Saturday, November 16, 2013

A test


It's been a while.

I've been craving this space. Needing to talk. Needing to discuss. Needing to vent at times.

I've made no time to blog since returning to work in September. There's always something else to do in any free moment I have. Grading papers. Doing errands. Being a mom, wife, daughter...

But today, I'm making time.

Today, I have to get this out: I feel like I'm failing.

Being LF's mother is incredible and wonderful, and all of those things. It is also, like any other parent would say, a challenge. A test. A test that I don't always pass.

LF is funny, engaging, smart, and adorable. He is also stubborn, opinionated, and unpredictable. He can be smiles and giggles in one moment, and turn on a dime the next. He puts his arms up to be held, and then instantly wriggles and makes his escape. He sits in the highchair, takes a few bites of a favorite food, then swipes everything to the floor and refuses to eat. Then, there are the screams. The whines and the screams.

In those moments, my frustration bubbles over quickly. I feel myself getting upset. I take deep breaths, walk away, all the things you are supposed to do...but it comes down to me being mad at a baby for not cooperating. Seriously? Who expects a baby to cooperate? Me.

That seems ridiculous.

I feel like other mothers know what to do. Other mothers have perspective. Other mothers have understanding and patience. I just end up cursing myself for not being able to soothe him, the way a good mom should. Sometimes KG takes over, and sometimes the moment passes, we switch activities, and all is well again. But, the situation ends up stressful for all of us.

It isn't every day. I could write a million blog posts about all of the pleasant days we have together. But it is enough days that I'm thinking it is something for me to focus on changing about myself.

How do other moms do it? 








13 comments:

  1. I don't have an answer but I can say that I am positive you are doing a great job. And that I'm positive no other mother knows what do to entirely and that people just put on positive happy faces a lot in public. You're doing GREAT.

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  2. I feel this way with Banana and not with Apple, which adds another layer of guilt! I totally get angry with her for not cooperating, and walk away and curse under my breath. What can you do. Being a parent is hard for different reasons for everyone. Maybe there are some very patient moms out there but I know that my patience is limited sometimes! You aren't failing just because you get semi-irrationally angry at the baby. <3

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    1. I'll have to get my cursing under control before he can repeat my words back to me!

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  3. Glad to see you back.
    And I think the vast majority of mom's can relate to this. People just don't talk about it. I have read that even the most patient people find their temper after having kids. I so believe this. I am usually a patient, low key person but since having C, I have seen some not so sweet behavior from myself. I am a swearing-under-my-breath sailor and get mad often. Luckily, I always feel guilty right after and am able to apologize to C and turn my temper around. But avoiding those moments are impossible unless you have a perfect angel baby...which really doesn't exist. Just know you aren't alone and try to keep aware of how you are feeling. When you feel frustrated, breath and think about how you want to deal with the situation. Maybe taking that moment will help. But I don't know if you can avoid completely getting upset. You can try! Let me know if you figure it out.

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  4. So glad to see you posting again! You've been sorely missed.

    Frankly, I'm new at this so I don't know if my observations count, but I think what you're experiencing is completely normal. Toddlers, though wonderful, can be very hard. They have their own opinions and thoughts about the world all while lacking the ability to empathize with others. It doesn't make them bad, but their behavior can easily test the patience of he most zen-like individual.

    So, give yourself a break. I'm certain you're doing a fabulous job with LF, especially in those difficult moments. Walking away is always good when it gets trying, but writing it out can help too. Just know that you're not alone in his difficulties, despite what it may feel like.

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    1. Thank you, Cristy. I hope all is well with you and your family :)

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  5. We sailed through 2 with few problems - LO is playing catch-up now at 3 and WOW! am I paying for it. It's hard when you want to feel grateful for the opportunity to be a mother but feel like your kid is a little shit who deliberately makes things 10x as hard as they need to be and can turn a super-sweet moment into one where you are blowing your top for something which makes no sense from outside /her/ head. The hard times, they are hard to forget while the good times seem to flow like sand through my memory. Thankfully she mostly keeps the crap at home, so it looks like I have it together in public - so that's maybe what you're seeing with someone who looks like they have it together!

    Hugs to you & know you are not alone!

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  6. I think other mothers do it very similarly. They're working with kids who don't always behave according to plan. They do the work to mold them, but they also cry and curse and call their friends to complain.

    Sending a hug.

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  7. I think that's just parenting. I agree with Alissa, I don't think people really talk about it. But there are plenty of times when I sit defeated as my baby runs a muck. And sometimes I cry. There are days when nothing at all goes right and I wonder if I'll ever pass the parenting test. Sometimes a diaper change takes 10 minutes while she's all unruly. What I try to do is take it one second at a time. I figure out my priority or what I want to happen, and I make that my goal. Diaper on. Everything else can wait for me. The world can wait for me and my daughter. Sometimes I choose no diaper, and then I usually end up putting one on as I"m scared she'll go on the floor, but by that time she may be done with her tantrum. This is all an example. Because there are so many thinsg. She won't sit down in the bath, and it's a slippery death trap, so I need help now bathing her. She doesn't want to go in her car seat. I just don't give myself or her a hard time, I just say if this takes 17 hours, we're going to do it, or we'll come back to it.

    One of my best tricks is writing a "Ta-Done!" list on my iphone. I sit and recollect all the things I DID accomplilsh that day and even though it was a shit day, the stuff I did accomplish was amazing enough to boost my mood. Hell, in the first two hours of my morning I pumped, packed the babies bottles and lunches, packed my lunch, made breakfast, got myself ready, packed her daycare bag and gave myself a pat on the back on my way to work...late as usual. :)

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  8. Your description of your son could be an exact description of my son! I'm glad I'm not the only one trying to figure out why my son is throwing his favorite food on the floor. Some days I have more patience then others, but it's never easy!

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  9. I just found your site and this post 6 months after you've written it, and my "baby" is almost 4. But I had to say, you're not alone. It's not you. You're not impatient or unrealistic for wanting your baby to eat what you've given and prob what he's asked for.. I have 3 grown sons, 26, 20, and 16, and I can say from experience it's not you. My baby has thrown me for a loop. He's challenging every step, every choice, every decision. I think some are stronger willed and have stronger personalities. But as he gets older and is able to talk to me more about what he wants the frustration has eased up a little. We taught him sign language which was life changing from 10 months thru 2.5 years.. He finally had a way to tell us what he wanted, he stopped banging his head and screaming and would sign for food or drink or "I'm hungry". He had about 30 signs and used them til he had the words. It's not you, they just can't communicate what they want and find their mothers absolutely nuts for not being able to read their minds. And the swearing, well I've found it releases stress. A study was done recently that found swearing in a small amount in every day speaking helped diffuse a situation. And of ever there was a situation, it's when the babies in our lives are throwing a fit. At least you are walking away, or another mom said "under my breath". My baby just tonight said, "what the hell" when he couldn't assemble a new toy. I was cringing, and gave him an alternative choice of phrase, yes.. But when I walked away, I giggled. Because I knew just a few short months ago that "swear phrase" could have been a full blow tantrum. Hang in there, it does get better, and being a mother for the last 3 decades has taught me, this too shall pass. The one thing I have mastered is I've stopped comparing myself to other mothers, and for that matter comparing my son to other boys his age. We get through the tough times on the memory of the giggles..

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