After a long, fun, but tiring weekend in Kentucky with family, today was a knockdown drag out fight for motherhood survival. The kids were super grumpy and still I forced a hellacious trip to Aldi’s and Walmart (because we had no food in our house and I am a glutton for punishment). As if that wasn’t enough, today was also the first day of fall dance class and I rallied the (moody) troops, yet again, and soldiered on to dance class.
I was near tears as Hazel hysterically cried and protested going into dance class for the entire 45 minutes. Literally throwing a fit the size of Texas. I felt paralyzed as I was attempting to corral an explorative 18 month old while also trying to gently nudge, negotiate, bride, console my daughter. Arguing in my head: She can’t just cry her way out of everything….but she is only three and a half….just take her home….no, don’t loose this battle…I wonder what the teacher/other moms are thinking right now…. and so on and so forth. It was not pretty, not at all.
We left. I felt embarrassed, annoyed, angry, tired, and just plain BEATEN DOWN. I let this affect me and my interactions with Hazel for the rest of the evening. Holding it against her.
Now, as both of my beautiful babies are sleeping and the anger, frustration, and hurt have melted away I can’t help but feel a little sad/guilty about how my day ended with Hazel.
I flipped through my momsense magazine and skimmed an article about “whining” it specifically spoke about preshcool age children being overwhlemend by life transitions and new expectations and their needing more love, guidance and tenderness from us parents, especially in this developmental phase. I wanted to cry. Mom fail. How could I not see that???
Today Hazel was scared and uncertain and I needed to be a better listener, nurturer, protector instead of a self conscious woman more concerned with loosing a relatively unimportant battle. Once again, I remind myself that this parenting gig is not a competition. There is no prize for “the best mom” whatever that means anyway.
Therefore, I need to think less about what my child should do and more about her needs specifically. I Definitely don’t have this all figured out, but something to strive for as a parent.
I hope this can be helpful, in some way, for other parent’s dealing with this difficult phase in childhood development. This was for sure my mom/God lesson for the day.