It is in the moments of stillness that I reflect on just how blessed I am.
The quiet, soft minutes where I can simply lay my feet up and be.
But recently, these moments have been far and few in-between, making breathing itself feel like an impossible task at times.
It feels like child abuse of a different nature up in here.
You know, the kind where your child abuses you both mentally and physically until you cannot take it anymore and beg them to stop.
Only they don’t stop, and why would they?
Social services won’t be busting down the door to take mom and dad into custody from the neglectful, violent, toddler at large.
No, we are on our own when it comes to trying to find the best way to deal with our kids and the terrible awfulness that is the terrible twos.
So the body flinging grocery store tantrums will commence.
The, “I took my own shoes off but I’m going to scream at you for it the entire car ride” moments will go on as scheduled.
And we will continue to muddle through the sobbing gibberish to find the root of our child’s emotional outbursts.
All the while, trying not to breakdown into a sobbing gibberish mess of our own.
It’s hard ladies. Being a mom is hard.
As I check off every last tactic for fits that I have found from books, blogs, etc. and none of them are working, I wonder if any of these authors have ever actually had children themselves.
Then I imagine I’m alone in the world and my kid is just some freak of nature that is immune to eye contact, time outs, essential oils, and all of the other methods that supposedly work wonders for everyone but me.
Something’s got to give, right?
The crazy thing is that the answer to that question is no, and I think that is what scares me the most.
According to our families, Declan is a terrifying mix of both Derek and myself.
He is curious, fearless, and stubborn like his dad.
Never sits still, can’t be taken out to eat, and is always climbing or getting into something he shouldn’t be.
He is also strong-willed, feisty, and dramatic like his mama.
Discipline only makes him more determined to misbehave and he knows how to put on a BIG show of anger.
I know that his independent, strong personality is a blessing and it’s something I never want to shut down or take from him, but it can make him a real handful to raise sometimes.
So when I am having a particularly hard day, I take a moment at night before I go to bed to list all of the things about him that make raising him easy.
I think about how fun he is to be around when he’s happy.
How he is observant, loving, and joyful.
I meditate on how much he loves to dance, tell stories, grin from ear to ear, and laugh at his own jokes.
And I try to remember that this terrible two shall pass.
Being a mom is hard.
But imagining NOT being a mom is even harder.
So I hold on to the reminder of how blessed I am as my toddler loses it in the middle of Target.
I thank God for Declan as he kicks me and flings poop everywhere during a diaper change.
And if I can keep my mind on the positive in the midst of the chaos, then maybe, just maybe, I’ll make it out of this stage a stronger, better mama than before.