Oh, life as a mom of a two-year-old. Is there anything more humbling? This post is not going to be pretty.
Lately, I’ve just been feeling like I’m failing. I know that a lot of moms feel this way. Or, gosh, I just hope a lot of moms feel this way. Not because I want every mom to struggle, but because I want to know that I’m not alone.
We have a very defiant, spirited, loving, intelligent, curious and strong-willed toddler on our hands. He is almost 28 months (not quite 2 1/2) and he knows a lot and asserts himself. He loves his mommy, I know that. And boy! Do I ever love him? But he also frustrates the fire out of me.
I feel like I am constantly walking this fine line between “together mommy” and “scary mommy.” He is constantly being corrected, redirected and disciplined. I don’t like popping him on the hand and I don’t like having to speak sternly to him. But both have to be done. Time-outs have to be used. But it’s when I reach that point of “scary mommy” and my voice escalates and I’m angry.
I thought to myself this morning, “Poor guy! He isn’t doing the “right” thing, but I can’t imagine being corrected–constantly, all day every day.”
The hard part is that I know that he knows what he’s doing. I know that he’s doing things just because I said not to do them. I know that he’s testing me. He’s smart.
Our daily battles are over silly things like when he climbs on, and breaks, the exersaucer. Or when he snatches a toy from his baby brother. Or when he throws his food from the high chair. Small things.
But my biggest fear is that one of two things will happen. He will either (a) remember me as the mom who constantly scolded him and turned into “scary mommy” or (b) win. I don’t want either of those things. I don’t want him to be in charge and I don’t want to lose myself to my impatience and anger.
My love for both of my children is overwhelming. It’s true that we correct them because we love them and want to protect them from hurting themselves, hurting others or getting into a habit of behaving badly.
This road between 2 and 3 years old is an exhausting road. I am flat out tired. I have two kids who sleep great and I actually sleep great. But I am so tired at the end of every day and I’m still tired when I wake up in the mornings.
I know that no one expects me to be a perfect mommy. I attended the first session of our church’s Mom’s Bible Study this morning and heard a very great point that my husband, my children nor God expect me to be perfect. And that also means that my children will not be perfect.
I know that just like everything with parenting, this is a season. But it’s a long season. It feels especially long when you are constantly questioning everything you’re doing. I do trust my instincts, but I also know that I get one chance. I know that turning to God in prayer is my biggest hope. And I’m also turning to Dr. Dobson. But I know that I know this precious boy better than anyone and that prayer can help me know how to parent him and know how to be a calm, loving and patient mommy.
I need to appreciate the teaching moments where I can teach him and where I can learn.
I’ve never been more humbled than I am during this time in my life. I love this precious boy for all that he is and all that he dreams of being. I want to protect him and create a safe home for him.
This struggle with obedience is tough. I want to embrace his strengths and work with him where he is challenged. He may win lots of little battles, but I am determined to win this war.
2 Peter 1:3
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him
who called us by his own glory and goodness.