Annette, “Listen to your children. Take the time to listen to them, even if you’re tired, stressed, feeling down, listen to them. They are talking to you for a reason. I wish I had listened more.” Tip #3
Annette and I go back 30 years. We’ve been in the trenches and have seen each other ugly, broken, and bursting with pride. Through it all we have built a deep, everlasting love!
It is because of this love I know the depth of Annete’s message. Also, because I too was a teen-Mom, I understand our listening skills were still under construction.
When I read Annette’s third tip, it brought tears to my eyes. “Listen to your children.” It intensely resonated with me. For some, listening may sounds easy, like common sense; however, it was not so easy for me. I wish I had listened more.
I shamefully remember far too often thinking, just shut up! I was so tired, preoccupied, and unprepared.
Over the years, Annette and I have shared our parenting struggles, insecurities, and our inadequacies. There were times we didn’t love parenting so much, maybe more than we cared to admit – even to each other.
Once afraid our parenting journey might never end, we have both come to learn it ended much sooner than expected! I ache to consider the moments that escaped me, as I hurried to do something far less important.
I encouraged listening likely dozens of times a day, yet didn’t hear my own message. “Just Listen,” was often a plea for silence rather than the delivery of a meaningful message. I expected it, but didn’t always model it.
Overwhelmed with life, frantic with myself, consumed by bullshit, I could barely hear through the racket of my own mind. At times, Michael’s little voice felt as if it were booming.
How I wish I had listened more to the soft sounds, the toddler tones. I wish I had stopped, and slowed down, when I heard the word, “Mommy” instead of thinking, “What now!” My skills were so limited!
I love this tip!
I hope others can hear it, the essence of it. Do listen. Annette’s is spot on when she cautions, “They are talking to you for a reason.”