3 01/23/2012 parenting

Isn’t a Carpe a Fish?

I went away this weekend for a much needed time-out.  The boy and I are in a constant battle these days, the stage that my friend Molly has been warning me about since Will was in-utero is in full swing.  The tantrums come from nowhere and over nothing.  They’re loud, long and unpredictable.  And I don’t handle them well at all.  We both inevitably end up yelling and in tears.  But I’m working on it.  I can say with 100% certainty, I will not look back on the age of three and a half with fondness.  I was going to come here today with an SOS on how I get through.

Then I read this article and I cheered.  Go and read it and come back to me.  As I said in my comments to her – of the thousands of blogs that I’ve read or written…this could be my favourite ever because I think it sums up how the vast majority of us feel as mothers. 

I remember being in the thick of my postpartum and standing in a line at Shoppers.  A woman looked at Will and then at me and said, ‘isn’t this the BEST time in your life? Isn’t it amazing?” and I looked back at her and said – ‘No actually it effing sucks’ – left my stuff and walked out as she stood there silent and bug-eyed.

Because you know what?  It isn’t always rainbows and sunshine.  It’s not always fun.  But nothing worth having comes easily.  I say women of my mothers generation didn’t get as worked up because people smoked 24-7 and it was socially acceptable to start drinking at noon.  I also think they didn’t put pressure on themselves and each other to be the perfect mothers – to successfully breastfeed - to have great hair and be a size 6 while teaching their child their 4th language and fusion cooking – to have hot sex with their husbands 10 times a week.  They were just more relaxed!  So maybe – just maybe they do look back on it with more fondness.

But instead of seizing the day – I’m going to take Glennon Melton’s advice and relish in some Choros time everyday.   Maybe when the kid is writhing on the floor in his rage over a dirty kermit the frog t-shirt, I’ll try and smile at his tenacity.  When he falls asleep after an hour long fit, I’ll lie next to him until our breathing syncs up – the way it did when he was a newborn.  And when he runs across the room and launches himself in my arms, maybe I’ll breathe deeper and suck it all in so when the next rager hits, I’ll be able to close my eyes and remember his arms around my neck. 

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Mostly – I think I’ll just remember to breathe…..and maybe I’ll exhale when he’s five??

  • Allison

    My kids are 16 and 20 now so I am past the days of tantrums, but I still remember the motifying moments of my daughter having full out tantrums in the most public of places. I was that mother with everyone looking at me thinking to themselves that I couldn’t handle my own child. We still have our conflicts where I stand there thinking to myself that after 20 years I still don’t know how to handle her. My son, thankfully is very easy going and not much ruffles his feathers. How he manages that in the house with me and his sister I am not sure! I have been single for 11 of the 20 years and with that all the responsibility of everything that you know all too well. There is no such thing as a perfect mother. There are no perfect days and no magic formulas. The magic ingredient is love.. and the occassional time out and glass of wine.

  • Tracey

    I read that article last week… and trying to remember the good moments during the whole sordid day can be a bit of a trick. I gave up feeling guilty about not loving every minute of it all, since my experience is like no one else’s, and at the same time, the very same as everyone else’s. It’s not an easy job. Some parts can be wonderful, but lots of it can just suck. BIG time. I try to remember to be grateful for all the good stuff, but I’m not gonna lie about the crappy parts being crappy. Even in the face of well-meaning people swooning about how much they loved every minute of motherhood, back in the day.
    Glad you got to have a time out, lady. Good for you!!

  • Julie

    the part i found the most interesting was the story about her husband and how no one comes up to him every day asking him “doesn’t he just adore every minute of his day?”. when he says “no” there’s a sort of chuckle and “oh well” attached to it. i know that’s how it is around here. but if i (or her or you) were to say that about our mothering jobs we’re immediately chastised and (real or imagined) given these horrified looks.
    we always remember the good…even when something bad happens, don’t you say…”we’ll be laughing at this 10 years from now” so i can sort of understand where the crazy old ladies are coming from. but it doesn’t make it any easier to hear when you’re knee deep in sh*T cuz you want out NOWWWWWWW!!!!!
    i like the chronos and kairos…that was pretty helpful to read.

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