I’ve become completely obsessed with knowing my kids. Let me explain.
The other day, I was listening to Castle on the Hill by Ed Sheeran. And the lyrics hit me hard.
Don’t laugh, that’s not a punchline. Ed Sheeran is in my regular Spotify rotation and I’m not afraid of your judgment.
But, on this day, the lyrics hit in a different way than usual.
Typically, when I listen to a song about growing up or coming of age, I think back to my own experiences. I get nostalgic for my past. But this time, a new thought inched into the back of my mind. I thought about my own kids having these types of coming of age experiences. I thought about them, sitting on a hill with their crushes watching the sun set. Then I thought about where I’d be in that moment. I knew I’d not be with them. And I panicked.
I wondered how they’d act, feel, and react. I wondered if they’d even tell me about the moment later. I hope they would, but I don’t know for sure. And that not knowing my kids, it’s just too much for me.
My boys are 7 years old and 8 years old. We homeschool and are together 24/7, without exaggeration. I get to see and experience everything with them. I get to analyze their reactions and see moments through their eyes. They want to play with me, read to me, show me what they’ve done or made, and tell me about their nightmares and dreams.
But, I am becoming increasingly aware that this phase is just that, a phase.
Before I know it, they will have secrets and experiences I know nothing about. That makes my eyes well up with tears and my heart feels like a bomb inside my chest.
Am I crazy? Go ahead, diagnose me. I know you all love to.
I’m sure this fear comes from the fact that I missed so much at the beginning of their lives. From six weeks after they were born through when they were 3 and 4, I worked way too much and missed so many milestones. Now, I can’t bear the thought of missing a thing.
I live every day with the guilt and daily reminders that I never bonded with my firstborn the way I could have. He’s a tough egg to crack – he doesn’t talk much about his feelings. But, I’m persistent and I need to know what is going on inside of his little head and heart. I need to know. I am obsessed with knowing my kids.
Go ahead now, what’s my diagnosis?
That same day, I stumbled upon an article written by another mom in the City Mom Collective, Danielle at Chattanooga Moms. She wrote an article explaining Enneagram type for kids. I read it and felt energized.
Then I went down a rabbit hole. I clicked a link in that article to read an article by Dawn at Chattanooga Moms about Enneagram parenting styles and then a link in that article to read another post by Danielle about how to parent using the Enneagram.
The rabbit hole did not end there. I bounced over to Amazon and started ordering books (used, of course – I’m not made of money). No lie, I ordered 5 books on Enneagram and parenting.
Then it began to make sense. I have a deep desire to know everything about my two kids’ personalities, feelings, and emotions- not because I want to label them or categorize them, but to truly and deeply know them and understand them so that I can guide their learning and cater to their needs as individuals.
But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that this need makes me feel a bit crazy and obsessive at times.
Go ahead, diagnose me – I’m waiting.
This deep dive into Enneagram was not an isolated instance of me focusing on knowing my kids.
A few months ago, when we began our homeschooling journey, I spent many late nights staying up trying to learn everything I could about Multiple Intelligences. I felt like, if I could just “figure out” each of my kids, I could better serve them individually as their educator. And as their mom, of course.
I read everything I could and even had each of my boys complete a questionnaire to determine their multiple intelligences. I’ve been using this information to help plan learning activities for them, but I don’t know how this information will help me have a full understanding of my boys as they grow into pre-teens, teens, and young adults. But I so badly hope that it does lead to me deeply knowing my kids.
Now, I don’t mean to come off as brash by saying, “Diagnose me.” But, you have to admit – after 3 years of writing for VT Mom, we sort of have a love/hate relationship. I bare my soul to all of you and then about 50% of you call me a psychopath. Remember?