Friday, 28 June 2013

Loving according to your Personality

There seems to be an image in the popular conscience, of twins getting on well, all the time. As the mother of 2 year old twins, I can tell you that this is a myth. Twins squabble, yell, argue, and shove just like any other siblings. I know my twins love each other, and most of the time they will play happily together, but not all the time.

Usually, when a spat takes place, it goes something like this; Molly will be playing happily, with a toy, by herself. Gareth will take said toy/ try to play with her/ try to hug or kiss her. Molly will throw toy/ scream/ burst into tears. Being a very noise-sensitive person, the screaming does sometimes make me wish I could leave my ears somewhere for a while, but on the other hand, while screaming is ear-splitting, it's much less suspicious than silence.

I'll admit, I don't always react well to these spats, or to the occasional tantrums, or to putting the clothes in the bathroom waiting to go into the laundry into the freshly run bath....

...or to the porridge in the hair, the strawberries in the shoes, the toast down the cushion of the sofa.

I love my kids, but some days, their bed time is my favourite part of the day.

I love my husband, but some little things he does exasperate me. He loves me, but likewise, there are things I do that drive him batty.

I used to think that being a loving, Catholic Wife and Mother meant being endlessly patient, softly spoken, tireless, accomodating, and well, frankly, a little bit wishy-washy. I was trying to live up to a sanctified, sanitised vision of womanhood, that frankly, my natural temperament was never going to be able to achieve.

Like anyone else, I have plenty of aspects of my character that aren't always positive. I can be stubborn, insular, impatient and bad tempered. I used to think that any time I allowed any of these traits to rear their ugly head (and frankly, at least one does every day), it would make me a Terrible Wife and Mother. You know what? They don't, they just make me human. Just like when kids act up, or argue, it doesn't make them bad, it just makes them human.

We are not perfect, and we will not always love perfectly. We should all strive to be loving, to keep our tempers in check, to bite back words that might be hurtful. We should try to do things graciously, without rolling our eyes or thinking 'Why can't they do it?'

But nor should we beat ourselves up when we slip. It achieves nothing, it rarely improves things, and I've found that if anything, the self-directed anger, and the guilt I feel actually impacts negatively on my family.

So, I will simply do my best, and love my engaging imperfect family, in my own imperfect way.

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