I've been struggling with this post for 8 days now. I felt like it should be profound, full of goals, and meaning, and hope. But honestly, I'm frazzled. I'm sad, tired, and feeling down. Motherhood is hard. There's no way around it. It's a constant struggle to block out what I wrongly think motherhood is supposed to look like. Like all the cutesy, picture-perfect pictures I see on Instagram...you know, the ones where mom is insanely beautiful and skinny. The kids are ALL smiling, wearing non-stained/dirty outfits, and the house is immaculate. There's no evidence anywhere of yelling, piles of laundry, clutter, toys everywhere, greasy hair, or time-outs.
Emma has been a challenge. I know, I know. You don't believe me. You've all been doped into thinking she's an angel (probably from all my Insta photos). This age is really hard, and I'm just not sure how to handle it. She's been super-defiant towards me. She doesn't listen to me very well, and doesn't respond to any of the approaches I am taking - timeout, humor, ignoring, popped bottom, and yelling (Yes, I am losing my temper way more often than I want and it's killing me).
I even tried whispering...yes, like a toddler whisperer.
Do they make those?
If they did, I would pay A LOT to have one.
The week of Christmas, it was tantrums...full, blown up tantrums - 2 or 3 a day. Laying on the floor, screaming, thrashing, complete chaos. After that, it's just been defiance. No napping, and simple requests are challenged. It's extremely frustrating. I'm scared to go anywhere, I hate that I can't control or handle the situation, and I hate the feeling of not wanting to be around my own child at times.
To make matters worse, she has been favoring Brent over me. I know it's normal and it's a good sign of development but it stings. Really badly. I'm in the trenches getting crapped on, and then all she wants is to do the fun stuff with dad (who she also listens to better). Whenever she gets mad at me, she just yells "Daddy, I want Daddy!" Then when we are all together, she tells me to go away and "let daddy do it." You have no idea how painful this is, and how rejected I feel (well, you probably do). Yes, she's only 2.5 and she probably doesn't mean it. But I'm also human, and I love her to pieces.
It's a daily battle. I've been Googling articles on parenting like crazy, and trying anything, anything at all that might help. I want to instill respect in Emma, and she must obey me as her parent. But am I asking too much of her at this age? How can I get Emma to listen to me? I know all the other seasoned parents out there are laughing at me right now. But I'm struggling, help a defeated mama out:)
Have I mentioned that she has only napped TWICE in the last 3 weeks?????
So, obviously the first thing on my mind this year is being a better parent.
I'm also struggling with how little time Brent and I have had together. December just plain sucked. Brent's dad is still in the hospital, although in rehab now. He may get to come home this week, where we will begin another long road of recovery for his heart and hip. I am beyond grateful that Brent still has an earthly father here. But it's been a hard road of taking care of family that thankfully is only 2 hours away. Between his work schedule, the holidays, and being down there. Brent has been gone a lot (cue why parenting Emma during this difficult stage is so hard also). Supporting one another has been a challenge. We desperately need some time to ourselves, and some good quality time as a family (where Emma isn't giving me the death stare while clinging longingly to her Daddy...)
Last year, I made date nights a goal of ours, and we did do better. I think now that I am part time, it is easier. And in the fall, we spent a lot of quality family time together that I look back on with great memories. Bring back the park trips and weekend outings, please!!!
But as I keep thinking about how little time we spent together, I realize we had some really great moments too. And I also realize that I'm not enjoying them fully because I'm too busy being peeved about the times we haven't had (confession).
My second hope for this year is to savor the moments I have with everyone - family, friends, those at work.
I can't control everything, but I can try to control how I approach it all, how present I am, and how I react. This is something I will always struggle with (who doesn't), but I want to lay down each night feeling content with my choices and how I lived life that day.
I came across this on another blogger's post, and it hit me hard. She wrote it so simply and beautifully, and so I share it here. It will be my prayer, every day.
As I've mentioned before, I'm not one to make resolutions to kick off the year since I feel like each day brings opportunities to reflect on ways I can be a better mother, wife, friend, daughter, etc. Am I giving and showing love the best I can, am I creating a warm and happy home for my family, am I giving my time and energy to things that make a difference, are my expectations and goals both for myself and my family in check, am I present and available to my children when they need me, am I modeling patience and kindness even when it's tough... These are things I pray for and I'm grateful for the fresh start each day brings, not just each January.