Yesterday was rough. I can’t even make it funny. Because it wasn’t. Two year olds can be pretty horrible sometimes. They have a remarkable ability of bringing out the worst of an adult (sorry; parent). There’s no point in romanticising it with jokes about getting through it with Gin, because that doesn’t happen. At least not in our home. It’s simple; yesterday was shit.
I, like every other parent, love my children to bits. That goes without saying I assume. But occasionally I totally lose my rag, and I feel like the lousiest mother on the planet.
I am in my 6th month of maternity leave at the moment, and my eldest is in nursery 1 and a half day. I feel awful to admit it, but they are my favourite days of the week. They don’t call it “terrible twos” for nothing… There were tears from 7am until 7pm yesterday, and not just from the children!
At one point I was sitting on the stairs allowing all those negative thoughts to come, indulging in a bit of light self-punishing. Then the mum guilt afterwards, then some more anger and some more tantrums, topped up with more tears.
Staying at home with children is not all arts and crafts projects in the kitchen with hot teas (let’s face it, if you are a parent you don’t even know what a hot drink is any longer) and homemade edibles, funny anecdotes about how the toddler got into the nutella jar or long, calm walks in the park with a toddler obediently running through the fields, laughing.
Sometimes it’s wrangling a two year old on the sofa trying to get them clothed, wondering if you grabbed them a bit hard, plans to go somewhere that never materialise because by the end of it you can’t be bothered because it has cost you all your energy trying to get ready to leave the house. Yesterday I even had to tell my daughter that her teeth would fall out of her mouth if she ate Play-Doh… (It worked if you were wondering). And sometimes it’s handing the toddler a plate of digestives and turning on Mr Tumble for 10 minutes of peace on the sofa. Some days it’s 6 hours straight of CBeebies. Currently it is also trying to sneak in a bit of revision in-between naps and tantrums.
But of course then there’s the guilt looming behind every decision, good or bad. Am I too this, too that, not enough of this, maybe I did that wrong, I definitely should have handled that better, I deserve this, I wonder if any other mums feel this way, concluded by; probably not. I should be doing this, and not that, I picked the wrong battle, this is all my fault. I should not look forward to the days my child is in nursery, they should not be watching 6 hours of CBeebies, and the digestives… That was a bad decision. The list goes on.
It should be clear that not all days are like this, but some days are, some days are just shit. It is what it is. But as I was sitting on the stair thinking all those thoughts, doubting myself, my two year old comes up to me after one of the meltdowns that led me to the stairs in the first place, and asks me if I would like a cup of tea. Yes please, I say, I would love a cup of tea. Even for a hot-headed Norwegian like me, a good cuppa solves most things.
(NB: if you do feel like this every day, you struggle to get up in the morning, and you do not enjoy spending any time with your children I suggest you mention it to your GP, feeling down the whole time is not how it should be and seeking help is the first step to changing this!)