I know that I am not, but today I seriously feel like a failure at all that is motherhood. I know to expect these days, but it doesn’t make them any easier. I also know to remember that I am a great mom. I know to remember that feeling – that I am finally doing the right thing with my life– but OH. MY. GOSH.
My daughter is 16 months old. She understands most of what we say. She is independent and very opinionated. She is stubborn and passionate. She is easily distracted, yet focused. She is curious. She is fearless, yet fearful. She is shy and outgoing. She is brave.
With all of this going on, she is raring to go! She wants to do something, then sees something else and gets sidetracked. She never forgets, though. She gets back to whatever it is that she originally wanted. She doesn’t let things go easily.
She can’t tell me these things though. She can’t tell me her wants and her needs. She walks around whining and grunting and pointing. I ask her to talk and to show me. She tries. We are both patient with the fact that she can’t relay her message, and that I can’t understand it. It also eventually gets frustrating to both of us.
She screams and cries instant tears now. Sometimes I have no idea why because of the communication barrier. Sometimes I know exactly why, and my answer was and still is “no”.
Lately, I feel like the entire day is made up of these crying/screaming fits. She gets angry. She has tried to bite me a couple of times in her rage. She pushes me away when I try to comfort her. She slaps my face, she throws objects she’s holding, kicks, slams her face into things, and falls backwards hitting her head.
I try to protect her from hurting herself badly.
I try to not get angry.
I try to be understanding.
I try to empathize.
I try to explain what’s ok and what’s not ok.
I try to help her through it.
I try to give her the space she needs.
When she’s better I show her how to say she’s sorry; how to clean up her mess. I show her that together we can make it better. I kiss her head where she hit it on the ground. I try to find a balance of staying strong with discipline, yet helping her understand these new feelings.
Some days it doesn’t go well.
The past few days have not gone well.
So much so, that I’ve tried going back to two naps. I am hoping that might help her. The more rested she is, the less likely she’ll be to get so upset.
Today did not go well. It is only 2pm and there have been multiple moments of tears today. The most recent episode was horrible and it was all my fault.
Today I feel like a horrible mother because Caroline suffered due to my irrational fear.
It is Spring. It is the first really nice day today and all of the bees are out nesting. This means that I like to go into hibernation. I desperately wish I could be outside all of the time, but the reality is that the Spring is not my season. I hate bees/wasps/yellow jackets/etc. I have no reason. I am not allergic. I am not even afraid of getting stung. I just hate them. They are sporadic, unpredictable, and mean. I have an irrational fear and I know it is silly, yet there is nothing I can do about it.
Caroline asked to go outside today (like she does every day). I knew it would be hard on me, but I decided to get over it and go outside anyway. She should not have to suffer because of my fear. We love going outside and exploring. It is one of our favorite daily things to do! We did ok at first. We walked and explored. She started walking towards a bush that had bees all over it. I simply picked her up and we went in another direction. It was all good! They were buzzing by on occasion, but I was doing alright.
She wanted to go to the swings. There is a tree near by that is swarming with bees. “It’s ok”, I thought, “the bees will be focused on the flowers, not us”. When we arrive at the swings, however, not only are there bees all over the tree…there are bees all over the swing area as well. There are yellow jackets, too! I saw a set of carpenter bees flying around smacking into one another, and at least 5 yellow jackets. My instinct was to get the heck out of there. Caroline didn’t get to get in a swing this afternoon. I swooshed in, picked her up and rushed back home. I explained to her why we were going home. She seemed fine and wasn’t upset. I just couldn’t do it…not right now when the bees are everywhere.
Then I closed the door behind us. She screamed and cried and kicked and flailed and hit me and pushed me. I knew that all she wanted was to go back out. I couldn’t do it. I apologized a million times. She wouldn’t stop. I couldn’t get her to do anything else. She was so mad at me. She cried. I cried. My heart sank. These days have been hard enough without this. All I ever want to do is make her happy, and all that would make her happy is to go to the swings- yet I can’t do it.
Today I feel like a horrible mother.
Tomorrow is a new day. A new day to try and work through our communication issues together. A new day to teach her and help her say words. A new day to figure out how to get through these tantrums and bursts of emotion together. A new day to perhaps get over my irrational fear that I’ve had for 30+ years??? I hope so. I just don’t know how. We’ll figure these things out together, and we’ll get through to the other side.
Hopefully the bees will settle down soon and we will have our normal outside explorations again. In the meantime, we will go outside first thing in the morning when the bees aren’t out yet, and we will go outside every time it rains! LOL
As I write this, I realized that leap 10 of the Wonder Weeks was rapidly approaching the last I checked. I just checked again, and guess what I saw!?! Caroline is 1 day away from her leap according to the app. Dear Leap 10, WELCOME…