January 8, 2014

OH BOY...I Have a Toddler.

By Amy

You guys may remember that I had a hard time adjusting to becoming a mom.  (Please tell me you did too!?)  It was so hard when my little reflux baby screamed all the time and nursing was NOT working and he'd wake all though the night, sometimes, up to 15 times.  (I kept tally one night to prove I wasn't just being dramatic every morning when I was a weepy, hammered, overwhelmed mess.)  

It was hard.  I still feel anxious when I look back on that time.

Life is better now!  :)  There have been challenges for every stage, but really, it's been amazing to watch our baby go from a squalling blob to this little human with his own cool personality!  I'm more in love with him every new word, every little dance, and every time he requests, "Song?" then when we're done with that one, and he demands, "Nother!" 

Ahhhh, so freakin cute.  I kiss the little spot behind his ear alllll day.

And yet, the cuteness of this age comes with tantrums.  Lots.  Of.  TANTRUMS.  But, ya know, it's ok.  We do lots of time-outs, and lots of "Let's go calm down in your room." and, "Are you ready to be happy now?" Sometimes he kicks us or slaps our faces, when he's really wound up.  Ha...I had to haul him out of a store, mid-tantrum, kicking and hollering, for the first time last month!  It's getting more real, the parenting side of it.  I feel like we are shaping this little person now, not just feeding him and keeping him alive.  We're trying to teach him kindness and patience and good manners and how we don't launch ourselves off of tables.  I've learned that now, if my son hears me say, "What the crap!?" he has the ability to repeat it.  (Dang, it's so funny, though!)  I'm also learning that I too, need to be better at staying calm when I'm frustrated.  How can I teach my son self-control and productive communication if I holler when I get upset?  It takes a lot of self-control to stay calm, and sometimes I fail, especially when he is out of control crazy.  And screaming "NO!" in my face.  (Deep breath.)  Having a toddler makes me want to throw a tantrum now and then too.  *sigh.... Not cool.  

He kept wanting ice, so we gave him a cup half-full of crushed ice.  Which he tipped up and promptly dumped in his face.  Please forgive me, I laughed super hard.
So he's developing as a person, and we're developing as parents, and....man, I hope we're doing ok.  Do you always wonder?  Or by number 3 or 4 does parenting become routine?  I always ask myself, "Is this the best way to handle this situation?  I have no stinkin idea."  It's funny the kind of emotions parenthood brings.  I'll be kneeling next to my bed at night, thanking Heavenly Father for my son who brings me SO much happiness and joy, and the love in my heart is so strong that it makes me want to cry.  Then, in that SAME prayer, I'm pleading for charity and guidance when I'm at my wit's end and he's throwing the 100th tantrum of the day and I JUST WANT TO RUN AWAY; my worry and inadequacy for motherhood wells up so strong that it makes me want to cry.  In other words, being a parent makes me emotionally bi-polar.  Ha!  Like my toddler.

....And, out of all his gifts, his FAVORITE present from Christmas was the Goldfish crackers in his stocking.  Ha, figures. 

I was getting ready in the bathroom, I looked down and he had found some "blocks" to stack!  Hmmmm....creative.

But, I'll take all the worry and tantrums and ruined carpet covered-in-a-half-gallon-of-turquoise-paint for the sweetness of this toddler. 

Love him.  
I think I'm gaining the courage for a second go at this parenthood thing.  Cause it reallly scared me for a while.  But now I feel ready to face my fear of the infant months to gain another sweet little person to love as part of our family!  (Oh, and this is not an announcement... haha.. :)

Moms, I think it's ok to get frustrated and overwhelmed.

We're human, after all, and it doesn't mean that we don't fiercely love our kid.  And it doesn't mean that we aren't good moms--even though we're so dang tough on ourselves sometimes that we convince ourselves we're not.

All we can do is our best, pray for some guidance, TRY to act in love even when they aren't being lovable, and savor those heart-is-gonna-burst moments.  And, at the end of a rough day, let it be, and try again tomorrow.

That's what I'm going to try to do for 2014.

Thanks for reading, friends!  I'd love to hear your thoughts.  :)




15 comments:

  1. It does get easier, I swear. Things you had to really think about the first time around (what do I put in the diaper bag, is his bum really sore or just red, is he getting enough to eat, etc, etc) is not so much of a worry the second and third time around. Not that babies aren't crazy huge amounts of work. They are. You'll have more confidence because of your experience the 2nd time.

    One thing I didn't count on was how much the kids would entertain each other. The 2nd baby has someone nearby to watch and play with all the time that isn't YOU! They tend to find each other hilarious and endlessly amusing, and even though they squabble, I've found they never outgrow this fascination with their siblings.

    Two year olds are the BEST! They are fearless, and off to explore the world and all its dangers. It's a tough year because they have no boundaries and risk their lives all the flippin' time. Just enjoy it because at around 3 they get all clingy again, as their imaginations kick in and they start to realize how dangerous and scarey the world can be. Two is a blast, and three feels like you took two steps back.

    And really--they grow up so fast.

    Love your blog.
    --Marjanna

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    1. Thanks for your comment Marjanna! Yeah, I am looking forward to that benefit of siblings for my son: built-in entertainment! :) And, yes, it's true about toddlers constantly risking their lives...sheesh!

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  2. Yes, it's definitely ok to not be perfect. You sound like you are doing a pretty good job already. I was not very prepared for just exactly how hard the newborn and toddler years were for us, but I learned tons and became a better person! Parenting is meant to be challenging, it's meant to change us. Good luck and congrats with your decision to move forward with adding to your family!

    Older people at stores sometimes stop me and tell me how wonderful the child-rearing years are- the best time of their lives. Even though it's hard to see it that way with a screaming kid, they really are right ya know!

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    1. I like your philosophy: parenting is meant to be challenging, it's meant to change us. Thank you for your comment, Elise! :)

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  3. Haha, I was like, is this an announcement?! :) Thanks for keeping it real, Amy! I totally understand and relate to all that you shared here. I think there are ups and downs to each stage of parenting, but yes, the toddler stage is frustrating for mom and child alike! Hang in there, breathe and pray! And laugh when you want to cry - or do both. ;)

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    1. hahahaa, yeah I thought I should add that to avoid any misunderstandings.... :) Haha, yes, the cry-laugh happens, more often than I'd like to admit. Thanks for your comment! :)

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  4. Oh man! My little guy is just 3.5 months old. I'm a little nervous when he can actually move around and talk... It will be fun though, and I guess the point is mainly to just enjoy them in all their stages, right?!

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    1. Yep! And it is SOOO fun when they start talking!!!!! I love it!

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  5. So needed this today! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you, Jana! I appreciate you reading. :)

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  6. Being mom to little ones is tough! With a 3-yd-old, a 2-yr-old, and one on the way, there are days I wonder that i have any hair left. :)

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  7. ok so the phrase "it gets easier" is true but I prefer to say "you adjust". I honestly is hard but once we change how we react- it is mind blowing how much easier it is. We all have hard days but there are so many good days too! I have to write down the good days so I can go back and read about it and realize that the bad days will pass.. :) Enjoy this sweet time with your toddler..because 3 years old is worse then 2 (in my book!) lol

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  8. Oh man! I can SO relate!!! Having a toddler is so hard!

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  9. I love this post because it does show moms that if things aren't perfect, that is just okay. Just an FYI, my kids are all grown and I still wonder if I'm doing it right and making the right choices by them. Kathleen @ Fearlessly Creative Mammas

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