I’ve been thinking of writing this post for a while. I’m not a good writer, so I know that it won’t come out how I want it to, but I’m going to do it anyway because I need to get this off of my mind. It is something I honestly struggle with every day.
Motherhood. Friends, it’s kicking my ass. And that is so, so hard for me to admit.
Growing up, if you were to ever ask me what I wanted to be, my answer would have been “a mom”. I have wanted children for as long as I can remember. In college and grad school, I was a nanny. First, to a family with 4 kids, and then to a family with just one little girl. I rocked those jobs. Why do I not rock that “job” now? Well, a couple things I should probably remind myself of: 1)none of them were toddlers, the youngest was 5 when I started; and 2)I got to go home at 6 every night.
Cooper was, seriously, an angel baby. As an infant, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. He slept through the night at 10 weeks (on his own, I had nothing to do with that), he ate any and everything you gave him-even if he didn’t like it, he was happy almost all the time, he was so content.
And then, I have no idea what happened. He turned 1, we moved, he started daycare a few days a week. All of these things happened within a few weeks of each other. And it was about that time that he turned into, well, a toddler I guess?
Cooper is…a spirited child, I guess you could say. He is super sweet and loving, he will give you kisses and hugs all day long. But he is also mischievous, independent, and opinionated.
He hates being in the car for more than 5 minutes. Most of our car rides consist of him screaming from the back seat.
He hates running errands. HATES. We rarely even go anywhere with him because we just don’t want to cause the scene that the screaming will cause. When he was tiny, he used to love running errands. Well, maybe he just didn’t know he could complain? Ha.
I get nervous when he is around other kids, because he bites, pinches, and pulls hair. Truly, I think that he does this because he gets so excited and doesn’t know how else to show it, but still. He doesn’t listen when you tell him to stop. He does this to me and Lee all the time.
He totally knows what “no” means, he just doesn’t care. He thinks it’s hilarious to keep doing whatever it is.
He throws huge, giant temper tantrums. For the most ridiculous things. If he wants a Cap’n Crunch and you won’t give it to him? Watch out.
He hates food. All of it. And if you so get him to eat something one day, he refuses it the next day. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, I can get him to eat Easy Mac. Yep. I know that it terrible. But it’s all he will eat!
If he knows he is not supposed to do something, he is determined to do it. (chewing on earbuds, chasing the dogs, climbing on tables, etc.) He will do whatever it is he’s not supposed to, and look at you with a big smile!
He does not play independently at all, we have to sit with him at all times. Lee and I wonder if this is because he doesn’t get to see us much during the week, so he wants our undivided attention when we are with him? We’ve started making a point to dedicate our evenings to him and not really worry about our dinner or picking up the house until after he goes to bed.
Lately, he has been angry and screaming his head off when it’s time to go to sleep. We have even pushed his bedtime back to 8pm instead of 6:30-7, and he still completely freaks out.
Deep down, I don’t really think C is any worse than other toddlers, but honestly? I never hear anyone else complain or talk about it. So then I get paranoid and wonder if my child is just super difficult or out of control.
I also know that I probably have an especially hard time dealing with it. I am so type A and controlling, and I have very little patience. And for me to not be able to control Cooper’s behavior, or his moods, well it really frustrates me. And I lose my patience too easily. I know that, and I try to work on it.
Lee and I get very little time with him during the week. Maybe an hour in the mornings, and a couple hours in the evenings. And sadly, most of that time with him consists of him screaming, being in a bad mood, and getting time outs. It’s so frustrating to me. And it doesn’t help that he rarely acts like this for my dad. It’s only when he is with us. Most evenings after we get him to bed, or after a hard morning and I drop him off at daycare, I have to force myself not to cry and try to convince myself that I’m not a bad parent.
It sucks and I’m so, so ready for this stage to be over with. At least, I hope it is a stage.
I have to admit, this is the main reason we are not having another baby this year. I know I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I definitely wouldn’t be a good mom trying to wrangle my toddler and take care of a newborn, and not lose my patience.
I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m not even complaining. I just need to get this out there. My toddler is a lot to handle. And I really struggle with it.
But that doesn’t mean that I don’t love him to pieces. I do. And, for the most part, I try and not dwell on these parts of our days, but it gets to me because I feel like it’s something I’m doing or not doing.
I hope this doesn’t come across as me being harsh on Cooper, because that is not my intention at all. It’s more about me. My shock that…I really don’t know what I’m doing, I guess? That parenting is HARD. That this little 25 lb human is totally teaching me a lesson. My dad laughed at me the other day and said “you thought having a baby was going to be so easy!” And I totally did.
And honestly, Cooper’s personality? It is a lot like his momma’s. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard for me. I’m trying to control him and he’s trying to control me. Maybe we both need a time out?