Man do I love my kids. I really truly do. They are the reason I get up out of bed every day, and the reason I battle against perfection. From the day they were born they were independent little sensitive souls who have consumed all of my physical and emotional energy.
One of the great myths about twins is that there’s always one “easy going” twin. Maybe I hit the mother lode when I received two very demanding and high strung kiddos. My little loves will go to fisticuffs over who gets to spend time in my lap. Sometimes I have to just walk away and leave them both to cry. That KILLS me. I never know which one I should comfort first. When I try to comfort both at the same time they won’t allow it. I often think I am the worst mom on the planet because I can’t handle how overwhelming it is to have them both so needy at the same time. They get so unreasonable with the screaming and crying that it escalates into total and complete chaos.
I rarely share this part of my parenting because the standard response is, “I just wouldn’t put up with that.” Well, that implies that my parenting is weak. Let me tell you, no parent could handle the intense demands of two VERY strong willed children and come out a winner (and yes, I have tried behavior charts, reward systems, Early Intervention and even a behavior therapist). I don’t get angry at those statements anymore because I was that person before I became a parent. I was THE PERFECT PARENT before I even had kids.
What I have learned is that kids will push and pull you in directions you never thought possible. I have sat in a corner and cried because my kids’ behaviors have forced me to become a screaming, impatient wreck. I have felt wild and unhinged; a rare experience for me before parenting. I was patient and calm and could keep my cool under some serious pressure. Now I can come undone so quickly.
Why am I sharing this now? Well, I want other parents feeling guilty and overwhelmed to know it’s going to be OK. Our kids over the top behaviors and emotions can leave us feeling defeated and unprepared, and even knock the wind out of us for a moment. But, we just keep getting right back up. We take a breath. We take some time for ourselves. We empty the guilt and refill our compassion. We find the reset button and remind ourselves that tomorrow is another day. Sometimes all it takes is leaving your kiddo in their room to cry it out, while you go to your room and do the same. Or, it takes a phone call to a friend to talk it through. And sometimes tagging out when your spouse returns home, or asking a neighbor to sit with your kids while you take a walk.
No matter what, remember you are doing a great job moms (and dads). You are working hard at loving your kids. Even on those days it feels like love is the hardest thing to do. No one really talks about the difficult side of parenting, or the deep pain you will feel some days. Those moments happen for so many of us, yet so few of us are willing to share it. It doesn’t mean we love our kids less. It means we are human. And by sharing our struggles it assures us we are not alone.
The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.
Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy