Five Thoughts on a Wednesday

Thought #1: I’ve done a great job at not yelling at my toddler all week. So yay me. It helps that he’s been in a much better mood. Well, except for this morning when everything was “all by myself” followed by mini meltdowns followed by bouncing off the walls followed by pushing his baby sister. OK, I yelled once when he pushed her. But come on dude.

Thought #2: I really want to go on a vacation. A proper one with my husband. We haven’t been away since our son was born – no, since I was pregnant with my son – so it’s been 3 years. In my past life (before kids) I was a vacation-a-year kind of gal. I love to travel. I’ve been fantasizing about going back to Costa Rica. I’ve been twice and would love to go again. I’d also settle for the Mayan Riviera. Or Tulum. But then I think about going away without the kids and it just gets complicated. One day.  Soon, hopefully.

Thought #3: My parents are coming today, should be in around 3pm.  They’ll be staying for about a week, but not with us which is kind of awesome.  They’ve rented an airbnb down the street.  We just don’t have the room and we get in each others hair.  So this is good.  I’m excited to see them.  They love our kids so much it makes me so happy.

Thought #4: Baby girl has done three pretty good night sleeps in a row woooooohooooo.

Thought #5: I have to go to the grocery store when she wakes up from her nap.  Going to buy ravioli for dinner YUM. What are you having for dinner?

 

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How I Plan to Stop Yelling at My Toddler

I am not proud to admit this, but I have yelled at my toddler (he’ll be 3 in February) every morning this week.  Every morning is a fight.

I’ve always thought of myself as a pretty relaxed parent.  I don’t care if he doesn’t want to get dressed when I want him to – I’m rarely on such a tight schedule that something can’t wait 10 minutes.  I don’t care if he wants to eat his breakfast standing at the counter. I don’t care if he wants milk and juice and coconut water with his breakfast.  I don’t even care if he wants them in specific cups.

But there are things that I can’t handle.  That make me snap.

I can’t handle when he pushes his 10 month old sister.

I can’t handle when he asks for things over and over and over again when I’m busy.

I can’t handle when he gets frustrated and throws things/cries/whines.

I can’t handle when he says he wants one thing and then screams at me when I get it for him because he actually wanted something different.

Now I know, big emotions and I should have empathy and compassion because he’s on the brink of being truly a big boy but can’t process things like a big boy does.  I get it.  But holy shit it’s hard.

So after I dropped him off at daycare I googled ‘how to stop yelling at my toddler’ and the beginning of the article went on to explain all of the ways I’m damaging my child by yelling at him.  How I am potentially “hardening” him and am headed for inevitable difficult teenage years.

It’s not like I want to yell.  I know it’s not good for anyone – especially him.  I know it doesn’t help matters, if anything it makes things worse.

And without even reading the rest of the article I do know some things I need to do. For one, I need to take care of myself.  I am so frazzled. I”m exhausted (I blame the baby on that one).  And I have no patience.  Throw a “spirited” toddler into the mix and yah, I’m going to snap.

So even though he was very emotional this morning, I dropped him off at daycare so that I can take care of myself (hello guilt).  When I got home I put the baby down, took a shower, and then did a 15 minute meditation.  I’m now having a coffee and writing this.  Trying to figure out how I can be better.

So I’ve decided that in addition to taking care of my own mental health, I’m going to:

  1. Show empathy.  Acknowledge (with my words to him) whatever emotion he is feeling.  Let him know that it’s OK and that I am here.
  2. Walk away. When I feel myself getting angry or frustrated stop what I’m doing.  Leave the room for a moment or put on some music.
  3. Recite a mantra. I don’t know what this will be yet.  Maybe “he’s having a hard time” or “he needs you” or “I am the adult”.  Something to remind me that it is my responsibility to teach him and I don’t want to teach him to yell and go off the handle.

I’m going to try this for a week and see if I notice any difference in how much I yell and in his behaviour.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

 

 

 

An Empty Cup

We had a bad daycare drop off last Thursday (he cried saying, mom mom I need a hug, I need my  mom) and so I just brought him back home with me.  We had another bad drop off today.  I’m going to cry.  I actually cried at his daycare because I’m that mom apparently.  Maybe if I wasn’t up every 3 hours with the baby I wouldn’t be this emotional.  Or maybe not.

