Today I reply to MsKremiss who asked me a great question on youtube: how did you organize your day to go back to college while being a single mother of two?
I went back to college in third year of law. I was still working full time. I was studying during my lunch break and on evenings, at night from midnight to 3 am and early morning before walking the children to school and going to work.
In fourth year of law (the first year of my law masters), I quit my job to focus on getting my diploma. I would study all day, while taking care of the kids when they were not at school. I slept at night and was going for a 20-minute run every two days.
The lesson? Each second held the potential to be a learning second. I had the choice to prioritize studying every second.
If I had to do it over again? I would sleep more, to avoid collapsing at work and ending up at emergencies. Going back to college is a brilliant endeavor but it should not be at the expense of health.
I went back to studying to get my diploma as a lawyer because I was passionate by law. I am still very interested in law. I could do it because I was passionate about it.
Having children actually made me highly efficient and productive. It was not perfect. It was an amazing adventure.
When my daughter came out fo the airport, my heart was beating fast and I could not wait to hug her after one month of vacation.
However, she pushed me away when I tried to give her a kiss, while asking me when she could go back to see my parents in France.
I do not know if my beloved daughter is under the influence of my narcissistic mother, but if this is the case I have eight beautiful insights to share with you my friend my sister.
1. If I feel that much pain, it is not only because my daughter rejected me, but because it is not the first time I have been rejected.
I have been madly in love in the past with great but unavailable men.
I gave my everything to make my mother happy, but she never was.
Feeling rejected is familiar and more painful each time, or so it seems. In reality, this precise event hurts because of the past. I must let go of the past hurt.
Furthermore, if my body starts to scream as well, by getting my sinus blocked, it is only logical. Nothing to worry. Internal work needs to be done. Releasing. Letting go.
2. I picture my dear mother as a vampire, feeding from my daughter’s energy by turning her against me. Narcissistic exist. They need others to pity them so they can carry on playing the victim role and avoid responsibility for their actions.
3. However, it is so easy to criticize others. How am I a vampire? How am I a narcissistic? How am I playing the victim? Introspection is valid. I am not perfect.
4. It took me decades to reach the following conclusion: narcissists do not ever change. They simply do not want to because they would not be able to live.
They need to feed from others because they are poor victims who need pity. Thus, their behavior can be erratic. Their difficult childhood is to blame.
5. If I create boundaries by calling my mother out, I will become the villain. It will be too easy for my dear mum to reinforce her image of the victim.
6. Moreover, it is difficult to explain to my daughter why I feel so much pain. If I say one word against my mum, my daughter will quickly defend her and accuse me of being mean.
7. Consequently, the only way I personally deal with such a tricky situation is to love my mother from a distance.
8. What is my assignment now? I have the duty to embody joy and compassion for my beloved daughter, while trusting the benevolent universe. I feel protected by an invisible force. The show must go on my friend my sister. There is work to do.
After one of my (French) Thursdays live streams on youtube and instagram (@clairesamuelenglish) in which I shared my anxiety as my son was getting bored while I made all these efforts to offer him the best life possible, some mothers sent me kind messages to comfort me.
Sophie wrote: “I really liked your live, practicing self-care while doing our best for our children… not an easy task and sometimes it makes us feel guilty, I too have a son who gets bored sometimes and I do not feel like playing with him either, so I guess if we assume our choices 100% without neglecting our child of course, then the child adapts, learns to deal with frustration and develops his/her imagination because sometimes boredom has a positive side, we cannot be always busy, let’s make room for dreaming and creativity“.
Sohalia wrote: “Getting bored is normal. He will find something to do and practice imagination. This is a necessary step. Do not feel guilty. And do not overstimulate him. Quite the opposite. They all have phases like that, sometimes short and sometimes longer.”
Then, the following day she wrote: “How are you feeling today? Do not take it too much to heart. If you do everything you can, it means the ball is in his field now. Be present for him by asking him to find something to do or to help you if he is too bored. He will find very soon.”
Christine wrote: “Hi Claire, I can so relate to you!!! Seeing our child get bored is very uncomfortable. I am a mother of three, they now are 19, 16 and 10 years old. I am not a playing mummy either and I used to feel very guilty, especially when my eldest was small. I felt it was a never-ending task: I was giving and it was never enough. With experience, I realized that children too need these time periods when they feel bored, to build their personalities, to develop their imagination, or brothers and sisters relationships. As adults, we also experience such moments. One tip I have for you is to invite him to help you to carry out a task/chores, sometimes they are happy or all of a sudden they magically do not feel bored anymore. I wish you a fantastic day. Christine”
Nathalie wrote: “Whenever I see my children like that and when I did everything I could at the moment I did it, then I say to myself: “Trust him/her, he/she has everything in him/her. Allow him/her some time. Be patient.” After experiencing terrible conflicts with my younger daughter, this is the tip which allowed me to go through the storm. However, it does not suppress sadness nor despair, but we all know that nothing is permanent. Big kisses from another mum.”