Today was one of those days. Before 8 am rolled around, I’d already changed a poopy diaper so bad it leaked out the sides and onto her pajamas, cleaned up half a sippy cup of orange juice that was intentionally poured on the couch, swept up a laundry room full of spilled Oxiclean granules and dealt with a meltdown when I tried to get her dressed. A few short hours later, she spilled coffee on my papers, knocked over a picture frame that shattered, continually ran over my toes with her ride-on toy, screamed bloody murder when I tried to put a bib on her and decided her new favourite game was kicking me. “Lord, please give me patience”, I kept saying. Before bedtime, she decided she simply couldn’t start her bath until she ate grapes…no, a banana…no….I don’t know what I want but I want it RIGHT NOW! Another meltdown. “Lord, just let me get through the next 30 minutes.”
Mothering is HARD. I’ve never done anything in my life more difficult or more exhausting than this. I try my best to not get frustrated but on days like today, it’s practically impossible. If you’re one of those amazing moms that can keep it all in, walk out of the room and take a few deep breaths, I admire you! As much as I want to keep my frustration hidden, there are times when I’m so exasperated that it just spills out. So I pause, breathe, give her a hug and tell her I love her. Then we go about the day. Five minutes later, she’s in the middle of playing and walks over, wraps those sweet chunky arms around me and plants a wet kiss right on my mouth. Oh yes. Mothering is AWESOME.
As moms (and dads!), we put absolutely everything we have into raising our children. We’re going to make mistakes. We’re going to get frustrated. And we get so caught up, so irritated, so overwhelmed because we care SO much about what happens to them. She’s my child. My flesh and blood. The amount of love I have for her exhausts and overwhelms me. Regardless of how much I just want to let her do whatever she wants (because Lord knows, it’s easier that way), I simply can’t. I love her too much to give in and too much to just let it go. I’m not saying there aren’t times that we let her do what she wants (for our sanity), but in the long run, it’s up to us to ensure our children have the knowledge, respect, confidence and kindness to successfully guide them through life. Yes, my child is only 1.5 years old. Yes, I know she’s testing me to figure out her sense of self and learn some independence but it’s never too early to show her how to be firm, but be respectful and kind. It’s never too early to show her that yes, I’m going to get frustrated and I’m far from perfect, but it doesn’t mean that I love you any less. And sometimes you just need to get all that out so you can play some music and dance around the house and forget whatever it was that made us both want to have a meltdown. But it also means that on days like today, chilling on the couch and watching some cartoons to give momma a break is probably best for both of us. I love you my sweet baby girl. And I love that we’re figuring out this exhausting, exhilarating and awe-inspiring mothering thing together. I promise I’m doing my best.