I would have liked to have brought him back home with me.  But it’s Monday and I just can’t after the weekend.

 

Weekends are really hard around here.  My son demands, and I do mean demands, a lot.  He demands milk, juice and water in specific cups.  He demands our undivided attention.  He demands to watch ‘one show’ but won’t pick the show he wants to watch and then loses his mind because we didn’t put on the right show.  He pushes his baby sister when she gets too close to him.  He destroys everything.  And he refuses to nap.

It’s so much work and it’s exhausting.

When things are good with him they are really good.  He’s so smart and sensitive and he makes me laugh so much.  He sings and dances and tells stories.  I am blown away by how much he remembers.  This morning when I went to get him he said, ‘mom I’m singing a song’ and he started singing.  I love him so much it hurts.

I wanted so badly to bring him back home, but I’m a mess.  Emotionally, mentally, I’m sick and I’m so fucking tired.  I need the break today.  I stayed with him for a bit and he was happy while I was there, but when I left I could hear him crying.  They have a room there where we can go in and observe the kids so I went in and watched him for a bit.  He stayed by the door crying a little and cried harder when anyone came near him.  He was calling for me.

OK I should really not be  relaying this, it’s not exactly helping my emotional state.

He calmed down and I left in tears.  I feel so sad and so guilty.  I should have just brought him home but I know what they day would have looked like and I just can’t today.

I feel so shitty.  I also tell myself, this is part of being a good mom.  My cup is empty.  I have nothing to give him right now.  And that’s fair to my daughter who also needs me.

 

 

Lost

I think I have forgotten who I am.  Motherhood has claimed me, changed me, lost me.

All the things I used to love, used to be are lost to me. I’m trying to find them.  Music, movement, laughter, adventures, carefree, awake.

My children are my everything.  That love is like no other.  Their laughter brings me so much joy.  Seeing them play together feeds my soul.  They are the most precious, special, wonderful people I have ever known.

I live for them right now.  I do not have a life right now outside of them.

Sometimes I think that’s OK.  My daughter is 9 months, my son nearly 3 years. They are changing so fast and I feel so present with them.

Sometimes I think it’s not OK.  Nights when I put them down to sleep and I feel so tired.  Tired of my sons demands.  Tired of sweeping the floor 14 times a day because my daughter puts everything in her mouth.  Tired of having to protect my daughter from her brother. Tired of my sons constant need of attention. Tired of feeling overwhelmed at least once every day.  Tired of worrying.  Tired of giving.

It’s nights like this that I feel lost.  That I have lost that place that I knew I could always go back to when things were tough.  It’s still in me, I know it is.  Motherhood is just too big right now.

Soon

Soon my nine month old daughter will sleep through the night and I will be able to function at a high capactity. Right now I will continue to go to her and comfort her and when she wakes far too early I will drink a lot of coffee.

Soon I will miss cuddling my baby as she, like her brother, will not want to sit nestled in my arms for much longer as there is a big world to explore. Right now I will hold her, when she lets me, and take in every perfect feature of her beautiful face.

Soon I will be back at work with both my babes in daycare and there will be many days where I miss them tremendously, all while enjoying my freedom.  Right now I will enjoy this time I have with my babies and be grateful that I don’t have to go anywhere if I don’t want to.

Soon my son will be three and every day that passes I can see him becoming more a little boy and less a baby.  Right now I will remember that becoming a boy is hard and he needs me to set limits and love him and be patient with him.

Soon my daughter will be walking and talking and I will feel that pang in my heart that I feel right now when I look at my growing boy.  Right now I will be here right now.

 

Not the Best Day

I felt like I was a bit of a shitty mom today.

Let me start with a bit of context/compassion for myself.  So first off, I’m sick.  I have a nasty cold that has been lingering for over a week now.  And to top it off, my 9 month old daughter who also has a cold and is teething is not sleeping, which means I’m not sleeping.  My day started at 6:30 but I was up at 10 and 12:30 and 2 and then from 3:30 – 5:30.

