I want this blog to be an honest place. A place where I can share openly about my life. And even though I aim to keep things mostly light and fun, it doesn’t always paint an accurate picture for you. I have bad days just like everyone else, but I try not to bring that here. The reality is that some days being a parent is hard. Really, really hard. And some days it’s worth telling you about so you can see that we struggle with the same things that all families struggle with.
So rather than share our whole weekend, I’ll just offer a glimpse into one of *those* days where I wanted to phone it in and just stop being a parent. Maybe you’ve been there, too.
Saturday started like any other Saturday. I went to an early morning class and then came home to get ready for the day with the girls. Matt said the girls were “great” while I was away, but they definitely flipped the switch when I got home (any other moms experience the phenomenon “they’re angels for dad, but act like devils for mom?”). I tried to sneak upstairs to get cleaned up, but both girls insisted on coming with me into the shower. Showering with two toddlers = less than enjoyable. And 5 minutes later I’m trying to get dressed and dry my hair which proves to be nearly impossible with two needy girls.
Soon Matt left for work and I decided to take the girls out for a bit. We stopped at Barnes and Noble to buy a birthday present for my niece and things went downhill from there.
First Ashlyn had an accident and ended up wetting her pants and the store carpet. I accidentally left her change of clothes in the car so I had to carry her out of the store (crying) to get some new clothes. As we headed back in I ran into a new friend who has yet to meet the girls. She said ‘hello’ to the girls and Ashlyn yelled, “NO!!! Go AWAY!” and then turned her back. My friend politely smiled and said something to the effect of “What lovely girls.” I was of course embarrassed and tried to tell Ashlyn we don’t talk like that, but mostly I just wanted to get away at that point. Back in the store the girls’ behavior didn’t improve so I finally got them out and we continued on our way.
Still looking to turn the day around we headed to Petsmart to see the kittens (the girls have been asking to go). We arrived only to learn that it was actually a dog training / puppy adoption day. Madison has developed a fear of dogs and started screaming “Help!” and crying when we got there. Some of the dog owners actually left because she was so loud and upset. Another fail.
We left soon after and went next door to Target so I could grab just a few groceries (it was my only opportunity to do so). I usually bring snacks with me, but this time I forgot and the girls said they were “sooo hungry mommy!” So I stepped over to the cafe and grabbed them some food to eat. We finally sat down with all our items spread across the table and Maddie started screaming she had to go to the potty. After asking her a million times she finally has to go…RIGHT now. So, I asked a store clerk to watch my items and ran with the girls into the bathroom where Maddie decided to stick her hand in the toilet.
Other highlights included: running away from me in the parking lot (hello, heart attack) and realizing one girl had picked up a cigarette butt and was carrying it around. Whining, arguing, sister fights, everything you’d expect from a toddler times two.
It was just one of those days. Being a parent can sometimes feel like the hardest job in the world. You can never take days off and you show up even when you don’t feel up to it. And having more than one child is super hard. I lose my patience, my thoughts are always interrupted, I am constantly challenged, and the littlest things can seem like a battle.
That’s how it goes. But it goes the other way, too. When the girls are playing together nicely it makes me smile. I see the kindness they show each other when I’m not in the room and I can feel my heart burst. I hear them whisper “I love you, Mommy” in my ear at night and feel their arms wrap around me. And it’s my whole world. Because even on the worst days I am still so grateful for these girls.
How do you cope with toddlers?
What are your parenting struggles?