Recently, I have been posting alot about the love-hate relationship between me and my daughter.  Oh, don’t fret, I love her 99% of the time, and up until she turned 22 mos. I loved her 100% of the time.  I carried her everywhere I went, loved her, tickled her, and hugged her at every chance I could.  However, those toddler years – and I speak from experience – are not my favorite, and they never will be.    It is at this point in motherhood, that I disagree with alot of the “advice” given by professionals and moms.  I agree that when I child is crying, or needs your attention, that it is important to give in to her needs.  The thought of obstructing her path to become a more confident child is just selfish.  However, a toddler is also at a point in which he/she would like to gain more control of her surroundings, and I think it is important for a mom to make it clear to her toddler, that the rooster in this house does not wear a size 6 shoe.  

I think every set of parents has to decide which parenting method, which values, and which path they want to take when disciplining their children.  I believe that my parents did a great job, and I have a fantastic relationship with my mother, so no matter what the books say, I always have her to fall back on.   I give up alot for my children.  Like most parents, I drive them everywhere, take them to the park twice a week, go on playdates, and all the other wonderful things that parents do for their children.  I do everything, except teach them that life is not a playground.  A mother is firstmost a wife, then a mother, but also an executive of a household.  At least that is the case of this mother.  I have bills to pay, ironing to do, washing, a car to maintain, a husband to take care of, and I could go on and on and on, just like most other moms.  I cook three meals a day, wash two loads of laundry, make three beds, plan a day of arts and crafts, and still maintain a 6:30 bathtime, and 7:30 bedtime each day, seven days a week.  In the last two months, none of these tasks have been fulfilled, for the sake of my children, and thus the reason of my anxiety, my stress.  Once again, I find myself standing at the crossroad trying to figure out what is more important.   Some say the children.  Alot of my friends, would agree.  I say there should be a perfect balance.  Teaching our kids that the world will give them everything they want just sets them off on the wrong foot.  I know I was not raised that way, and I laugh thinking about my mom’s words “I am so glad that all of this book stuff was not around when we raised you!”  Because, I remember living in a clean house, with three cooked meals, sometimes a working mom, who always baked cakes for Sundays, and had her arms open wide for a hug when we needed it.  She was happy being mom, but she always reminds me that life was not about the children, but that the children were a part of her life.  

Since when is being a mom, an excuse for life to just stop.   It doesn’t, and the “other things” that are not so important don’t go away.  I own a house, that has to be sold again within the next year.  If I neglect it, then who will pay for it in the end?  If I don’t pay the bills, and late charges accumulate then who pays for it in the end?  I feel worn out, tired, ugly and used.  Truth be told, I have not had a haircut in two years, a manicure in five, and my first night out with the girls was last week since the kids were born.  It is time for a change.  My life as I have known it has ceased to exist, and the few hours I steal from my sleep don’t really count. My bills are always late, my shop has been on vacation since December, and I am not happy.  I am a quiet person.  I love to read, and listen to classical music.  I also love to cook, and sew, and spend “quality” time with the children – not all my time.  So I have decided to put Olivia in a daycare twice a week for a few hours to be able to just relax, and wait for my kids to come home with open arms.  I admire alot of moms that can raise 3 or 4 children, and maintain their patience while the whirlwind of children’s voices around them sounds like music.  I am not one of those people.  I wish I was, but it is best to acknowledge now what I cannot fix, and try to find a way around it.

On a last note, one of the things that always reminds me that my values are good is thinking of my son.  I used to put him in his crib twice a day for 20 minutes.  I started this when he was 9 mos. old, and continued it until he grew out of it.  This is what my mom did with us, for alot longer then 20 minutes.  I still put him in his room for quiet time once a day.  Nicolas has matured into a wonderful little boy, and above all he has a great imagination.  He can play by himself for hours, turning himself into an Elf for Santa, or a Tv repairman.  Everyone told me how cruel I was to keep him pinned up, and neglected, or how much he will hate to go to bed, now that I use his crib as a “jail”.  I did what I thought was right (and I never had a problem putting him to bed either). Now I have a young boy who can behave himself at other people’s houses or in a store, and who can sit quietly by my side while I sew or clean the dishes.  He is not perfect, but I sure do appreciate the patience he has gained, and the relaxation time for me.