Let me play out a scenario for you.
After a long day, it’s finally bedtime. Your kiddos have all been fed, bathed, brushed, and are in their beds. They wait patiently (maybe) for you to come in and tuck them into bed. You make your rounds, but you notice a feeling in your heart that just feels… flat. Like a can of soda, left open overnight, containing the same flavor but lacking the bubbles and excitement. And as you kiss your kids, this feeling nags at your heart. It feels discouraging and disheartening, kind of numb to the deeper joys of your relationships to your children.
I know that feeling well.
There was a time in my life when that feeling deeply colored my relationship with my oldest son. The disconnect I felt from him was palpable. And because it was so hard to do just about anything with him, I didn’t. We just kind of… existed in each other’s space for a while.
And while I knew that something needed to change, I had no idea how to change it. I had no idea what I needed to do to make it better. All I knew is that I desperately wanted that vibrancy back.
There are a lot of things that can cause a disconnect from one, several, or all of our children. Moving, job changes, illnesses, marital issues, behavioral issues, hormones, pregnancy, mental illness, new babies, etc. All of these things can factor into our relationships with our children, and all of them have the potential to create a disconnection.
In my case, it was a very severe bout of postpartum depression/anxiety that set in months later than I expected it to.
But I’m here now to tell you that if you are feeling that way, there is hope. I can’t give you a checklist of things to do to fix it, because I can’t promise that anything will just fix it overnight. I can only help you with a few suggestions that happened to help us, and hope that it might just help you too.
Be intentional. This whole thing just might take some work on your part of being willing to stand in the uncomfortable places and get into your child’s space again. For me, I felt so disconnected that it felt very scary to even get on the floor and play with my son. But that stepping out of your comfort zone could help a lot with breaking down some barriers.
Pray. A lot. There might be voices in your head telling you that you are going to feel this way forever, that you’re a bad mom, that you did something wrong to make yourself feel this way. The only way to combat those lies is to replace them with truth through God’s word and His voice.
Seek help. I know for me, I ended up in a place where I could no longer go it alone. So whether you end up needing help from a friend, a mentor, someone from your church, or professional help, don’t be ashamed to ask. Sometimes those barriers just aren’t able to be broken down without some assistance.
And my final plea to you is this: don’t beat yourself up. You are the exact mom that your kids were meant to have, and these times of disconnect won’t last forever (even though it might feel like it). Allow yourself some grace and know that at the end of the day, kids just want their mom. No strings attached, no expectation of perfection, just Mom.
Keep it up momma, you’re doing just fine.