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Toddlerhood: Stuck between a rock and a hard place

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When that gorgeous little bundle of joy is placed in your arms, I don’t think anything can ever top that feeling.

That moment when you are finally crowned a parent, a Mama to another human being – it’s magical!

You get through those tough first weeks, and time goes so fast yet almost stops still, you wish for things to progress and lets face it, “easier”, but you also don’t want to will away those precious days because you want your baby this small forever in your own little bubble of love.

“Time goes so fast.”

Yes, we all say it, it may sound cliche, but it’s true.

And with all that time comes the challenges. Each one a hurdle, some a breeze, others not so easy, but then parenting isn’t, is it?

To be honest, it’s taken me a short while to actually put this together and put it to words.

Being a Mama to a feisty, crazy but oh so lovable two year old is an absolute whirlwind and a half.

And I feel a bit broken.

A couple of weeks back, an incident happened where another parent had taken it into her own hands to basically scold my child in public.

It was horrifying, and to be honest I don’t think I’m yet over it.

It was uncalled for, unacceptable and I could not believe my own eyes.

Now I’m not saying my daughter is any saint (what two year old is though come on?!), but on this occasion, I knew that she was in fact not in the wrong, and I would hold my hands up and deal with it if she had been.

And then on the other side of this coin, behind it all, behind the nice pictures, the cups of coffee, the smiles, the wheels are constantly turning in my head.

These past couple of weeks, anxiety has come to visit and I’m constantly fighting her off.

And it seems like I’m also fighting my daughter too.

Tantrums and attitude are all part of this “terrible twos” stage. I know that. I’ve heard it a gazillion times.

But what if it’s not the tantrums that are really the trouble?

When my daughter is in a room with even a single child, she gets elated, excited and crazy hyper. Some push and shove ensues and cue nagging Mum stepping in, anxiety literally crawling up my neck like Barbara from Beetlejuice. I panic and react so quick I want to swallow my own eyes to get away from the situation.

And I know it’s not her being horrible or nasty, but I need her to know that it’s not ok.

I’m going through a couple of strategies at the moment and in time, I know this is just a phase and she will get through it, I think I’m more anxious over other peoples thoughts and reactions.

Should I really care? Absolutely not. If this was someone else I’d tell that Mama to keep doing her and f*ck what anyone thinks.

Maybe I’m afraid of being seen as a bad Mum because I have a child who’s not afraid to be heard.

But you know what? She’s exactly how I wanted her to be. Out there, not a pushover, not shy and she has such a caring side that some people on the other side of our front door may not see.

For a few people I have seen, Isla merely has to squeal with excitement and the dirty looks come.

How is that right?

Do you ever not just look at a child who is happy and think wow, that parent has done a good job.

Or, if you think this little person is such a nuisance, maybe think that those wheels you don’t see turning in Mama’s head are on overdrive because you are judging her, through her child.

I can tell you first hand, that it’s crushing.

You don’t know how many times that Mama has doubted herself already that day.

How she might just want to run away in that moment in time because something “bad” is going to happen.

Constantly on edge waiting for the next push to come from little hands.

There’s only so many times you can say sorry to people before you eventually don’t know what to do anymore.

A little understanding, a little interaction, a little reassurance. Maybe even a “you’re doing a good job” isn’t too much to ask for, is it?

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