Recently, as the hubby hugged me, Oliver asserted himself into the hug. He said “hug times are the best times”. We agreed and joked about how the hug was just for mom and dad and he said, “but I always want to be part of it.”
There was something about how he said it that my “Mommy instinct” just told me to sit my child down and have one of those Mommy and Oliver time.
We sat on the dining table and talked.
Me: Ollie, you know it’s okay sometimes to let other people have their own space. You don’t always have to assert yourself into people’s conversation or people’s personal time.
Ollie: Sorry, mommy. I just wanted a hug too.
Me: It’s okay. Daddy and I don’t mind. But we just want you to learn that sometimes it’s not a good idea. You have to learn to understand when it is okay to be part of something and when it isn’t. And asking first is always respectful and nice. It doesn’t bother us but if you make a habit of it, you may do it with other people too when you grow up.
Ollie: Sorry, Mommy. It’s just that…
Me: Why Ollie? Do you feel like you don’t get enough attention?
Ollie: Yes, sometimes.
Me: Oh no… when do you feel like you don’t get enough attention?
Ollie: When I ask you to play with me – sometimes you’re too busy, too lazy, too tired, or you just don’t want to do it.”
Me: When that happens, how does it make you feel?
Ollie: It makes me really feel sad.
Me: I’m really sorry Ollie… How’s this? Mommy will do her very best to do better. Is that okay with you?
Ollie: Yes! I love you Mommy. You’re the best Mommy I ever had.
My heart sank but it’s true though. On weekdays, I am exhausted from work and when I get off work, I am doing something around the house (cleaning, laundry, etc.). The few hours I have to myself I cherish being in front of the TV and just relaxing or going to bed early to get a decent amount of sleep. And… it is during these times that Ollie usually asks me to play with him. And… most of the time, I do end up telling him “no”.
I will do better. I have to. I want to.