Last week was a rough one. My 2-year old made me cry. She beat me down for 12 hours. I tried to hold back the tears after she went to bed. I couldn't. I felt drained, mentally and emotionally. I felt a little bit pathetic that a 25-pound tot did that to me. She yelled at me all day long. She wanted my attention constantly. She wanted that book and not this book. Tantrum. She wanted grapes and not watermelon. Crying. She wanted me to pick her up while I made breakfast. Ear-piercing screaming. She wanted (EVERY) toy that her sister had. Hitting and then more crying. It didn't stop...all...day...long. Even during my precious nap "break", she screamed from her crib, refusing to nap. After falling asleep briefly, she woke crankier than ever. She yanked and clawed at my chest, demanding milk. I tried reading, singing, playing with toys, going for a walk to the park, a car trip, food bribery and even You.Tube. The videos I put on were never right. I don't even think that she knew what she wanted for those three days, but it started minutes after waking from her 12-hour sleep and ended minutes before falling asleep for the night.
Maybe she was teething or maybe she was stressed about our move. I don't really know. I stayed calm. I gave in when I felt like it was appropriate and ignored her when I couldn't handle being near her. I gave her hugs and kisses and cuddles when needed. Maybe it is the parenting rookie in me, but it was hard not to feel like I was doing something wrong. My 2-year old was Jeky.ll & Hy.de.
I read this article, To The Parents of Small Children, a few days later. Hallelujah, I'm not a terrible parent! I feel like I am sometimes, even though I know, deep down, that I'm not.
Enjoy every moment! They grow up so fast. The strangers who say this to me, to all of us, must be remembering toddlerhood through rose-coloured glasses. On days like last week, I'm not usually enjoying the moment. On those challenging days, those kinds of comments make me feel guilty. If I'm not 'enjoying the moment', am I missing out? No. The good faaaaaaaaaar outweigh the bad. The girls and I have some incredibly perfect days or moments. We also have many, many good days filled with great moments. Those tough days make me appreciate the good ones that much more.
Time is the greatest gift to parents of young children. This isn't a quote from the article. It is from my mom. When I receive those emails from my brother offering to take the girls for a few hours, my day is instantly better. I no longer feel guilty over wanting time away from them because I know that that time makes me a better parent and a better person.
On those horribly challenging days, sometimes I need to scream. Sometimes I need to cry. Sometimes I need to vent. Sometimes I need to eat junk food. I'm trying really hard to recognize what I need during those times.
Sometimes it is as simple as breathe in, breathe out and the reminder that you're not alone, as Steve Wiens puts it.
Sometimes it's a prescription pill and a glass of wine.ReplyDelete
Oh shit sister I hear you. I HATE when I read stuff when I'm going through a tough time. It's always the stuff that you mentioned above. Or it's crap about how parents aren't teaching their children right or they wouldn't be acting the way that they do. or it's someone praising their lovely child. usually right before my child pushes them down the slide.
parenting is fucking hard. FUCKING HARD ! and I wish that more parents could support each other.
and I also wish that you lived closer because sometimes you just need a break and I would Totally take that sweet girl during her nap time and change the scenery. sometimes that's all they need (and you)
OR - you could hang out with my bunch and then you'd think that your kids were perfect little darlings. Except this week. this week my crew has been pretty darn exceptional. :)
Good luck. always remember. this too shall pass.
And make sure to add today, to everything you say. This is hard (today) She has been absolutely terrible (today) I can't handle this anymore (today)
There is an end.
sadly it's usually a new beginning to something else. but change is good :)
I forgot about the wine, probably because it is a staple in my day ;)Delete
Kids are always better for someone else. I'll do a swap. If only you lived closer!
Because KJ and Kids said it SO PERFECT, all I will add is, I have been there (honestly I think we all have at one point) and major hugs to you.ReplyDelete
I just read the same article the other day on FB and it made me feel so much better too. I totally hear you with everything you mentioned above. Me and G are such different parents. She could have Grace on her hip 24/7, co-sleep until she goes to college and spend every waking moment together. I need my "me time" and there are definitely times when I feel so guilty about that. It's articles like this that remind us we're only human... Parenting isn't a parade of perfect harmony and butterflies AND even the most perfect parent needs a break now and then.ReplyDelete
Good job making it through the day mama! Tonight, have a glass of vino (or two)!
I'm so late in responding to this, but like other's have said, we all get to that breaking point. Glad you got a good 45 minutes with them the other day. Two steps forward...ReplyDelete