Friday, December 7, 2012

Noo and me: Almost four years together

I am in the process of writing the fourth and final chapter of "The dad question", the series of posts I have written over the last six months or so about how I met Noo's father and consequently how Noo came to be. As it is nearly Noo's 4th birthday I've been thinking a lot about it and although there is obviously a happy ending, the story is still very difficult to write. I was so unwell at that time. I was in a place that I know I will never go back to in real life, but to write about it authentically I must go there emotionally to drag out the memories.

As part of the process I went back and reread the first three parts. You can too, they're just here:

Part 1: The day we met
Part 2: A new addiction
Part 3: Walking into the abyss

I also just reread this piece I wrote in mid July about how much I love Noo. We had just come out of a difficult stage: I had been unwell and he had been acting out and behaving really badly. Since then we have been in a golden era where we have been very in sync with one another. Discipline hasn't been a problem. That is until now.

Now I know kids move through stages in their lives, but sometimes I wish they'd stay in the easy ones for longer! Or, like, forever!

Noo is still my gorgeous boy but there are definitely some changes going on: It is 14 days until Noo's fourth birthday and he is showing all the signs of kid with a new attitude. Four year old attitude.  He's talking back, refusing to do as he is told, asking the same questions over and over when he doesn't like the initial response given, demanding things, and pushing boundaries like never before.

Noo is evolving into the next stage of being a kid. Now it is my turn to step up and into the next stage of being a parent, his only parent.

When it comes to discipline I need to find that balance between being a friend and a mother: To set the appropriate rules and boundaries so Noo can learn and thrive as an individual. So he can grow up as a well mannered, respectful and courteous person.

I also need to continue to keep him safe while teaching him how to take measured risks so he can experience for himself how to make decisions when life presents him with choices. And I want to achieve all this while continuing to nurture that deep connection we have as mother and son.

2008-2012 My beautiful boy and me

Generally speaking I think I am a pretty good mum. I have showered Noo with love and affection and given him my time and attention. I have been (mostly) patient with him. Through the early years I followed most of the attachment parenting methods. I never let him cry to sleep. I rarely yelled at him and I never hit him. I've kept him safe and listened to him and made him feel heard and validated as a person, even though he is still a such a little boy. I've spent time, money, love and thought on giving him the best experiences in life a kid of his age could want.

Of course, I've made mistakes. Every mother makes mistakes. I mean, crikey, I got the poor innocent child addicted to condensed milk, but other than that I think I've mostly made good decisions for him, including the decision to not have any contact with his father. Especially the decision not have his father in our life. I wouldn't even know how to find him now anyway. And I doubt he'd want to know us either. Or even remember who I was.

I'm proud of how I've parented Noo so far, particularly as I have battled depression, anxiety and PTSD all at varying degrees over his short life, and I continue to do so. I also got myself sober when I found out I was pregnant and I've stayed that way ever since. I thank Noo for the strength he has given me to carry on the fight, even when he has challenged me. And I thank my family for their ongoing support.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Noo is my saviour and has always given me the will to push on through even the murkiest times.

As my beautiful Noo Noo hurtles towards his fourth birthday and heads into his last year at preschool before moving into the next big stage of his life, I will cherish every moment. I will continue to do the best I can to be the best mum I can. I will not wish a single moment away. I will strive to provide him with everything he needs to continue to grow and thrive as the wonderful, kind, gentle, loving, adventurous person that he is.

Noo, my darling, I love you with all my heart and soul, with every fibre of my being. I always will.


Linking up with the wonderful Grace at With Some Grace for #FYBF.


Kelly HTandT said...

The love you have for Ned shines through in every word you type and every pic you post. I think you're a wonderful mum. And I love that collage!

Grace Titioka said...

Love this post. Ned is so blessed to have such a loving, caring mum. You really are a strong chick. Big hugs x

Yolanda said...

Beautiful piece of writing

Jane Hallisey said...

What a beautiful post, you share such a tight bond with Ned. He is your saviour, but you are his too!
I feel myself nodding to parts of this, as this solo parenting gig, throws up its challenges but it also has massive advantages! You are such a tight knit little crew, and there will be more difficult and more beautiful times as they grow up through different stages to become little men!
I love the photo montage too, just beautiful! xxxx

Diet Schmiet said...

A lovely post and a special relationship.

Lydia C. Lee said...

It's important not to wish a moment away (or to think that) as we're made up of all our parts, good and bad. Funny how different parts struck a chord with other readers. Love the pics too!

The Babbling Bandit said...

Thanks Deb

The Babbling Bandit said...

Thanks Jane. It is so special isn't it, the mother and son relationship is an amazing one at this age.

The Babbling Bandit said...

Thanks Yo!

The Babbling Bandit said...

Thanks Grace. I am blessed to have him!

The Babbling Bandit said...

Thanks Kelly. Love making collages. So many fun apps to do them with.

Bachelor Mum said...

Well done darling you are doing so well. Ned is one lucky little man. x

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