I was shocked to my core, in a bad way. I wanted to slap my face to wake up. It was intense. Every mother experiences guilty, as often as daily basis, but the amount of guilt I felt last night was another scale.
For the past two days I’ve been working at home as office IT is getting an upgrade and there’s no internet. I was expecting chaos and yelling, none of that occurred. We co-worked peacefully. I worked in the office, Sofia and Lizzy in their respective rooms. Husband was glad that there’s not much chaos as usual, nobody built a fort during school hours. everything seems to be going well.
both husband and I noticed something. Lizzy who usually follows us everywhere and play by our sides is not in our room. She rather hides herself in her room. When I enter, I’d see her using the iPad. I’ve changed the password so I wasn’t worried she’d watch youtube (i’ve deleted the app too). Then what the heck was she doing with the iPad alone?
Husband found hundreds of selfies and videos of her talking to an imaginary friend, or pretending she’s having a zoom meeting with her friend.
Husband brought it to me when I was reading with Sofia, and yelled at me “Lizzy is going crazy”.
I watched some of the videos, and I got REALLY SCARED! While the videos look funny and cute, I got very worried that husband might be right.
I went to her room, it was dark and she was standing by the sofa instead of in bed (although she didn’t want to come out and excused herself as she wanted to sleep already). The moment I entered, she thought I was going to blame her for playing video, so she wanted me to leave. More heart ached at that moment, badly.
I sit on her bed and asked her to join me, that we’d talk. She refused. I lied down and asked her to join me again. She finally did.
As I hold her, I talked to her to learn why she did what she did. I didn’t ask her, instead I just proposed possible reasons for her to pick them up. She’s close to 5 but she can’t formulate her thoughts and feelings in speaking perfectly, so I helped her. And mother’s intuition was right.
She doesn’t like to take nap anymore in the PM but still asked to (so parents can take a break!)
She misses her friends and to play with them as she was in normal school days.
She doesn’t enjoy watching iPad for school and find them boring.
She tried to ask to play with me, Sofia, and daddy, and we all seemed to be busy to attend to her.
So she coped with talking to herself.
I don’t know how to describe me at that moment, but something cracked in my heart and mind.
I hold her for a long while, and asked her to always talk to me, that I’d find a way to make her feel better.
She said yes to all my words, she hugged me closer. She felt protected, cared, loved.
Then I went to my room trying to sleep, but I couldn’t. All I wanted to do was to hold her tighter.
so I went to her room and asked if she wanted to sleep with me tonight. So brought her pillow and duffy and joined me.
While I didn’t sleep well last night, it helped me to realise that I’ve been neglecting her for too long.
I NEED TO DO BETTER, as a mom, as her protector. SHE NEEDS ME TOO. What she needs is just my time and full attention, and I will give her that.
I’m writing this event and feelings down so I can read it often to remind me to not derail again.