Parenting pushes you to places you didn’t know existed
‘Caca, pee-pee and your shirt is ugly!’ Yup. Those are the exact words that came screaming out of the mouth of my 3 and half year-old daughter a couple of years ago when I wouldn’t give her a juice box. Parenting is fun, no?!
My first reaction was to laugh, of course. How could those words escape the sweet lips of my darling little girl? My baby! Especially since I had made an effort that day and put on something other than my yoga pants and t-shirt for a change. But I quickly stifled my rising giggle and put on my stern mommy look.
Over the coming weeks, this outburst took on different forms, to the point that not only was my shirt not to her liking, but I apparently needed a total makeover. Sigh. She was right of course, but I refused to take fashion advice from someone who, in the afternoon, could lick this morning’s breakfast off of her pjs!
The Terrible Threes
You’ve either heard of – or lived through – the Terrible Twos, right? When your loving toddler learns to speak and the only word he knows is ‘NO!’ These are followed up by the Terrible Threes, when your child’s vocabulary and independence start to grow quickly at increasingly similar rates, leaving you totally exhausted by the end of day. Then, just when you think you’ve grasped this parenting gig, along comes three and half, which, my friend, is just on the cusp of the F$&?!% Fours! Run now.
I should have been ready since I’d already had two toddlers prior to this one. I should have known what was coming. But each child is so different. My son is rarely confrontational and never spoke to me that way. My eldest daughter, on the other hand, has a wicked temper but at that age rather preferred sticking out her tongue and walking off to pout alone.
And, to be honest, I just plain forgot. I had mommy-brain. It’s like when you’re in labour with baby #2 and remember how much you didn’t like it the first time and decide you don’t really want another baby anyway.
This, too, shall pass
What I did remember though was that it would all pass. That’s right. It will pass. Maybe not this week, or next month, but eventually it will. My parenting mantra has always been ‘It’s just a phase!’ And I found that this knowledge was – and still is – very comforting. Especially on the occasions when I am told that I am the worst mommy ever, or that so-and-so’s mommy is much nicer than I am, or even ‘I hate you!’ Ouch.
So I wrap myself tightly in this comfort, especially on difficult days, knowing that each phase will come and go and that my children and I will grow and change together.
Knowing that they must go through these difficult and frustrating steps to become the smart, independent and loving adults my husband and I are helping them to become.
Knowing that after the storm, the calm is filled with sweet kisses and words of adoration. And I am told I am beautiful once again.
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