Today was a hard day. Parenting is hard. It can be incredibly fun at times. But other times, its just plain hard. Today was the latter. Today I feel like I failed. I feel like nothing went right. This momma cried today.
It started out like most days. I was awake a few minutes before my toddler. Not long, but long enough to have a few moments of peace. It was nice. Then I heard the bedroom door open, and my toddler came into the living room, eyes still heavy from sleep. He hugged me and said, “Good morning, Momma!”
That was the highlight. The day went downhill from there.
My son was sassy today. Yes, he’s three. Yes, the term “threenager” applies. This was something else though. Itwas next-level sassiness. This was the attitude of a child that has no consequences and doesn’t give a f***. It was out of the blue. It was out of character. I wasn’t ready. This momma cried today.
There was so much back-talk. If I heard “Fine!”, “Geez!”, or “UGH!” one more time I was going to lose my mind. Where did my sweet boy go? Why does this child think its okay to talk to me this way? This isn’t something we have ever allowed. This momma cried today.
Then came the whining, and the tantrums. I understand that some of this behavior is par for the course with toddlers. However, the sheer excess of this carrying-on was overwhelming. Nothing would make this kid happy. This momma cried today.
The Argumentative Why
He asked “why?”. Again, pretty average behavior for this age. I am prepared to answer the question “why?” as best I can. “Why is the grass green?” “Why is the sky blue?” Or even, “Why do frogs hop?” These I can answer, or at least fake an answer. What I am not prepared for is the argumentative “why?”.
By that I mean the following:
Me: “Please don’t do (insert behavior here).”
Me: “Because I don’t want you to get hurt.”
Me: “Because you will be sad if you get hurt and Momma will be sad too.”
Son: *does behavior again*
Me: “Please, stop. I already asked you to stop. Please listen.”
This goes on and on until I can no longer take it. I am arguing with a three-year-old who knows no logic. This is futile. This momma cried today.
The lack of listening continued. I had to say things over and over. No less than 15 times. It was maddening. No amount of talking, yelling, or punishing made any difference. The defiance continued. This momma cried today.
Things I Said I’d Never Do
Today, I did things I said I’d never do as a parent. I yelled like a nutcase. I lost my mind. Threats of taking away toys and privileges were made. My son was put in an extended time out. I changed my plans for the day because his behavior was so outrageous. I said the words, “because I said so!” more times than I can even count. Swore I’d never do that. This momma failed today. This momma cried today.
I sent my son to bed early today. Way earlier than his normal bedtime. Alone in his room. No bedtime routine. No story, and no snuggles. I made him go to sleep alone. And when I climbed into my own bed, this momma cried.
The End of the Day
Lying in bed, I missed my sweet boy. My little angel that I never thought I’d have. I missed that boy, his giggles, his snuggles, and his happiness. It was missing today. I prayed to any and every available higher power that tomorrow would be a better day. That my sweet boy would return to me. This momma cried.
I felt like a failure. Like there was nothing I could do write. I felt like I’d screwed it all up, everything up to this point, and ruined my child forever. And again, this momma cried today.
But tomorrow is another day. A new day. And I will get up, a few moments before my boy. I will sit quietly and enjoy the peacefulness of the silent house. I will await the click of the bedroom door opening. Anticipation of that bleary-eyed toddler coming out to say those words, “Good Morning, Momma!” We will start over again. Because that’s what parenting is. Every day is a fresh start. You do the best you can. The hard days will come, but they also will pass.
Hang in there, mommas. Hang in there those of you who are struggling. Those that are in the throes of a bad day. Those that feel like they’re getting it all wrong. Tomorrow is another day, and another chance to get it right and make it the best day ever for you and your child. You aren’t alone. We all have those days. Even the best moms, or the mediocre moms like me, who are just trying our best. Hugs to you all!
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