This last week was a hard one. I felt like I was failing at this whole mothering thing. In February my son turns two and I am dreading to think that he has not yet reached the infamous terrible twos. His tantrums and constant whining have already started to become epic and the idea that it may get worse from here terrifies me. It terrifies me because parenting a toddler is a lot harder than I had imagined.
Like all mums I love my little boy to bits. I want him to feel loved and secure. I want him to grow up being mentally and emotionally content. However i also want him to be respectful and compassionate. I want to raise a son that is both kind and strong. A person who can think of others as well as himself. Despite my good intentions this road is not an easy one and I have often felt burnt out from the sheer stress.
When I was pregnant everyone warned me about how hard it was to have a baby. The sleepless nights, the breastfeeding, the big change it makes in your life. I had always assumed things got easier as the baby got older. Or at least once the baby slept. I was wrong.
Having a new baby is daunting, I totally agree with that. Yes it is an adjustment and sleep deprivation can be a bitch, but I was never as highly strung as I am now. I never questioned myself and my ability to be a good mum like I do now. The thought is constantly in the back of my head. Am I a good mum?
This week things got on top of me. I felt like I was constantly on edge. My husband has been away offshore and my son has been testing my boundaries and limits. Things that should have been pretty straightforward turned into a challenge, and the stress took over me. I yelled more times than I would like to admit this week. I also cried more times than I want to admit. My son was challenging me in ways I didn’t think possible and I was overcome with frustration and mum guilt.
I had planned on going out with the girls and I was feeling guilty for wanting it so badly. I was also feeling guilty for leaving someone else to handle his behaviour for the night. Even though the guilt was rising I went anyway. I couldn’t cancel. It was planned months in advance and i wouldn’t get the opportunity again any time soon. So I dropped Gabriel off at his grandparents and came home to get ready. I cranked the music and let the stress out. I took some time to be me. To dress up, have a drink and laugh with some girlfriends. To be a myself again. Not mum, not a wife and not the house keeper.
The next morning I collected my son with a clear head. The previous days stresses had faded and we could both feel a difference. I handled his tantrums in a calmer manner and his moods were less manic. We played and danced together. Laughed and cuddled. All the things I love doing with my son. Taking some time for myself helped me to be a better mum. Check out my post on how to stop being a frumpy mummy.