Lately, my toddler has been driving me insane. Between being sick and well, being a toddler, this past week was pretty much hell. I try to sympathize with her. After all, I know she doesn’t feel good and hasn’t learned how to appropriately express herself so she can’t really tell me exactly what’s wrong. But really, Mommy can only take so many temper tantrums in one day before she starts to lose it. And unfortunately, that has been happening by 9am.
I feel like I’ve been walking on eggshells trying not to set her off. The littlest things like touching her baby doll’s blanket when I’m apparently not supposed to or giving her veggie straws when she actually wanted Goldfish (except she picked the veggie straws) leads to a level 5 meltdown with what I call the “exorcism.” You know, when they lay on the floor screaming and arch their backs. E’s favorite place to do this is while getting into the car seat and ironically while I’m trying to take her out of the car seat as well. Oy.
I get so mad when she screams and screams and throws things. When it’s impossible to go anywhere because she won’t sit in the cart or her stroller. When it’s a wrestling match to change every single diaper or to get dressed or to put shoes on. It’s exhausting. Mentally and physically because it doesn’t just stop at bedtime. She’s been up screaming multiple times during the night. I started to wean her from nursing but have pretty much completely given up on that. Because I also felt like I was weaning my sanity.
I feel so guilty when I get upset with her. I know she is little and doesn’t do most of these things on purpose. Except when she looks me right in the eye and drops her bowl full of yogurt onto the floor, that feels pretty intentional! It’s just so hard for me to keep my cool when I am just so worn out by it all.
I’ve been trying to be more patient and just walking away when she feels the need to do the “exorcism” and just let her get it out. I’ve been trying to let her make more choices and picking my battles. Whether it’s letting her take what she just can’t leave the house without that day (like empty water bottles or dirty clothes…wtf?!) or what she wants to wear. And I’m not gonna lie. I sometimes bribe her with marshmallows to get dressed when we have somewhere to be. If a couple marshmallows are what it takes to get us out the door, that is totally worth it to me.
When I think about how much of a hard time she gives me it always makes me question if I can do this all over with another kid. How do people with multiple kids do this? I feel silly complaining about my unruly only toddler when there are moms out there who have their hands much fuller than mine. I just can’t imagine throwing a newborn in this mix!
Maybe this is the first time mom learning curve – I don’t know. But it is hard. And moms with multiple kids – you are my heroes.
Some days are better than others. Today was actually the best day we’ve had in awhile. The sun was out a little bit today, so that might have been the difference! It’s been days since we’ve seen the sun, which I’m sure is not helping at all!
This too shall pass. It’s been what I say to get through everything. Every stage brings new challenges and I’m sure this is just an adjustment. But if there are some days when you just think your toddler is the absolute worst and you have to lock yourself in the bathroom for a few minutes, know you are not alone! This too shall pass.