there is something that has been weighing on me lately. and that is pretty much the weight of motherhood. guys… it’s hard. it’s a lot harder than I could have ever imagined. i’m struggling with all of the emotions that come with being a mom in todays day and age. and well.. i’m struggling almost as much as i am right now trying to put my feelings into words.
other than the relationship I have with God the most important relationships in my life are those that i am building with my husband and son. and lately i’ve just felt like an absolute 100% failure. and it hurts. we are entering into this new phase of ottos childhood and it involves tantrums and independence and i feel sometimes left on the sidelines with my head in my hands feeling guilty that i’m looking forward to work. and once i get to work not being able to wait until I can pick him up and try harder to be more patient and understanding only to feel like a failure again.
i want to punch in the face every article telling me to not fold the laundry or do the dishes but to hold on to my son a bit longer because they don’t stay little for long. well guess what today show I KNOW THAT. I don’t need your article to remind me how fast time is going and that I can’t stop it. I don’t need your reminder telling me that my son is going to continue to grow. thanks. also do you know what would happen if i just neglected to do any adult chores because i chose to snuggle the entire time instead? let’s be real here.
and while we are being real, the only time otto wants to snuggle with me lately is usually when i’m sitting on the toilet. yea that is gross but it’s reality and at this time.. i guess i’ll take it.
the toddler stuff has been really hard lately. otto wants his independence so much which is incredible as he is starting to eat more and more and stand up on his own. but it also comes with the frustration in communication barriers and protecting him from danger like sticking his fingers in electric sockets and pulling out my food processor from the cabinet. i’m reading books, listening to podcasts trying to navigate how to do all this and do it the right way.
both the depressing and blessing of it all is though there is no real right way. it’s depressing because i was really hoping for some manual or instruction but just like the “raising an infant” one that doesn’t exist… sadly, neither does the “raising a toddler” version. however it’s pretty cool that otto has never been a toddler before either. so we are in this newness together.
i look back on a day last week where otto and i had a really frustrating day. he had learned the word “no” last week as well as “me” so when he wants something he shouts “ME ME ME” which is really cute until you’re just trying to have a quick lunch with your grandma and he wants all the things like butter knives. and every alternative you try to offer, “NO NO NO, ME ME ME” as he points to the knife. we had kind of a rough therapy session as well as a roughly short nap. which led to a few half tears from me in the car. you know the half tears, the kind that well up but don’t fall out of your eye.
and just then at the shop before heading home he starts to yell mamamamamama and i look over and he stands up for the first time and is just so proud of himself and continues to laugh and stand and fall with me for a bit. and my heart you guys.. just melts.
and then cut to a sled ride around the yard which he is having a blast until he sticks his hand into the snow and starts to cry because it’s cold. then goes into meltdown mode because i take him inside because it’s so cold. and we start this patience half tear process again.
this age has been such a blessing. i can’t even handle sometimes how otto knows how to do certain things without ever being shown. like put on joes watch or put his toys away. it blows my mind how observant he is and how much he really just wants to do what joe and i are doing. during these tantrums i just try to remind myself how frustrating it would be if i could not articulate what it is that i wanted. easier said than done sometimes.
where am i going with all this. i guess nowhere really. i just wanted to get it out there. writing is very therapeutic to me and maybe someone else out there is feeling this intense feelings of not being good enough. not only in motherhood but in work, friendships etc.
maybe we will never be perfect and chances are likely because who really is perfect? but i think the important thing is we all just keep trying to be better. keep trying to learn and make improvements. sure i’m going to make mistakes and i’m trying to be more forgiving of those mistakes and make less of them day to day. A for effort right?
photos by my talented friend Ashley 10