Whew. What a couple weeks we have had! I would like to say that this title is going to give you the solution to all your mothering woes, especially with toddlers, but I’m afraid that’s not so.
In fact, this title really only means “Just hang on a little longer… today may be rough, but maybe after a nap it’ll be better? Or a few days from now will be better? Or maybe next week will be better? Or maybe you just need to hang on til daddy gets in the door and you can pop open a new bottle of wine? Shoot, maybe you just need to hang on a few more minutes til nap time!!” Whatever the circumstance, hang on just a little longer!
Two weeks ago I thought life as a mother was awful. If you’re not familiar with me, I have a 6 year old, a 2 year 5 month old, and a 1 year 4 month old… oh and they’re all boys! Toddler tantrums, molars coming in for the baby, tornado-resembling messes, pooped on floors, food and sleep strikes. Most anything a toddler can get into, they got in to. I was spent. My days were miserable. We got Coop up and to school each day, came home and I am pretty sure I yelled until naptime for two weeks straight. Nap times are the number one thing I have been blessed to get on a really good schedule, it’s the only thing that is on schedule in our life besides getting daddy-o up and to work at 430am. The Littles go down for a nap about 11 and will sleep anywhere from 2.5 hours to 3 hours. They get up right around 2 and we grab a snack then go get in carpool line. Those hours are my re-charge hours and I desperately need them daily.
Y’all. I would like to tell you that toddler years are going to get better, but truth is I don’t know. My oldest is turning 7 on Thursday, and I still do not know the answer to “when it gets better” because he still has his ups and downs as do most children. But having two toddlers at the same exact time… that is some kind of force I’m not sure I’m ready to reckon with and face the reality. They are really difficult at times and some days I just don’t know if I’m gonna make it until the end of the day without bursting with exhaustion and feelings of being overwhelmed.
Don’t get me wrong, please, I do love my boys with all my heart! I would do anything in the entire world for them! I wake in the middle of the night sometimes to go check to make sure all three are still tucked away in their beds. As much as they drive me crazy during the day, I miss them at night! They have given me more gray hairs than I will ever admit at my young age, yet their sweet kisses melt my heart away.
My sweet middle boy on the right in this photo, who is by far my toughest cookie, gets redirected and disciplined every 2.49 minutes humbles me every night. It does not matter how much I’ve gotten on to him, every single night when I kiss him goodnight he grabs a handful of my hair to rub between his fingers and he asks, “mama, yew wanna way down wif me?” [translated: You want to lay down with me?] and I’ll be honest I try to get out of it most nights because he kicks and hits my face and flips and flops and he never gets comfortable with someone else in the bed with him, but when I do lay down he asks a second question, “Yew wike it way down wif me?” [translated: You like to lay down with me?] How in the world could those simple questions not reboot me as a mama every day? Those are my words of affirmation from my sweet two year old, to know that not only for him but for his brothers also that I am doing a good job as a mama and they really do love me.
Mama’s, this is such a tough journey! You are not alone AT ALL! There will be days that you have yelled in your deep grizzly bear mama voice and you’re probably going to be hoarse by the endof the evening, and even if that is the case you still better get your hiney in your kids bedrooms and kiss and hug their necks because you are their mama. It doesn’t matter if you feel like you’ve failed and think they’re going to grow up with a gazillion mommy issues, you have to take life one day at a time and try to do better the next day. But don’t let them go to sleep without letting them know that you are sorry that you had to yell a ton and you are sorry that you had to give a few spankings and you are sorry that today seemed bad, but you still love them on their grumpy days and you will try to do better. That’s all we can do! Confirm to your babies that you love them. Squeeze their little bodies in a tight hug that pours love all over them. Smell their hair and take in their little aroma and re-fill your mommy tank to know that you have another chance tomorrow. Lay down with them even if it means laundry and dishes and a shower or social networking or Netflix have to be pushed back a few minutes.
I’m guilty for skipping this very important step of our bedtime routine, that is reading a bedtime story and singing old hymns. Cooper used to want me to read the same old book every single night and it wasn’t even really a words book, but a transportation book. He wanted me to go
through the book two to three times every night so we could look at the different cars and trucks. This began when he was about 2.5 years old, Miller’s age now. How I wish I had cherished those moments a little longer, because now he’s about to be seven! I also remember singing old baptist hymns to C and he’d tell me, “mama, stop sing,” and I’d bring it down to a hum until he fell asleep. Nowadays he asks me to sing him and the Littles a few songs, even though we all know I can’t carry a tune in a bucket! Lately, though, I’ve been so worn out from mommin’ all day long that I rush them to bed so I can go rest and relax. The craziest thing, though, is that I feel more relaxed and calmed down once I’ve read a book and sang a song or two! I’ve really got to get back in the habit of that.
Y’all, hang in there just a little longer! There are so many cliche sayings about kids growing up, but they’re all so true in their own ways. “The days are long, but the years are short” and “Babies don’t keep” are two that really hit me in the feels. These days are very long, but they’re not slowing down anytime soon so just breathe and try to get to bedtime so you can reboot for the next day and try to do better! Also, remember you are a good mama! Xo.