Finding Solace in the Struggle

Finding Solace in the Struggle

As most of you know, we welcomed our second child, Cora, into our family last June. Because she takes after me (warning: sarcasm ahead), she is very advanced. In fact, she just reached her 10-month milestone (is that a milestone?), and she is already showing signs of being a toddler. Just this past Sunday, she squawked her way through church, no longer cooing at the sight of her mother, but rather demanding her freeze-dried yogurt bites in a tone similar to this:

I've joked in the past that when Fisher hit toddler-hood, I basically didn’t like him for a year and a half. I laugh, everyone else laughs, I’m hilarious, but I’m only partially joking. When Fisher hit the 18-month mark, motherhood became, well, a nightmare. Up until that point, Fisher was an easy child in every sense; he slept well, he ate (reasonably) well, and he was crazy cute (Those soft, luscious curls! Those beautiful green eyes! That sweet giggle!). But once he became a toddler, the fun ended for me. That might be a bit dramatic (I’m known for that and for using a lot of parentheses). I’m sure there were a lot of good moments too, but there was a definite contrast between pre-toddler Fisher and post-toddler Fisher and my relative enjoyment of the two stages.

The worst part of it all was because I wasn’t enjoying the “little things,” I thought I was a terrible mother. I was supposed to enjoy the mess, the tantrums, the Sundays spent in the church foyer wrangling a toddler and trying not to embarrass myself, but I wasn’t, and I hated myself for it.
  
And in true Tiffany fashion, I thought I was the only mother on the planet who felt this way. When I finally confided in my own mother that I didn’t like being a parent all the time, she laughed. Of course I didn’t like being a parent all the time! How could I? I realized that just because I dreaded mealtime, bathtime, and really any-time-other-than-bedtime didn’t make me a bad parent; it made me a normal one.
  
Now seeing Cora on the road to becoming a toddler, I feel a slight sense of dread as she approaches this next phase. But the difference between Toddler Era with Fisher versus Toddler Era with Cora is that I know I’ll survive it. I can look past the constant mess; I know how to deal with the tantrums; and I can handle the wrangling in the church foyer. And most importantly, this time I know that I’m not the only one out there struggling, and in that I find solace.

Reflections on Motherhood, Vol. I

Reflections on Motherhood, Vol. I

Seeing Beyond the Challenges

Seeing Beyond the Challenges