Today I am a bad mother. I’m not a happy mommy. I’m not excited or overjoyed to be a mother. Today my job is my sanity.
Before you preach about how many people would love to be mothers, and how many women out there battle to have children, and how I should be grateful that I have a healthy child: I know, I know.
But mommy is losing her shit just a little bit today.
I have a two-year old. And right there, that could have been the end of the article and so many mothers would nod their heads in unison and understand why I am not a warm and fuzzy happy-camper at present.
I thought the biggest problem I would have to deal with with Kian’s toddler temper tantrums was the screaming and the tears. Now, the screaming and the tears are no small feat that should be overlooked my friend, but, what really gets to me is how, out of the blue, in the middle of an ordinary moment of nothingness, Kian will surprise me by throwing himself on the floor (how do they do that without being black and blue all over?) and crying and screaming and kicking. Whyyyyy? What just happened? What did I miss? WTF??
WHAT I KNEW BEFORE I WAS A MOTHER
I thought that such tantrums were limited to the “naughty children”, the children of parents who do not discipline their children. I thought so at a time where I thought I knew so much: when I was not a mother – amazing how you have the most advice and opinions when you are not a mother, and then when you become a mother you realise you should shut up and speak when spoken to.
Kian is well-disciplined. He knows “please” and “thank you”. He listens to “put it back” or “clean it up”. He gives a toy back when he grabs it out of a friend’s hands (and we ask him to do so). He still listens when I count to three. So I don’t regard him as being naughty. I think he is actually better mannered than many children.
Most times, in the moment of the tantrum, I will walk away or hold him – dependent on the moment. I have read that, in the middle of a temper tantrum, it is our role to keep calm and be the adult in the situation, to be the constant, the safe place, because, in that moment the emotions that are being experienced by our children are too big for our little ones to handle.
I have also realised that us, as adults, are allowed to wake up and be in a bad mood. We are allowed to have an ‘off day’. Yet we don’t allow our children the same emotional experience.
Yet, today, I am not in the mood to be the wise adult.
Since Saturday I have experienced a screaming, crying toddler. He has had tantrums about, including, but not limited to: his clothes, his parents’ singing, his parents’ existence, his shoes, the dogs, watching Ironman, wearing Ironman, grapes, bananas, juice, kicking a ball, not being allowed to kick an apple, not being allowed to spit out his apple, not being allowed to spit, not being allowed to kick anything besides a ball.
Today I dropped my child off at school and was relieved to have given my son to his teachers.
Kian is my heart’s content, don’t get me wrong. He adds so much value to my life and I love him like a fat kid loves a cupcake.
Yet, today, I am happy to be at work.
And when the teacher offered to send me a photo of Kian, I actually thought to myself: “Please no”. **gasp**
Does that make me a bad mother? Mmmmmmaybe.
Does that make me a real, normal, average mother? Definitely!!
Do I love him? Like crazy!!!!
Do I look forward to seeing him? Definitely!!
Do I want to see him right this moment? I’m good for now…