Obviously I know that mommy/toddlerhood isn't going to be a walk in the park all the times. There are certainly moments of bliss where everything feels like sunshine & rainbows - BUT - truth be told, there are most certainly moments of utter exhaustion/irritability/frustration/anger/sadness...
There's basically an overwhelming feeling of "what the hell is going on here?!"...or..."what am I doing wrong?!"
|balancing act in action|
The stress of juggling a full-time outside job and having a part-time side biz (along my full-time mommy/wife roles) is definitely harder and WAY more work than I thought it'd be. These are things most of us don't really think about before expanding our families from 2 to 3, 3 to 4 and so on. Right now, we're good with our "1", haha!
I really do try to stick with the positives on this blog & focus on the good, more than bad. Because a goal of mine one day in the far future, is to have this blog printed out in a series of book volumes for our family to look back & reflect on years from now. It's my online journal...and without it, I'd literally be lost...forgetting a ton of great memories that happen month by month. But sometimes - I need to vent.
**Before I vent, here's a few stats (starting with the 'good'):
- Kapri is now about 2 years and 8 months old (holy, that's is damn close to 3!!).
- She's now 3 feet, 2 inches tall...wowza!
- She loves books, puzzles and movies like no one I've ever known and is mega into the princess phase at the moment.
- She still loves music & dancing...sitting is a rarity in our house ;-) She'll tell you if Adele, Britney Spears, Rihanna or Beyonce is playing. And she lovesss HER song, which brings a tear to my eye whenever she randomly sings it.
- She's recognizes written words like "Kapri", "Mamma", "Dadda", "Mika" and remembers people's (& every single Disney Princess') names with ease - such a strong memory.
- She can operate the apps in her very own folder on our iPhones like a PRO. Now she's learning to take pics on it!
- She helps me getting things out/in to the fridge/cupboards...mamma's little helper! She also loves to help me cook/bake/stir/measure...especially when preparing smoothies!
- She puts on her socks & shoes (velcro of course) - one less thing for me to do while trying to get out of the house!
- She is trusted to use the potty herself from start to finish and has been out of daytime diapers since late August 2011 (at 2yrs/3mo old)...she now tells me not to follow her (and sometimes "don't watch me!") since she can do it alone - sheesh.
- Her vocab is rapidly expanding. The conversations we have sometimes are just flat out hilarious (or just plain mean - see below). It amazes me the sentences she strings together these days.
She is also very sensitive, emotional & strong-willed....sounds familiar. But along with that, she can also be the most loving, kind, gentle kid I know. She really is coming into her own little, independent, decision-making-person...complete with mamma's attitude. Oh boy.
With that said - I'm having a trying time right now. Maybe it's the end of the holiday craziness and that 11-day 'staycation' of mine....but this age/stage that Kapri is in is really testing me & my ability to parent in the best way I know how. Many times I react purely out of emotion...though some days I can easily tolerate any bad behavior or attitude of hers and it's all good.
Other days - I break.
I break...into a million pieces.
Like 2 nights ago. Which was the inspiration behind this rather lengthy post. So the story begins....
It's a normal weekday...I pick K up from preschool, she sees me, yells my name & runs to me with open arms (best part of my day)! We get home around 4:30 and I tell her to play outside with her toys while I work in the garage sanding some wooden blocks for a diaper cake. She happily does what I ask and everything's great. We go inside for a snack and a little TV/movie...while I tell her that "mommy has some important orders to work on, so you'll have to entertain yourself for a bit"...she replies with "okay mamma".
For a bit basically turns into the rest of the evening, with an exception for a quick dinner. I'm swamped. And tired. I regret putting some things off til the last minute.
She tells me she's tired around 6:30 and I know bed time is around the corner....just. have. to. get. this. last. thing. done! Sooo, the bedtime routine didn't actually start until closer to 7:30 - oye vay.
Brushing her teeth turned into an ordeal. Way more drama than it needed to be. She fought it & whined & cried...she knows how I feel about that. She was visibly angry & tried to HIT me. You should've seen the look on her face!! Ugh.
Then making her sit on the potty one last time for the night made her angry as well. She repeats over & over that she didn't have to go...but I knew she did. I told her that we'd sit in the bathroom til she goes, because the night before...she didn't go potty before bed - and ultimately wet THROUGH her night diaper & onto her bedding (I really hope it doesn't take 2 more years of nighttime diapers!). In hindsight, I should've taken her to her room, got her PJ's on, read a book...then asked her to use the potty! But, I didn't... so we sat there.
And while I waited, she looked at me angrily & said "stop talking to me...don't look at me...I want Grandma...I love dadda". The other day I swear she said "I don't love you mamma", while simply trying to change her outfit before the park! GEEZ!
I was hurt bad. I tried to ignore it...seconds later, she went potty (see...I KNEW IT!) & we continued the bedtime routine. I was so hurt I didn't want to read her a book. So I changed her & put her right in bed.
She needed her bedtime book. I told her that since she didn't love me, I couldn't read her a book that night. I just wanted to leave her room & go curl up in the corner. I was in NO mood to read like I normally do. I was over it.
But then she cried out to me "I love you mamma...love youuuu...I'm sawwryyy!" I asked if she was sure. She said yes. Then I leaned over, against her crib and explained to her how much that hurt mamma and that I love her no matter what...when she's good/bad...always, and she should do the same. I told her that I'm trying to be a good mamma...I'm trying my best...and I'm sorry if I'm not perfect all the time. Or can't do what she wants, when she wants it...all the time.
"Do you understand honey?"...."yes mamma...love you mamma".
I ignore my hurt feelings in any longer...as soon as the first little tear welled up in my eyes and the tone in my voice changed as I tried to hold it in...she noticed. She flung off her blankie, released all her Toy Story dolls from her grip...and stood up just to hug me. So weird - she held ME in HER arms...this child, goodness! She hugged & kissed, kissed & hugged...I stopped holding back & cried...while we hugged in a dark room, with only the gentle glow of her princess nightlight. Then there was a brief moment, where her eyes caught mine and finally there was some sense of mutual understanding.
I got out a book and read to her. My patience had returned.
The following night was equally difficult with her, if not worse. Total shopping store meltdowns like I've NEVER seen before. I tried speaking to her calmly, loudly, yelling, bribbing, threatening...everything. Each & every approach I tried did. not. work! But I'm quickly learning that I've got to find one (a calm one), stick with it, and be consistent.
I've since purchased my very own copy of a book...which was recommended to me by a friend of a friend, called: Love & Logic...Practical Parenting from Birth to 6 Years. Coincidentally I had a cranky/angry child in my arms while checking out, ha! Wish me luck.
Isn't hindsight a mega bitch. I think so...now I'm kicking myself in the ass, wishing I'd reacted differently to her meltdowns. But, that's what parenting & growing up (both adults & kids) is all about....a learning game. Recognizing where we need change. We will learn to communicate better together - I know we can!
**What's ironic to writing this post...was THIS post that I've seen all over Facebook in the last 2 days - it helps to know I'm not alone and to be in the moment**