Children watch our every move. They want to be like us. Act like us. Be accepted by us. Our actions are a result of their actions.
So here is part 2 of “The Terrible Two’s Not So Terrible”. I said I’d probably be back for round 2 ha! For those of you that read part 1 who already have gone through this stage, I’m sure you chuckled a little at my post. For those of you who don’t have kids or haven’t gotten to this stage yet, don’t let this make you dread this stage.
So I’m back down on ground level of reality with a 2 year old. Yes, it is still my favorite stage… most days. Things are a little easier in some ways and a little harder in other ways. Getting her to eat meals is the equivalent to pulling teeth. When she does finally take a bite of something and lets it sit in her mouth for an hour until she ends up gagging and throwing up. Kinda makes me go insane. Telling her that she has watched enough TV and it is time to go play, is like watching the world come to an end. Repeatedly telling her not to do something as she looks at me and does it again, makes me want to scream. The list goes on.
I find myself a little more exhausted by the end of each day. Physically, mentally, emotionally. I’m upset, sad, and left feeling helpless on the harder days when I just want things to be easier and just have fun with my daughter and not feel like most of the day is spent being frustrated and constantly having to get on to her. I want to have all the answers to what helps her understand what I’m trying to do for her and get her to understand. I want a flash forward of her life to see what is worth being strict about and what things honestly don’t effect her. But I don’t get that. We don’t get that. I just have to pray that God directs my steps of parenting. That He gives me the wisdom and knowledge of what will lead my child on the straight and narrow path.
Patience. Still practicing patience.
During the times when it’s a little harder and a little more exhausting, I notice my attitude towards the situation. I’m not perfect and I don’t react perfectly every time, but I do get to choose how I respond to her actions. I can respond negatively and with anger. I can choose to ignore her when there seems to be no solution. I can respond in a manner of positivity to her negative response. Children watch our every move. They want to be like us. Act like us. Be accepted by us. Our actions are a result of their actions.
As parents, with a little more knowledge of life, we are in charge. We know what our child needs. We know what characteristics are needed to have a life pleasing to our God. Based from our knowledge and outcome of life, we do our absolute best at giving our children a life filled with love. It’s so easy to just let her watch TV all day, or let her do whatever she wants to keep the peace(presently). However in the long run things slowly spiral out of our control and our kids run the household. When she doesn’t want to eat the dinner I fixed, its not about the food. It is about showing her that when she doesn’t like something, there isn’t always a substitute of something better. Plus, I’m not making 2 meals haha! In this stage of life it may not always be fun. Its a sacrifice as parents who see the bigger picture to teach our kids love and endurance. To be strong and confident in who they are.
The days may be filled with exhaustion and confusion of wondering if what you are doing is worth the stress. Mama’s, parenting is hard. We receive so much joy from parenting as we watch our children grow, but we also can be overwhelmed with the hard days and wondering if we it will ever get easier. Each stage comes with new challenges and I don’t know if it will ever get “easier”, but it’s worth it. Sometimes the hard days seem to feel endless. We feel like we are just treading water. But with anything, hard work pays off. Your hard days are not going unnoticed. Press through. Breath. Take time to invest in yourself. Rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.
For two years, Ive given all my energy to my family, my job, and my church. Everything about my life is giving to others and I love it. I love to give. My satisfaction comes from seeing the work that I do bring joy to the ones around me. However, I have to give to myself. To refuel, I have to take time (that sometimes seems impossible when there is not enough time in the day) to do something that helps me escape and relax. There are so many things I can think of that I would love to spend my alone time doing, but I’ve chosen to start back running. I use to run 3 – 4 times a week. Once I got pregnant I stopped running and haven’t ran since. It allows me 30 minutes to be alone and get away from all the duties calling my name. It’s a time to invest in myself so I can invest in others.
If you are feeling run down and not able to give your best to the areas in your life that need you, I want to encourage you to find something that helps you recharge. Do it regularly. Whether you need 15 minutes, 30 minutes, a whole day. Do it as often as you need and don’t let anything replace it. If your life is anything like mine and everything has to be put on a calendar these days to keep track of it all, write it down. Make it happen. Invest in yourself.
You, Mama, are strong. You need time to yourself. Do something you used to love doing, or find a new hobby to start. The other areas of your life that you give all your time to will thrive even more when you give to yourself!