I need an attitude adjustment. It is a fact. I know I do. I just need to figure out how I get my head in the game. I am stuck between my patience and a two-year-old. She is little. She is fierce. And she knows just how to get the best of me. She can push all the right buttons until I want to wave the white surrender flag on the day and pick up a glass of red wine.
Right now I am reflecting on the day, and I am not happy with myself and my behavior. Today, I was not the mom I want to be. And I was not the mom that I can be. I let her little two-year-old self get the best of me. I know that losing my patience does not make the situation any better, but I really don’t know what to do. It is one of those parenting moments that I am sure I will look back on some day and realize that her strong will and constant motion got her where she is going in life. But for the time being, how do I harness those skills for good and not lose my sanity in the process?
I am trying not to be a bad mom, but I think that comes hand-in-hand with two-year-old territory. I am not worrying about her thinking I am a bad mom; I am worried about my own self-awareness. My most frequently said phrases are: “No, don’t do that,” “Stop you are going to hurt yourself,” and the always present “I need you to have good listening ears.” There are days where she cries and there are days when I cry. We both have opinions on what and how she does things. It becomes a battle of wills on who will win. Will she wear me down or can I communicate well enough with her that it will go smoothly? How do I communicate to her that she can get hurt to someone who has zero fear? How can I communicate to her to just sit still for two minutes so I can do whatever it is I am trying to do? How can I communicate to her about so many things? I know she understands me and that she can hear me. It is more about how do I get her to respond to me that I am not doing a great job with.
It feels lonely. I feel like every other mom has it completely under control while I am trying to hold it together when her two-ness is showing. There is no real answer on how to handle this because every child is different. There is no guide to open, and there is no one who can tap in to be her mother while I run screaming for a moment.
This is my job and I want to do it. But I also want to be a better mother than I was today. I want to teach myself that I need to respond differently to her. I need to teach myself to handle her differently. When my frustrations elevate, I need to count to ten, walk away for a minute or something else to clear my head. I need to take a breath. I need to handle her better, and I need to handle myself better. So tonight I will fall asleep beating myself up while she is upstairs in her bed sleeping peacefully unaware of my internal struggle. I love her to pieces, and tomorrow I will work hard to do a better job for both of us.