All mothers need to remember this
This morning I found myself bolting through our local shopping centre after my cheeky toddler.
I ran, pushing her little sister in the stroller, yelling ‘Stop G! Stop!”
It was the latest in a series of bolting incidents… G is feisty, energetic and very, very fast. G thinks it’s a game, she looks back laughing when she sees me make chase. But it’s not so funny from where I’m standing… or… er… running.
Today G was intercepted. A friendly looking middle aged woman grabbed her by the arm and passed her back to me.
It had been a tough morning, filled with toddler tantrums and baby whinging. I was tired (I don’t remember the last time that I didn’t feel tired…) and G’s little performance was the last straw. The back of the metaphorical camel was well and truly broken.
Close to tears I thanked the friendly lady. She laughed and said…“Just wait till they’re teenagers!”
Eh. Teenagers? I managed to smile and force out a chuckle, but I walked away fuming. It wasn’t the first time a mother with older children had made such a remark.
I am well aware that teenagers are hard work. I have clear memories of being a teenager and if my girls take after me then my husband and I are in for a world of pain as we navigate the angst ridden, boundary pushing hell that is puberty. But we have a good ten years or so before we get there and we’ve a lot to learn before we do.
When I look back on my first few weeks of motherhood I have a little laugh to myself. I say things like ‘What did I do all day?! It was so easy!’ I wonder how I could ever have found being home alone with a newborn difficult… compared to the stress I experience now that I have a toddler and a baby.
But when I really think back and recall the overwhelming feelings of loneliness and the panic that I was ‘doing it all wrong’ I realise that it wasn’t easy at all.
I didn’t know that babies cry when they’re tired or over stimulated. I didn’t know ‘tummy time’ wears them out. The first few nappies went on backwards and my early swaddling attempts had G wrapped like an over-stuffed burrito.
Motherhood has a learning curve; over time you learn the skills necessary to deal with the new challenges you are facing.
I am well aware that my daughters will continue to test me, but with a bit of luck, by the time they’re teenagers I will have gained the tools I need to cope with them.
And by then G will have stopped bolting. I hope.
Read other posts on motherhood here.
How has motherhood been a learning curve for you? What’s one thing motherhood has taught you?