I look out the window and there is a crazy storm outside.  Wind blowing.  Rain falling.  Just miserable day.  The kind of day that makes you just want to stay in bed.  But I have a toddler and a baby so that’s just not possible.

We got up and did our regular morning routine – all is well except my son was being his usual toddler self and demanding five times over for milk, juice, dad, grandpa (really?), and blankets.  It’s all good.  I was in a yes kind of mood and I knew daycare drop off was soon.

I bundled the kids up and walked with them in the cold rain the 6 minutes down the street.  I had my son in the stroller and my daughter in the ergo.  I couldn’t use my umbrella because the wind just blew it inside out.  And I forgot my hat.

I get there, cold, wet and so looking forward to crawling back into bed once I got home and put my daughter down for a nap.

But the lights were all out.

I was greeted by one of the teachers who informed me that the centre was closed due to a power outage and flood in the basement.

OK. I’ll be honest I was a little pissed that they didn’t contact me earlier, but what can I do?

We walked back and I started mentally preparing myself for the day.

I already sound like a shitty mom.  I should be happy to spend the day with my son.  He’s super fun and adorable and I love him so much.

And the morning was actually great, as most mornings are.  Renovations are still happening over here, but they were pretty quiet today so no biggie. He watched a bit of tv while his sister napped and then when she woke up we baked some cookies.  We put on music and shook our bodies.  We read books and cuddled.

Things started to fall apart after lunch, as they do, when he started to get tired.  He refuses to nap at home now.  I don’t know why.  I hate it.  He’s exhausted and he gets frantic and pretty unbearable.  I tried to get him to nap but it just made me angry.  He literally bounces off the walls in his room.

At 1:30, after I got my daughter down for her second nap I went and got my son and I pretty much let him watch tv all afternoon.  I know for some people it’s not a big deal, but I hate it.  I wanted to be spending quality time with him but he was being incredibly unreasonable – throwing things, hurting his sister, getting frustrated with his toys – that I didn’t know what else to do except yell in my head THIS IS WHY YOU NEED TO NAP.

I was still interacting with him with the tv on, he was happy, and I was able to tend to my daughter so I really ought to give myself a break.

Ugh anyways, things got worse as dinner time approached.  He was totally crazy by the time my husband got home and I felt really shitty.  I felt like I should have done more. I should know how to keep him calm.  I want my husband to come home to a happy, calm house.

So yeah, not feeling so great today.  I know I need to just let it go, do some yoga, meditate, and focus on things for which I am grateful. Which is what I”m going to do right now.

 

How I Plan to Be a More Positive Person

I believe the energy that we put out there is the energy that we attract.  Be it good or bad.  The more I find myself fixated on negative emotions, memories, and events the less happy and energetic I feel. The more I complain the more I find I have to complain about.  And I’ve been doing an awful lot of that and it needs to stop.

I want to take more responsibility for my feelings and thoughts and stop blaming people (ahem my husband) for my unhappiness.

So here are three things I’m going to do to help me become a more positive person:

Meditate. I find meditation is one way to help me stay positive.  It helps me to be more mindful of my thoughts. I was meditating regularly again for the last month, but haven’t this week because I would usually do it during my daughters morning nap and with the renovations going on that just hasn’t been possible.  My new routine is going to be to sit in silence for 10 minutes right after the kids are in bed.

Be grateful. I have so much to be thankful for and I want to start counting these blessing every day.  I used to do this every morning before I started my day, but I don’t have the space first thing as the kids tend wake me up and we are up and at them.  So my new routine is going to be to write down three things I am grateful for and I will do this right after I’m done meditating.

Kiss my husband.  I know that one sounds weird and it seems weird to have to remember to show affection to a loved one, but if you read my last post you will see I haven’t been holding a lot of love in my heart for my husband lately.  We are so busy with the kids that we can often go days without showing even the most simple affection towards one another.  So every day when he gets home from work I’m going to kiss him.

That’s it.  I’m going to do these three things every day for a week and see if it helps to shift my negative mindset to a more positive one.