The Milk Memoirs

One part chronicle, one part resource of all things breastfeeding and family life…with a good dose of fun,crafts & mommy realness

Parenting Guilt and Clean Slates amidst Toddler Struggles and the Tides of Life

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Parenting Guilt _Raising kids1

Photo credit: Marysol Blomerus; Day in our life shoot

Note: Written on Wednesday evening past

Ok, so I just got peed on tonight..by my two year old baby girl that was actually already seated on the loo. Yes, seated, but somehow she still managed to soak me. Yeah, I also don’t know how that happened, but she got everything – my sweater, jeans, socks, shoes. Just everything. Mostly because it took me a while to realise what hit me…And just to give you some context, this happens after a pretty troublesome day, both kids doing their best to not listen to me, a little sleep, and a foot injury that’s been plaguing me for six weeks already and just won’t heal. Needless to say, I was worn pretty thin by then.

So how did I react?

Urine, not of my own, dripping from me…I burst out laughing, of course! I laughed as I tried to reposition her whilst simultaneously trying to dodge her fire hydrant-esque stream. #powerstream. Ummm, I thought we were done with that after the newborn stage, you know? Apparently not! (Also don’t be fooled into thinking it’s only boys who can pee in your face during nappy change. As a newborn, my girl showed me that she got skills! *sigh*)

However, given my recent state of emotional rollercoastering, high-strung period, chronic need for sleep and the girls pushing every single one of my buttons this week, I actually surprised myself with my oddly easy-going response. I mean despite it all, I can honestly now state that I laugh in the face of pee!! And I don’t know what it is, if it’s just a slice of my old silver-lining-queen-self coming back, or if it’s the moon (do you feel her?), or …what?

Whatever it is, I’m glad for it, as I much rather prefer to laugh at being whizzed on, than losing it with my little girl. You know? And, sad to say, there has quite a bit of that these past few weeks, and I felt awful about it. Just awful. I mean, that’s not the mother I want to be. Yes, I’ve had a few rays of sunshine thanks to our impromptu dance offs. But recently, it’s been a little harder.

Although, I’m not even sure what good it did me to lose it with them anyhow, as it just didn’t seem to make any difference to them. They smile either because they’re pretty clear on the fact that I love them, so they’re forgiving and innocently sweet in their response; “maybe mommy’s just losing her mind a bit, she said she was tired, so lets just keep smiling at her – she probably needs it.” Or they are stubborn AF and get a kick out of making sure I notice how defiant they are: “I hear her speak, but Im going to pretend I didn’t hear. In fact, I’ll just flat out ignore her, not be sorry for what I’ve done and smile in absolute defiance at her. What she gon’ do?! Lord, give me patience!

Last night, I spoke to my eldest (four years old), Morgan-Lee, about it – about why she hasn’t been listening recently. Normally she’s a pretty good girl, but of late, it’s like those ears just don’t work. Or like her mind is running a mile a minute and cannot stop to heed that last instruction I gave her. Like in those few seconds between me asking her to put on her PJ’s and her finding something else to do, she’s actually found thirty-leven other things way more fun to do. Ten minutes later, with two warnings and proper follow-throughs later, I still have a pyjama-less Morgy walking about, far more intrigued with her immediate world in her bedroom than even remotely interested in following my simple instruction. Man, it’s enough to drive me nutty! Anyone else tired of sounding like a stuck record?!

After the delivery of a hefty yet loved-filled speech to her about her faulty ears, and realizing she still thinks it amusing to make me feel ignored, I asked her if she likes the consequences. If she likes being in time-out or if skipping story time before bedtime is something she liked. (just to see if maybe I’m using irrelevant methods then) But her answer was a resounding “no”. So I asked her why does she then do things which result in her getting the time-out, and she actually paused and thought about it. Like I could really see those cogs in her mind working. She looked me dead in the eye, and shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t know, mom.”. And then shrugged her shoulders again.

She had nothing. No simple logical explanation. And right there, I was reminded once more, as I watched her search her mind for an answer (and then get distracted by…her toe), that she’s just being a kid. She’s still learning about her environment, about her influence in this world, about finding her voice and pushing her boundaries. About asserting herself, and discovering her world.

