Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Really Good Ten Minute Cry

There have been a few changes in our household in the last few weeks. Aiden started going to preschool twice a week. Tristen turned two and quite literally, the very second his little booty turned two, we headed straight down that dark, dark road (very correctly) named the terrible twos. Also, little baby Ali has turned into a crying, teething monster.

I’ve gotten more into the rhythm of getting everyone dressed, feed and ready to go in the mornings. I still have to repeatedly beg demand tell remind Aiden to get himself dressed more than a handful of times. I still have to pin Tristen down and kindly tell him to stop kicking me, which is almost immediately followed by the mommy look of, ohh, you better not or else. I must say, though, the mommy look almost always works, which makes me wonder why I even try the kindness approach in the first place.

Ohh, yah, I’m trying to raise kind and well-rounded and adjusted people. Damn.

But the point is I get myself and all three kids out the door on time and even a little bit early most mornings. I’ve learned to mentally and emotionally detach myself from the chaos and stress it takes to get so much done in such a small amount of time with three unwilling unhelpful inconsiderate very young children. I’m proud of how well I’m handling it all, especially when Jarod will remark on the few mornings he’s actually home to help me get the kids ready for the day that he has no idea how I do it and if it was just him, the kids would just be in their pajamas the rest of the day.

Haha. He’s so funny but also, I‘m about 98 percent certain that it really would happen, which is exactly why I’m the stay-at-home parent, not him :)

When we get to the building where Aiden’s preschool is, we all get out of the car. I usually keep Ali in the car seat, which at this point (although she’s a skinny little thing) feels like I’m lugging around 40 pounds. I sign Aiden into class and as we go to leave Tristen turns into a crazy maniac. He starts whining, throwing himself and his little two year old body onto the ground in a very obvious attempt to show his dismay. I sympathize with his tiny heart because I’m sure it pains him to separate himself from his very best friend and I understand that in his little mind he can’t fathom why he has to leave this amazing, colorful room with all the cool, older kids and fun, birght toys. I feel bad for him and I try to explain to him that we have to go, that sometimes he can’t be with Aiden all the time and he’s just not old enough to stay here yet.

But he still gets so frustrated.

And then he acts so frustrated.

And then I immediately stop feeling bad for him as I attempt to lug 40-pound-Ali with one arm and his crying, kicking, dead-weight two-year-old body to the car.

On top of all that fun, Ali’s strong-willed personality is coming out more and more. My mom even remarked that, “she thought girls were suppose to be easier and (Ali) is nothing like (me as a baby).“ I do suspect Ali’s teething but she’s also suddenly shown an even more apparent dismay to our notion of schedules. I no longer know the “best” time to run errands with the kids. The days are more chaotic with no true set time-intervals in place. I’m sure there are people out there that scuff at these words but I swear by schedules. They make life so much easier and I think it’s obvious how well they worked with the boys as I very willingly wanted and now have three kids aged four and under.

Thus, my days are filled with even more soothing, holding, coaxing, gentle explaining and repetitive disciplining. I’m proud of how I handle my days. I’m making the biggest attempt to keep my voice gentle and evenly-tempered, even when I want to bang my head against the wall repetitively. Since I’ve made it a conscious goal to be the mom I’ve always wanted to be, I’m becoming more of the mom I’ve always wanted to be. The days are a struggle but I make it through.

Well, at least I have been until last night when I went to change one of the babies diapers and suddenly realized that I left the $13 box of wipes I had just purchased from Target that morning in the bottom of the cart as we drove away. I’m well aware of the fact that $13 is not something to shed tears over. It was a mistake and it’s not going to kill us financially.

But something in me snapped. All of the built-in frustrations I’ve held in over the last few weeks while dealing with a four-year-old’s attitude, a two-year-old’s “terribleness” and a seven-month-old’s tears and demands hit me like a concrete boulder. The tears flooded down my cheeks and onto my husband’s shirt who tried soothing me and at first, I’m sure, was thinking, WTF. It was only $13.

The truth is every day is a struggle. I love my children and I love being able to provide them with all of my time and love; yet, this life is constantly forcing me to be better than I am because otherwise, I would simply crumble to my knees. Even when I’m feeling defeated and exhausted, I still have to cook dinner, clean the house, bath the kids and ran all the errands involved in a family of five. Every day I’m forced to push aside myself and my needs to meet the daily demands of the people I love.

But last night I hit my wall. I let myself cry the hardest I’ve cried in a long time for about ten good minutes and then with swollen, puffy eyes I got up, walked back into the kitchen and started cleaning again because this is my life. I willingly signed up for it and these are the people I love.

I must say, though, sometimes ten minutes of a really good cry is good for the soul. But please, please don’t tell the kids I said that - they really need to cut it out :)


  1. I've been in that place. I would like to say it gets easier, but parenting is never easy. The struggles do change, though, and we continue to adapt. We all have highs and lows and you have a great attitude about it!

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I use to think that things would get easier as they got older but I'm realizing now that it doesn't get "easier," there are just different issues to deal with, which is completely okay. It's just funny how different parenting actually is from what I thought it would be before I became a mom! :)