I worked all day. At a job that pays our bills and is the next stepping stone on my path to where ever. I was so excited to take my boys to the store. I had a plan. We were going to eat there and get our new clothes and then and only then as long as they were good, we were going to get a new toy. I haven’t bought them a new toy in a while and I was so excited.
Eating went ok. “P” fought us on not eating his pizza and getting upset about not getting any pretzel but he is a toddler. We made it to the toy aisle and both boys of course wanted the most expensive item. I had to say no quite a few times. I also had to remind “O” that they were only getting one toy. I wanted them to be happy that we were doing something different and that we were actually getting a new toy. That one toy would be enough.
After a few tears, no I should say tantrums and after several threats of not getting anything, “O” decided which toy to get. “P” however was indecisive and I eventually had to pick for him. The toy I picked was the one in his hand and was not the one he wanted after all.
After all that, my good deed went unnoticed. I felt worse than before. I told myself we will not be going to store again. My surprise for them did not go well.
Once we got home the poor behavior continued. At least from my eyes. I felt like in one hour it was nothing but yelling or battling with a 2 y/o and 5 y/o. That excitement I had a few hours earlier now gone. Now frustration, anger, stress, and confusion overwhelmed me. What am I doing as a mom? Going to the store was a difference in our evening routine. However, most nights are still exhausting. I get the boys from school, we then get home and I tell them to go play while I make dinner and during that time the battle starts. They fight. “P” is whining about having a snack and “O” wants to ask a billion questions. My mind is half listening to them, half cooking dinner, half unwinding from work, half thinking want am I going to do when the boys go to bed. Do the boys need a bath? I really need to fold laundry. I really need to organize our closet. I wonder how the weather will be this weekend, and what we can do this weekend.
I think you get the point… 🙂
Self doubt about parenting takes over now. I don’t play enough, my mind is constantly wondering. I am selfish in the sense that I rather watch a stupid video on Facebook instead of read a book to my son. I try to figure out how I can do all the things for me first and then my boys. Do I put them first…enough? I am not that kind of mom. Is that okay? I plan things to do. As I did with the failed trip to the store. I think of ways I want my boys to get involved with other things. I make sure they are dressed and bathed and teeth brushed. I make sure they have a great school and that they are health. I do not get on the floor with them I do not run around. I skip reading a book before bed sometimes and I choose to just tuck the boys in and not sing to them because I am exhausted. I lose sleep worrying because my boys are acting out. I feel guilty because I chose to not be with their dad and have a separate life with them because I felt it was better for all of us. I read articles on how to be a relax parent, how to deal with whining and sibling rivals. I try to do yoga to get myself to relax. I tell myself its okay to focus on myself sometimes because if I am happy then I can work and be there for my boys in a better way. I feel guilty for all the things I do and I don’t do. I tell myself I will do better the next day. That next day has come and gone.
That night as I tucked “O” in and yes was planning to skip singing a song, he looked at me and said “mommy I will be better tomorrow for you”. My heart sank, my eyes just stared. I couldn’t breath. I did not know what to say,
All the guilt, all the pressure, all the self-doubt bubbled over. Tears fell from my cheeks.
When I finaly could speak I laid with him, ” “O” you are amazing, mom worries and that makes her cranky sometimes. Mommy is also working on how to do things and I just want you to be happy and appreciate what you have and what you get. I love doing things for you and with you. His little statement made me realize that yes this is the hardest job, being a parent. It made me realize though that I can do it and I will figure it. That I am learning and I need to also teach. It is a lot but I can be there for my boys but they can also be there for me. To teach me.
That night I sang to both my boys.
Now I stop and breath before bedtime and I adjust me. These little humans just need their momma to stop and relax and want her to give a few minutes of calmness. Once I think about it, what they need daily is not much. I tend to make it a bigger deal.