Parenting Guilt _Raising kids

Photo credit: Marysol Blomerus; Day in our life shoot

And I want THAT! I so do! I want a her to grow up to be an adult that is not afraid of asserting herself, that will use her influence in her world to the betterment of it, of course. I want her to to grow up to be an adult that never loses her wonder of the world, and finds amazement in even the littlest of treasures. I want her to remain curious and grow up to be that adult that will healthily push her boundaries in life. That will graciously challenge…I want that for all our kids.

I just don’t want them to do it right now with me, obviously. There’s just not enough coffee in the world for me right now to deal well enough.

Sunsets: I want my children to always be in wonder and take delight in the world that we live in.

Sunsets: I want my children to always be in wonder and take delight in the world that we live in.

But such is life. I have to remind myself of the poignant job that we as parents have. That our home is their practice ground for real life. That our home is the breeding ground for the kind of adults that will one day walk and influence this world. Adults who bring goodness into this world, where it’s so easy to just be part of the negative stream. An adult who is strong and independent. Who is brave enough to take a stand, humble enough to appreciate all of life, and remain curious and full of enough wonder and hope to always have an extra stash of silver lining to paint not only their clouds of life, but everyone else’s too, if need be. But mostly, I want to raise my kids to become adults who know who they are, and are very, very happy to be themselves.

And that, I think, is one of the single most important jobs we have as parents.

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So, yes, our home is their training ground for all of that. But we, parents, are also human. Our thresholds grow thin too, we get weary, we misstep, we get frustrated and we make mistakes. But we also learn. We also grow in this journey of parenthood. So, in light of that growth, I choose to then think that those little smiles of defiance are actually truly just smiles of littles who are perhaps wiser than we know, and are more forgiving of our parental missteps.

So, as I snuggled up to Morgy after our chat and spooned her pyjammied-up body (as per her instruction), I whispered my apologies for my recent frustrations with her, and that no matter what I still loved her, and that I know she’s only little, and trying so very hard. With her eyes closed, and her back to me, her sweet little stubby hand found its way to mine and gave it a gentle half-assed rub. The toddler’s version of “there-there” . And with that, I felt the pangs of my parenting-guilt slip away.

My slate wiped clean. My heart and mind expanded.

It’s in these times of softness, honesty, vulnerability and openness that I feel as if I have a better handle on life and parenting. Not where I’m free of mistakes, but where I ache from them, acknowledge them, and then move on from them. It’s in that space where I feel almost as if the universe has suddenly bared all her secrets to me, and I’m no longer in want. Where I’m in synch with the flow. But I also know that these moments of clarity are also merely part of the tides of life. They will come and they will go. Each tide and wave bearing new teachings, new challenges, and yes, new confusions, but also new blessings, and clean slates granted through forgiveness.
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Like I said earlier, I’m not sure what brings on these bursts of a greater threshold for life in me, that lends the extra piece of tether, or hands over the silver-lining goggles to me again, but whatever it is, I will grab it with both hands and ride this wave of hope, growth and forgiveness. The wave where I can laugh in the face of pee, and navigate the perilous paths of toddlers trying to assert their will. And ride it until the next wave of life comes.

Here’s to enlightened parenting, to raising our children to know how wonderful they already are, and help guide them along on their own journey of discovery in this here life.

Happy Thursday folks! May your Easter weekend be blessed, and be safe on the roads. X

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Author: mommabeartrax

Mother of two (and counting),a very happy wifey, blogger, lover of life and laughter, a clumsy swimmer, loyal friend, Im funnier in my head than I actually am, I get inexplicably excited about good food, baking & crafts. Although, I think baking and crafts are just trying to fill a void that my Kenpo and gym-rat days used to fill. Lastly, according to the rest of the world, I fix your printer.

2 thoughts on “Parenting Guilt and Clean Slates amidst Toddler Struggles and the Tides of Life

  1. Pingback: Family fun and entertainment at the Good Housekeeping BrightFuture Family Fun Day | The Milk Memoirs

  2. Lovely post, beautiful pics.

    Like

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