Deep breath in
As I’m writing this, my little one is down for his nap. I’m under a blanket on my couch and the only sound I hear is the dogs snoring beside me. Deep breath out. It’s been a hard morning. Scratch that, let’s just call it what it is. It’s been a hard few months. And the thing is, not every day is hard, or even every week. But it’s those deep-in-the-trenches moments where I feel like the little person running around in my house can bring me to my knees in an instant – that’s where my heart seems to reside these days.
Can you guess where this is going yet?
We hit two years old and I held my breath. It didn’t happen all at once, but I began to start to see the sweet baby turn into this little person. He has opinions, wants, desires, and needs that all of a sudden seemed like life-or-death scenarios! We had a breakfast meltdown because we didn’t get the pink spoon, our bib had cars on it instead of owls…AND mama was there instead of daddy.
The tiny cracks in my perfect view of good parenting split wide open, and out came every insecurity I had harbored about being a mom. I feel like every day, I wake up wondering who I’m going to have breakfast with: my sweet child who says thank you and easily gives kisses, or the one who’s going to pull the dog’s tail, break my sugar bowl, and end up in 7 time outs before 11:30 (all of which have happened).
As a mama, I think we take this stage so personally. We went from having our little one’s hand so close to us to having to reach out to grasp it as they’re running away from us. Last night through tears, after my child screamed when I entered the room, I told my husband, “This hurts more than any other rejection I’ve ever experienced.” The bond that once was so tight starts to feel stretched so thin.
It’s easy to forget that they’re growing up and with that comes so many new things, including new emotions that they don’t know how to process just yet.
I love that little person with every ounce of my heart. Sometimes so much it hurts, but mamas, this is tough. I don’t want to sugar coat it. I want to be real with you in case you’re going through this, too. And any mama who’s already braced this war zone, next time you see one of us, we would love a hug. Remind us that this is temporary, it’s just a stage, and our little two-year-olds are just stretching their worlds, boundaries, and imaginations.
In the end
Because in the end, I don’t want to remember this year as the terrible twos. I want to remember this as the year our little one became himself. That he learned how to say “please” and “thank you,” and that he learned “I wuv you.” That he knew all his colors and shapes and how to throw a baseball, and even that fact that he liked watching baseball (because go Rockies!).
I want to remember that this year, he began to understand that we ask if someone’s ok when they fall down and that hugs are better than hits. That he began to use his imagination and that every pretend cup of coffee he brings me is so much better than anything I could make myself.
Even when he screams in the middle of Target, when he bites the sweet girl behind him at nursery school, when he calls for daddy and tells me to go away…even when. Because at the end of the day, I have a two-year old. A wonderful, thriving, sweet child who one day will have children of his own. I want to be able to tell him that yes, this is hard. Harder than anything you’ve ever done. But there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing that child grow and learn.
And in the meantime, I may cry in the closet in the dark. I may need that drink of wine. I may fall down and believe every insecurity about being a mom, but I will not give up.