I want to share with you a moment of honesty in my journey of motherhood, but finding the right words, and the right sentences don’t come easy. I struggle to love my toddler and that journey, that sentence and experience is not permitted in the realm of the ‘perfect mother.’ But I am not the perfect mother.
When your second baby is an easy baby, your first baby doesn’t look so great.
I’m struggling with showing love and appreciation towards my toddler because he was challenging and he is challenging. My patience is tested every day, and I feel myself being the mother I don’t want to be. I yell. I scream. I cry. I bang my head against the wall wondering why the fuck he is who is.
My two children look alike but are very different babies.
I struggle to love my toddler…
Sometimes, at the end of the day, I wonder why he hates me so much. Why did he spend hours upon hours crying like a newborn? Or hours screaming like a toddler? Why does he refuse to listen, and fail to speak? When will he ever sleep thru the night or go to sleep without crying?
This high needs toddler in front of me drives me to my breaking point (multiple times a day). And it’s just not fun. Mothering my toddler from infancy to toddlerhood is my biggest challenge. He drags me into the despairs of postpartum depression, as I question my worth as a mother, my success as a mother, and my ability to thrive as a person.
Sweet little miss self-soothes herself to sleep without crying. He nursed every 2-3 hours. Left unattended she will kick, play and entertain herself for an hour. She’s never cried longer than 30 minutes and sleeps mostly thru the night. She’s a blessed gift, and just so easy.
When my two babies are so very different, I find myself struggling to love on the challenging and frustrating child. Somedays I feel he’s out to get me and destroy every joyous fibre in my being. Somedays I think his behaviour and actions are a result of my failure to mother and to love him.
It’s hard to love something that screams and cries most days. Bedtime is always a battle. Nap time too.
My early memories of him are only of a persistent never-ending blood-curdling crying. Thanks, period of purple cry. I remember long lonely evenings pacing the house, the neighbourhood, and bouncing on balls trying to get him just to stop crying. I wore that kid day in and day out. I tried it all, and he was never happy with me. I remember leaving him to cry in his crib so that I could cry in frustration. There wasn’t anyone to help; it was just this screaming child who never slept and me.
That’s why I get out of the house. I can’t be alone with him. He screams and cries. And then do I. I feel hated. I feel like a failure. I think I’ve always struggled with how his newborn-ness was never what I expected and more challenging than I could imagine.
Right now, in this week, and this past month and more, I struggle to love my toddler as I compare him to his quiet, peaceful sister. His actions and behaviours fuel hate and rage as I fill with looming disappointment about the kid he is.
He’s a great kid. He loves his baby sister. He loves me. I can’t help but fall down this spiral when I compare. #pleasestopcrying