Hey there Momma with the screaming toddler, I see you.
I see you barely holding on over here. Carefully holding back the tears, or maybe even your own screams, as you watch your toddler unravel into something unrecognizable.
You’re done. He won’t listen. You’ve had as much as you can take.
As he throws himself even further towards the ground, threatening to take his tantrum to a whole new level (in public), there’s nothing that you can do about it.
He’s gone full toddler on you.
I’ve been there, Momma.
I can see you wishing yourself to disappear. Wishing that he’d magically stop being two-years-old and stop pushing your buttons.
When Your Child is at the Edge of a Tantrum…
I can see you questioning yourself ~ why does this keep happening? What are you doing wrong? Why does everyone else seem to have it all together?
Can I tell you something, Momma?
We don’t have it together.
Today, we caught you in your worst moment while our worst moment is either hiding in the shadow of yesterday or lurking in the corners of tomorrow.
This happens to all of us.
What I Wish for You Instead
Do you ever daydream like I do, Momma?
Day dream of a time when all Moms high five you as they walk by. Pat you on the back and say things like:
“You’ve got this.”
“It’s okay, it happens to us too – in fact, it happened this morning!”
“This tantrum doesn’t define you. Keep on going, girl.”
Do you ever wonder what that would feel like?
Instead, the reality is that we stare.
Maybe not directly at you, but we look out of the corner of our eye or with quick glances.
We may even validate all the worry that is bottled up inside you by thinking: “Can she handle this?” “Is she in over her head?” “What is she going to do?”
I promise you that we can’t do better.
Because raising a toddler isn’t easy…
But, growing up isn’t easy for toddlers either.
Toddlerhood is hard for them too:
- It’s about your toddler standing up to you because their insides are twisted by intense, scary emotions that leak out whenever you’re in close proximity.
- It’s about your toddler trying to say the word, “cheese,” when they’re hungry. Instead? We hear the sound, “eefe” and no one understands them. (how frustrating…)
- It’s about your toddler hearing the word “no” over and over as they desperately try to explore and engage with the world around them: “NO, don’t touch Grandma’s heirloom antiques.” “NO, don’t actually climb that firetruck ladder!” “NO, don’t run in the street…again!” It’s maddening for them and for you.
- It’s about your toddler learning that Mom and Dad get upset when they do certain things like thrust a finger towards the hot, open oven or when they run off in the middle of a busy store.
It’s about learning that adults are expecting more of you them than they use to when they were a baby.
It’s about growing up.
And, growing up makes me want to fall face first in the middle of a store and cry too.
But, do you know what else toddlerhood is?
It’s about us.
- It’s about realizing that we’re not in control of our little ones as much as we’d like to imagine…especially in public.
- It’s about realizing that babyhood has slipped away and that this parenting thing is hard. Like, really hard.
- It’s about realizing that our child is just that ~ a child. Another person who has their own personality, their own life, their own voice, and they’re learning how to use all of that.
- It’s about realizing that parenthood is much more complicated than we ever imagined.
- It’s about realizing that none of us have it all together, but somehow as parents we’ve got to keep it together. Even on the hard days.
It’s about us, it’s about them, and it’s about finding harmony together like finding the perfect way to slice a PBJ so that your toddler will actually eat it.
The next time your toddler is screaming in public as your coffee falls over and you can’t convince your toddler to use his legs because he believes that his legs CANNOT in fact walk towards the car…
Know this: I see you.
Not because I’m judging. Not because I’m questioning your parenting. Because I am you.
Today, I caught you in your worst moment while my worst moment is either hiding in the shadow of yesterday, or lurking in the corners of tomorrow.
These moments, these unbearably challenging moments, happen to all of us.
And you’re doing just fine, Momma.
Doing just fine.