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Relatively rough

I love my girls. But we’re far from perfect in our relationship. Yesterday's post makes many things sound rosy. Today is all thorns.

People have posted lately about days they’ve walked through that have been hard recently. And they are right. Each instance was truly something I wouldn’t want to have to deal with, and they did so with amazing strength.

Some people wish they had a toddler to pester them all day. They desperately miss those they’ve lost. They dream of one day having a child who will make a royal mess of the house. I’m blessed with two such beings.

Why is it then that a day like today gets put in the “so darn tough” category in my mind? Why can’t I seem to get this mothering toddlers thing down? What I’m dealing with is so miniscule in comparison to so many others. Yet it FEELS so very hard right now.

The clamoring for my attention just plain wears me down. I’m exhausted. I want to put them each in their cribs and just sit for a while. Why don’t they listen? They know precisely what I’m expecting of them, what I’m telling them to very clearly, and yet they refuse. I can’t believe how often I am physically making one of them do what they have been instructed to do.

I get to the point where if either of them touches me, I want to yell. Not because it’s them, but because I’m sick of being groped, grabbed, and climbed on.

Currently they are in their high chairs, less than 3 feet away, eating “fish crackers” so that I can breathe. I should be cleaning up the living room for the 5th time today or figuring out what in the world I am going to fix for at least 1 of the 4 meals I have to make for dinner. There is nothing in the house to fix for M, and yet I dare not go to the store with them in the state they are today. So I crumble into a chair and decide to type instead, because it’s cathartic. Because these tears of frustration are going to erupt into more yelling and the follow-up guilt if I don’t find a release somehow.

I want to be a mom that never needs to raise her voice. I want to be a mom that says something ONE time with a firm look and gets the desired result. How much time we’d have to play roll-around-on-the-big-bed and read books and play with all the fun toys together if it didn’t take forever to accomplish every tiny little thing!

It’s a moment. It will pass. I know this. But for me, for this little sliver of time, it’s rough.


  1. You're definitely not alone in these thoughts. I will tell you, I DO put my kids in their cribs sometimes, and just sit. It doesn't make me a bad mom. It makes me a balanced mom.

    When one of them (I forget which now) was really little, I was drowning in baby. Mark found the perfect analogy to keep my head above water. He reminded me of how when you're on a plane, and the flight attendant gives that little safety speech, they tell you to put your oxygen mask on before assisting your child. Why is that? Simple....if you're incapacitated, you cannot help ANYONE.

    It's not only perfectly's also vitally take care of yourself sometimes. I know it's easier said than done, but it's not impossible.

    Good luck!! xoxo

  2. Uh, I think we are on the same wavelength or something. Yesterday's post and now today's. I feel THE EXACT SAME WAY. Seriously. I know they say you shouldn't wish these early years away, but sometimes I wish I could.

    I was just going to write a post on this tonight. It is so frustrating, but just know you're not the only one who feels this way!

  3. Sorry for the rough seas today. Hope bedtime tonight was a breeze and you are sitting back and enjoying a much needed breather.

  4. I just had one of these moments. I have tried to get Cody to sleep four times and each time Carly has woke him up. So on the fifth try he is almost asleep, but I see Carly trying to eat paper and doing a good job of it, so have to put Cody down really fast and of course awake again! Moments like these I am so frustrated, but I feel like I should not be. We all have these times and especially when you have two little ones relatively close together. I would not trade them for anything, but I too, have these moments.

  5. having little kids is by far the hardest job I've ever had. Ever. There are no shortcuts, there's no way to outthink them or perfect them or even get them to cooperate. It's all about slogging through those rough minutes. I suspect you're like me, accustomed to doing an excellent job at work and getting the associated praise, etc. And with kids? it just isn't like that.

    I know what you mean about comparing to people who don't have kids, but that's a trap. You can be insanely frustrated and grateful at the same time, you know?

  6. "I want to be a mom that never needs to raise her voice. I want to be a mom that says something ONE time with a firm look and gets the desired result"

    When that happens be sure and bottle it. You would become a millionaire overnight.

  7. Last night none of the kids would go to bed. After HOURS of trying, I gave up and made popcorn at midnight. Kids are a challenge. We all have our days. [[HUGS]]

  8. There is no such "perfect" mom out there RK! I'm convinced, and if their child does mind the first time they are either as shocked by the behavior or they were blessed with a robotic child.

    Sorry, I've been hit and miss with the internet lately or I would have been encouraging you more through this icky sick stuff... it gets everyone down - no matter the severity of the illness - because it's not the norm and it requires more of you.

    Motherhood is the perfect example of having to die to self every. day. It's hard - we have to do tons of stuff we'd rather not be doing and we don't get many kudos or cooperation from the little ones that we are pouring our lives into. Each phase comes with it's different challenges but so far I still think the toddler stage is the most difficult - cuz you got the rebellion and the total dependency issue... at least when they become mouthy or difficult when they are older, they can still get dressed and use the bathroom on their own! :)

  9. To all of you--thanks very much. To read something like this the next day is always a little embarrassing, but some of me does want to remember this part being hard so I don't ever talk of these early years as all beauty and fun and disenchant some poor young mom someday who is too overwhelmed and alone to speak up and ask for help.

    Encouragement is always welcome. That's why people need people!

  10. Sounds to me like you are expecting your kids to be perfect at all times, especially the younger one.
    From what I have read your life was simple until you had your 2nd daughter. It sounds to me like you resent her for not being perfect like the older one. Sorry but she is a normal toddler, and things will most likely just get worst in behavior over the next couple of years.
    You might want to look at how you discipline your kids, because it looks like what you are doing is not working.
    Butting them in their beds and high chairs is not discipline.

    Sorry to be so rude. I have followed your blog for a while and rarely comment if ever. However, today it hit me really wrong.


  11. There's nothing wrong with putting them in their cribs so you can "sit for awhile"!

  12. "I want to be a mom that never raises her voice." ME TOO! Oh my goodness that is one thing I keep telling myself I'm going to work on, I don't want to be 'that' mom and I had 'that' mom (stepmom) growing up and I so didn't want to be a yeller - yet here I am, a yeller. And I don't like it, yet can't seem to stop. I feel like you described on most days. Some days I'm so overwhelmed with parenting and the absolute not listening to me that it drives me to tears. one ever said parenting was THIS hard! Hugs!


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