Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Parenting is Hard

Connor has turned into a different little boy in the past few weeks. My funny, smart, inquisitive, soft, tender child has turned into a little rascal. It isn't any more his fault than a teenager who suddenly becomes sullen, antagonistic, and ornery. I get it. It's a part of growing up. It's a stage. And some day I'll look back and miss this stage (right? Isn't that what every mom with an older child tells you when you say, "Ahhhhhhhhh I'm pulling out my hair!!"). But right now, in this moment, I can't think about how I'm going to miss my handsome tiny little three-year-old. All I can think about is how I'm going to survive the next week (let's be honest, I'm really mapping out the next hour, the next five minutes, and sometimes even the next few seconds!). And that's just Connor. Aiden and Isabella have been equally challenging and have upped their temper tantrum quotient ten-fold. It's been a struggle, to say the least. Add in there that all three kids have colds, runny noses, coughs, sore throats, etc. and you have a recipe for a Mommy Insane Asylum. Seriously.

Yes I'm mean. I took a picture of her having a tantrum. What else was I supposed to do?
I consider myself a patient person, but Lord, have I been impatient lately. I consider myself a person who doesn't like to yell, but goodness have I yelled in the last few weeks. I consider myself a mom who can talk myself down from most ledges, but boy have I teetered pretty darn close to that edge. On Saturday, Connor spent, what felt like, an hour in time out. That child would not admit he was wrong. He would not say he was sorry. And sometimes he wouldn't even utter a word at all. I'm pretty sure he would have given Supernanny a run for her money. In fact, maybe I should call her and ask for advice about that weird voice he's been doing whenever he gets in trouble, while simultaneously pretending that he has headphones on and cannot here me. I'm sure that's totally normal and she's encountered that with hundreds of kids. Right? Riiighht?

All this difficulty has got me thinking about what kind of mom I am. Is the mom I am consistent with the mom I want to be? It always sounds great in theory to be the mom who never loses her patience, the mom who never yells, the mom who has got it all together. Let me tell you...as much as I'd like to be, I'm not that mom. Which got me thinking all Carrie-esque (remember how she always starts each Sex and the City episode with a question?)...

Is the type of mom I am better than the type of mom I want to be?!?  

And the answer to that is: Probably. I'm pretty sure Connor is learning a whole lot more when he sees me lose my patience and then apologize to him. He learns that we all have bad days, but we just need to accept the things we've done, ask for forgiveness, and start fresh. When he sees me cry, he learns sympathy and empathy for others who are struggling. When he sees me try to juggle things and not get everything done, but continue to try to do everything I can for my family - he learns that it's okay to try really hard, stumble, and continue to work at our imperfections. He learns that not everything comes easy to us and sometimes the things that are more valuable are much harder to accomplish.

Somewhere I heard that multiple children (twins, triplets, etc.) learn much earlier than singletons important lessons about patience, realistic expectations, self sufficiency, and a quasi selflessness (I say quasi, because I don't think there is a child out there that isn't somewhat selfish) because, from the time they were born, they had no choice but to wait. Wait for bottles. Wait for diaper changes. Wait for answers. Wait to be held. I'm certain this rumor I've heard was started by other multiple moms to make us all feel better about the fact that our attention is divided between two babies. But it does make sense, right?
 So, instead of getting down on myself for yelling and losing my patience and maybe muttering some words that may or may not involve me running away and never coming back, tomorrow I'm going to try to remember that Connor isn't going to learn as much from a Mommy who is perfect and stop giving myself such a hard time. Or maybe tomorrow will be the day I cash-in that vacation to Mexico for massages, mai tais, and handsome men bringing me water and feeding me grapes by the pool. Shoot. Did I say that out loud? Hey, a girl can dream...


The Schult Family said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Though I am not a Momma to multiples, you write the thoughts I think ALL the time with my girl. I am glad we have each other for support :) Isabella's pigtails are sooo darling!

Janet Dubac said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I can absolutely relate to the hardship that you are experiencing now. Raising kids is never easy. My 2 little boys rarely give me an easy day but it becomes easier as the day pass by. Don't forget to take care of yourself and take a breather once in a while. I know you can be an amazing mom to your kids. :)

Erin said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I sometimes wonder lately where my sweet, loving 3-year-old went, too. He's still sweet and loving, of course, but can turn on a dime and it's like who IS this kid?!

I also just read Cole's story and cried and cried. What a heartbreaking loss, I am so sorry.

I'm erinmich82 on Instagram, saw your post today and have now added you to my Reader!

Good luck with those kiddos. ;)

Tickled Pink Mandy said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Girl, you are a GREAT mom!! I know what you are going through completely. Reagan has been acting up all sorts of naughty since the babies have been born. It's a new child. I also have little patience (although I always knew I didn't have much! haha ) Anyways- stay strong. You are doing a fabulous job. xxoo

Kelly said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Good gosh...I'm right there with ya!

Tesha said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

LOL to funny:) We all have those seasons of child rearing that are just plain hard. It will get easier! That is the benefit of having older ones, to see Oh yeah they did not stay whining screaming toddlers forever. Your doing a good job don't be to hard on yourself!

Daddy's Dream ~Mommy's Miracle said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I should just copy and paste your post!!!! You're not alone!! Cayden has been a real 'pistol' lately too. Brock and Lynlee are showing there true colors as well!! I haven't told you the latest....Brock can climb out of his crib...so naps and bedtime take up to 2 hours to accomplish...bc he refuses to stay in the bed!!!!

The Amazing Trips said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Oh dear ... dear ... dear ... dear. I wish I could tell you it gets easier and in many ways it does. But I once had 3-3 year olds and a 1-year old, and now I have 3-8 year olds and 1-5.5 year old, and somedays I reach the edge of that "cliff of reason" and then instead of hitting the brakes, I hit the accelerator and proceed to go clear over the side of it.

Yes, it's true. Sometimes, even though I know of the tragedy that exists in the world and it feels like I count my blessings constantly, I throw temper tantrums worse than my kids. Parenting IS hard. But it's wonderfully awesome. Give yourself a big pat on the back and hug and kiss them when they're at their most monster-ish. :)

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