As many of you know, I am currently 5 1/2 weeks post op from a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy.
I have had restrictions this entire time, and unable to lift either one of my kids.
My 3 year old girl is supremely independent. She is TOO SMART for her own good, sassy, feisty, STRONG WILLED, and testing boundaries (along with my patience).
Because I haven’t been able to do any lifting, I have had help over these last several weeks, as I am unable to pick my one year old son up at all. My husband works full time. During the week, he leaves the house even before Max wakes up, so I need help from the very start of the day getting Max out of his crib.
With these sorts of changes in environment all around her, my daughter has been acting out. More than usual.
Little background… she was always the sweetest, gentlest little thing until my son was born. Then, a switch flipped. I was warned by everyone, even my brilliant Pediatrican and my OB that she would regress because of this “life change”, but I didn’t really believe it until it happened to me.
What a difference bringing another human life in to your family will do to your dynamic.
Don’t get me wrong. My daughter is still my sweet, empathetic little girl, but she has MANY more moments as she had to learn to adjust to no longer being the only one. She had all the attention for the first two years of her life, which now needs to be shared.
A year later she is adjusted, LOVES her brother, but the change in temperament remained. It changed the game.
About 6 months after Max was born, I’d say, things drastically improved. She wasn’t lashing out in anger any more, but then almost 6 weeks ago, with the new changes in our house, we’ve regressed a little again.
I fight the urge to constantly apologize/make excuses for her behavior. Yes, it actually IS THE AGE. She IS 3, after all. But its more than that. She feels much more than people can see or understand.
Also, this goes for all humans, not just my 3 year old. The people you are most comfortable with, get to see the worst of you. It’s kind of an honor actually, isn’t it? We become the punching bags. My friend Ashley, who is staying with us currently to help me said it best. My little Lana is a “tornado of emotions”.
I’m told I was the same way when I was Lana’s age, which most people find difficult to believe. Her tantrums do not embody who she is. My sweet little girl who just wants lots of love is the most beautiful soul.
No one knows our kids better than we do. No one will ever be able to understand or relate to them more than a Mama. It’s our job to have the patience and willingness to learn as they go through these adjustments and seasons of life, both easy and difficult. Even when we feel like we’re alone, we’re not.
And for the record, having kids…multiple kids especially can cause tension in a marriage. Unless you’re living a Disney fairytale (which I refuse to believe is actually the norm), kids are a catalyst for plethora of fundamental issues. And that’s OK. What’s not OK is thinking that bumps in the road and struggles are unusual. Social media is full of rainbows and butterflies, and misrepresentations of actual real life. Life is not perfect. Just like no human is perfect. Putting lots of complicated, imperfect humans all together will never be PERFECT, ALL the time.
Even when we’re embarrassed because we feel like our toddler should behave better, we know deep down toddlers have phases. Deep down we know this is normal and that we can handle it and that we know best. I certainly know that I know what’s best for both of my kids.
My child is exceptionally smart. She tests me, and lately has been testing everyone else as well. She is still my remarkable girl.
This too shall pass. I am SO proud of both of my kids and no matter what we’ll get through this hurricane together.
Love to all the parents out there, especially during these Covid times. You’re all doing amazing…yes you!