Advice from my Daughter

Yesterday Saleha asked me why I seem so mad lately. I told her I wasn’t mad, just trying to cope with many things in my head and life – work, family, responsibilities, etc. She had lots of advice for me:

 You worry too much about Lily. She’s got lots of extra time in the mornings to do her homework, so maybe she doesn’t have to finish it all in the afternoon, and she can play. She’s fine – just feed her and buy her clothes and she’ll be happy.

 Well I don’t know about that.

 She’s a good kid. Don’t worry so much about her.

 Then she painted a picture for me:

It’s like you’re in a big hole. And you’re trying to dig yourself out. But instead of digging to get out, you’re too busy fixing other problems in the hole, so you can’t get out.

 What kinds of problems am I trying to fix at the bottom of that hole?

 Feeding us, taking care of us, worrying about us

 But I have to do those kinds of things Saleha, it’s my responsibility

 But you still don’t have to worry so much. 

 Huh. She may be right. Is my life really a big hole that I can’t get out of? Then I told her that lately I’ve been trying to find my lost sense of humor, something I haven’t had in a while. She laughed. Later when we continued to talk about this at bed time, I was overwhelmed by her observation:

You try too hard Mama. We’re all fine. You don’t have to try so hard.

I then told her that Worry and Guilt are my constant companions and have been since she was born. She had this to say:

 What are you guilty of?

Since I started working again, I feel like my head is so full of stuff, that I don’t have enough space to be a good and patient mother

When you get home you should flush your head and get rid of all the stuff. That way you’ll have space. So what are you guilty of?

 I always feel that I don’t do enough for you girls, or spend enough time with both of you.

 I know how to fix that.

 How?

 Let’s go away for a weekend. Just you and me. For one or two nights. Then Dada can do the same with Lily. And we can switch.

That sounds like a fantastic idea.  (Long thoughtful silence) I’m really happy we had this conversation.

 Me too. I love you.

 I love you too Saleha. You ARE my guardian angel.

 Yes I am.

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