has said to me, it makes me feel better. It is like I am being given a chance on the spot to do a better job, rather than simply react to what C has done, or is doing, and then feel bad about it later.

So, it is not a bad thing having someone around who always advocates for child number 1, especially when said child has me right wound up. After a minute or so, I feel like I am back on track, and don’t have the regrets later of not having handled the situation better when it happened.

Thanks mom!

2 Responses to “Advocating for number 1”

  1. hi Justine

    from everything i read today on yours and the coreman’s blog – it seems you are living the beautiful life.
    we were on the island last weekend for symphony splash and a trip to our fav. veg restaurant downtown. we wanted to see you both – but – felt our impromptu rip was likely too much to spring on you. ; )

    congratulations on your latest addition – he’s lovely and his name is fabulous.

    big hugs to you and coreman.


    lizzie and calvin (and now 4 cats, 1 border collie and a horse – our family is expanding too!)

  2. you are truly blessed!
    your killing me

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