November 11, 2013 by Heather
Motherhood is hard.
Good freaking gravy, it’s hard.
And I only have one. I sometimes wonder, if there happen to be more children, if I’ll look back on this time and think, Man, I sure had it easy. I’m sure I will, because I’ve heard my friends who have multiple kids say it.
I also wonder just how many rookie-mom mistakes I’m making. It’s almost like being a tourist in a big city and you don’t want to look like a tourist but there’s really no way around it – you have on the I Heart NY hoodie. You are obviously a tourist. I typically don’t care what other people think about me, but with mom stuff… it’s a whole other ballgame. No matter how many times I hear, “You just do what’s best for you and your child and don’t worry about anyone else.” Still. I just want to look like a local, dang it. Like I have even the slightest clue as to what in the HECK I’m doing. But the truth is, does anybody actually know what the heck they are doing when it comes to parenting?
Parker’s, um, let’s call it personality, has exploded all OVER the place lately. It’s like all of a sudden he is this wild toddler child who is out to cause destruction to any and everything around him. Andrew and I laugh at it because as soon as we divert his attention from one thing he is running to the next thing he knows he’s not supposed to do.
He is hyper. Spirited. Active. Playful. Aggressive. Fast. Curious. Cray Cray.
All of which are fine and good things (some in moderation), but when you put them together it is kind of a hot mess.
So lately when I am telling someone (another mom, perhaps) about his personality shift/boost, I wonder if I am blowing it out of proportion. Do I really have a “spirited, hyper-active” child on my hands, or is he just being a kid? Is this normal, to be expected? Because I’m having a really. really. really hard time keeping up with it.
It’s completely wearing me out, whether it’s “normal” or not.
My prayer life has never been so constant. I knew I could have a red-hot temper if I let it flare up, but it was never a real issue to contend with until I had a raging toddler smearing poop all up and down his leg while I’m trying to change his diaper. It’s not pretty, those situations, and I’m not just talking about the poop. I’m talking about this mom ripping the toy out of his little hand and chucking it clear across the room, probably leaving a dent in the wall somewhere.
It’s times like that where I know I’m relying on my own strength, and that it’s obviously not enough. Not even close to being close to enough. I beg God for patience every minute of the day. I feel my heart start beating fast when he’s dumping the dog water all over the floor, shoving his hand in the cat litter, throwing folded laundry everywhere, acting a fool in public, crawling all over me on the couch and stepping hard on my c-section scar over and over and over and over. Please, God, more patience. Please.
Motherhood brings you to your knees, man.
On the hard days, the really tough ones that make me want to crumble to the floor after he’s (finally) in bed, I am reminded of my friends who have lost their child or have never been able to have one after trying and praying for years. And I know that they would give anything to have one of my hard days. That my hardest day would be a dream come true for them.
And so I pray again, this time not for patience but to thank God for my active boy, who really just wants to play. He’s not out to make a mess or make me mad. He just wants to play. I’m so thankful.
He’s on the cusp of turning 1 1/2 this week. 18 months. That’s nuts, isn’t it? And we’re all still here, relatively sane. I use that phrase very loosely. Andrew and I have never, ever argued so much as we have in the past 18 months. Holy cow. Motherhood will also bring your marriage to its knees. No one really tells you about that though.
Moral of the story: We have a wild child. We love him (and each other) dearly. We may be going nuts in the process.
Happy Monday, and Happy Veteran’s Day!