Becoming a parent has taught me a lot of things about myself, but the biggest lesson I have learned is that I was not blessed with patience.
My fuse is literally about a millimetre long and in an unhappy but pretty predictable turn up for the books, The Child is shaping up to be similarly ‘passionate’.
This Sunday just gone I had just about had it – I only have one child, and apparently I’m not even managing to cope with him. I try strategies; I try timeouts (for him AND for me) I try wine (for me), I try kicking the kitchen door (for no reason whatsoever) – some of these are pretty questionable methods I’ll admit, though the wine definitely helps.
10 Times I Wanted to Run Away From My Toddler During One Two-Hour Period This Weekend:
1. When I went in to get him out of bed and was told ‘Go ‘WAY, Muma’. This rejection was accompanied by a domineering, vaguely Hitler-like little salute.
Feelings of Personal Contentment: Plummeting.
Urge to run level: Rising.
2. When I had the nerve (THE NERVE!) to change his sodden nappy – one would think being released from soaked plastic would be a welcome thing but no, I had to physically restrain him, change the nappy with one hand and fight off kicks to the face with the other.
Feelings of Personal Contentment: Well I could do without kicks to the face first thing in the morning.
Urge to Run Level: Starting to assess what funds I have in my personal account (that one The Man doesn’t know about).
3. When I made the first breakfast option of the morning.
Feelings of Personal Contentment: I am a failure at life, I can’t even manage to cut toast correctly.
Urge to Run Level: Wondering if I’ll get a daybed for my studio apartment on the Isle of Man or if I’ll invest in a proper bed. Why the Isle of Man? Who knows… Anywhere seems attractive when there’s a small person you made yourself berating you in broken English at 7.40 on a Sunday morning.
4. When I made the third breakfast option of the morning.
Feelings of Personal Contentment: I’m about as happy as my child is with his latest breakfast option of porridge, so that would be not very, judging by the volume of his repeated refrain of “NO, NO, NOOOOOO, MUMA GO ‘WAY.”
Urge to Run Level: I am mentally packing my bags but also I am regarding the burgeoning bump under my top and thinking “This could complicate things somewhat…”
5. When I suggested we go to the park. This went down well initially until the realisation that to go to the park; one has to wear shoes at which point a shitstorm of Tyra Banksian proportions broke out.
Feelings of Personal Contentment: I am sitting on the ground by the front door watching The Child screaming while lying facedown on the hall floor because I asked which ball he wanted to bring to the park, so ya know, not great.
Urge to Run Level: “I might just go now,” I think dispassionately, “feck the packing, I’ll buy new clothes.”
6. When I lose my shit and shriek like a demented bitch “We’re going to the bloody park, and we’re going to have a LOVELY TIIIIIIME.”
Feelings of Personal Contentment: Hating self for shrieking.
Urge to Run Level: Starting to think he’d be better off with no mother rather than me for a mother.
7. When in the park I put in an Oscar-worthing performance of being a nice mother who is coping and doesn’t at all EVER *whisper it* hate her child.
Feelings of Personal Contentment: Pretending sometimes helps actually.
Urge to Run Level: Minimal, am too busy running after the Child and the ball.
8. When the 20-minute undertaking that is trying to extricate the Child from the park begins.
Feelings of Personal Contentment: Peeling my son’s fingers from the park railing holds the distinction of being the Personal Contentment low for the day.
Urge to Run Level: Oh Yes.
9. When the walk home is a fraught 20 minutes of strops and screaming and crying (we’re both at it).
Feelings of Personal Contentment: At one point my 3-stone toddler is sitting on my shoulders, my 4 lb foetus is kicking me in the rib, and I am wheeling the tiny scooter that The Child insisted on bringing and then refused to use.
Urge to Run Level: Even if I could, I can’t – see above.
10. When The Man arrived home, and I relinquished all parenting duties to him so that I could lie on the couch and feel utterly hopeless for a few minutes.
Feelings of Personal Contentment: Fun times. Not.
Urge to Run Level: The fight’s gone out of me, the will to run has dissolved and instead I have a little cry.
At this point I WhatsApped one of my lifelines, the group is called the Lactating Legends though I am considering changing the name to the Toddler Survival Support Group.
Me: The toddler years are making me strongly consider just hitting the road. Feel awful complaining but am just so hopeless today. I cannot seem to spend even an hour in my son’s company without both if us ending up in hysterical tantrums. All the ‘no’s, and the screaming and the crying and the ‘go ‘way muma’s are wearing me down so much.
Lactating Legend1: OMG, actually hiding from child as I type #allergic
Me: Thank YOU. That just made me laugh.
Lactating Legend 2: Oh girls, had a terrible week with mine. Both of us crying, me shaking with rage, baby screaming in cot. Did not know it was going to be this hard. BUT, they had a conference on Friday and decided they have pushed me far enough, for now, so have agreed to retreat. We had a pleasant weekend.
Lactating Legend1: Mine has adopted a cheeky teenager tone these last few weeks. Called me an idiot the other day. Throws his eyes to heaven a lot and sighs.It gives me a lovely warm feeling. Not.
Lactating Legend 2: Hooray for gin, made me feeling a lot better about my parenting shortcomings after last week’s meltdown.
Finding patience seems to be a bit of an impossibility for me and finding gin is not really an option currently but finding the Toddler Survival Support Group has been essential to the personal contentment levels.
Have you got a gang of mama lifelines? Tag them in the comments…