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