I'm just going to say it plain and simple, being a mom is HARD! We've had a pretty rough week with Maisey. I am really frustrated because I have spent countless hours trying to find ways to deal with her strong-willed, defiant behavior. I pray all day long for strength to help me withstand the next tantrum or battle. Last night, I was at my wits end when I was talking to my mom on the phone. She told me about a Love and Logic class that she took when my brother was young. During nap time today I decided to search it out a little and reserved a copy of one of the books at our library, but I still felt like something was missing.
Then, suddenly I remembered about a blog that I used to read every once in a while. Last summer, the writer who is a mom of five totally cute kids, was really struggling with her youngest. She sought advice from her friends and family on how to deal with this child. I remembered that some of the comments on her post were really insightful, so I decided to search it out. I found the post that I remembered, but a comment was made on the post since I read it last. It had a link to this blog: Asking Jane. You want to know what the title of the post was for this week? "How do I improve the relationship with my 2 year old?" And, although Maisey isn't 2 anymore and can communicate very well, I still felt like I could relate to a lot of this article. This blog is totally awesome and I felt like maybe I was lead there for a reason. Maybe a once-a-week pep talk is what I need to get through this difficult time with her.
She is sooooooo smart and sometimes I forget that she is only 3 years old! But I don't want her to think her behavior is acceptable and I don't want it to get more out of hand than it is. I love her so much and just want what is best for her and I want her to be successful in life. In order to do that she needs to learn to be respectful and kind, not only to others but to herself! Like I said, being a mom is the hardest job I have ever had and I am sure that I haven't even faced the worst of it! But I do know that I have had some very rewarding moments as well, and I am confident that I am doing the best that I can in this demanding, foreordained role.
I'd like to share a quote that I read on the Asking Jane blog. I thought it was perfect!
Motherhood is "like a field of roses. . . You approach it from a distance and it looks so beautiful. Then you find yourself in the middle of it and there are thorns and struggles and it's hard to see where you are. Then you get to the other side and look back and say, Wow, that was so beautiful!"
Even though I know I am still in the "middle" I am going to be more focused on creating the beautiful moments with my family. I am also going to focus on the last two paragraphs of Jane's "Answer" to the aforementioned post:
"You are her primary relationship. Much of your time is spent, of necessity, coercing her to do things that she doesn’t really want to do. This strains your relationship so you have to counterbalance all that coercion with praise, approval, smiles, hugs and meaningful comfortable time together. My experience has been that when my children feel really loved by me and when our relationship is solid, they begin to want to please me. And when I see them doing any little thing—making even the tiniest effort to comply or obey, I stop everything and look into their eyes and compliment them and thank them and hug them. The tide begins to turn.
Finally, recognize that this is the child that is going to teach you all the attributes of godliness—patience, long-suffering, gentleness, charity. This is the child that is going to force you to seek help—to search ponder and pray. You’ve been wanting to put more of that into your life, right? Now you have a purpose! This is the child that is going to refine and change you. This is the child that is going to grow up and remember the many ways that you loved her."
So, here is to the start of a new us! It is going to be hard, and I know that we will still have our moments, but I am hopeful that things will start to get better. I'm pretty sure they can't get much worse. . .