I recently found myself sitting in the hallway crying while my toddler was also having a meltdown in his bedroom because he wanted his diaper put on by Blue Clues. Jesus take the wheel. Envision a mother trying to explain that Blue Clues is busy looking for clues and mommy must put on the diaper while their son is crying. After 10 minutes and singing the Blues Clues theme song twice, mom finally won. I am a first-time mom and I feel like we are navigating a cruise ship in a hurricane blindfolded together. I would include my husband in this vacation, but my son threw him overboard.
I had a set of principles I wanted to parent by before having my own.
“I will not be the mom who hands their child a phone every time they go to a restaurant.” *Insert crying laughing emoji x10*. My two-and-half year old now knows how to swipe up to change the app, sideways to change the movie, and “fix it” when it’s over. We have learned that, as long as we get our food in under 20 minutes, we all enjoy dinner. I call that a win-win. Do we get too much screen time? Yes. Has our vocabulary taken leaps and bounds and do we have Sunday night Disney music dance parties? Yes. I think we will be okay.
Pick your own battles.
Our newest battle is what shirt we will or will not wear (no one knows until it’s time to change). We wore our pajama shirt to daycare three times last week. As I walk in the door at daycare drop off, it only takes one look and a head shake. Our amazing teacher knows and she doesn’t judge. Do we eat waffles for dinner? Absolutely. I am living by the, “happy, clothed, and fed” motto. We are happy in our pajamas eating waffles.
Mommy time…what is that?
I wanted to leave home 10 minutes early to get coffee before work the other day and my child turned into a pterodactyl screaming and flapping his arms everywhere. I truly think he wanted to crawl back where he came from. I was overcome with emotions of fear, sadness, and the thought, “Dude I am going to be late to work we cannot do this right now” all at the same time. Am I selfish that I wanted to leave and get coffee? Is this coffee important for my well-being? What on earth do you do? I left and within two minutes, the pterodactyl was perched on the couch watching Boss Baby eating breakfast. He was okay; they always are okay after we leave. The key is having the courage to walk out of the door.
Someone once told me to always take the high road, but have you ever had to hold your tongue when your toddler yells a childish offense like, “You stink mommy”…No, “YOU stink.” Remember, always take the high road even when it’s hard.
I love my child to death, I do. This stage is testing me mentally, physically, emotionally and psychologically. I know it gets better, but in the heat of a meltdown it almost seems impossible to survive this stage. He is learning and growing with all of these big emotions and it is my job to teach him how to cope and understand these feelings. I do my best, but sometimes mommy fails and I know that. I get up the next morning and we try again. That is what I hope my son learns from me. Sometimes we will fail, sometimes we have bad days, and sometimes we disappoint people.