Have you ever had a day that made you wish you had not made any of the choices in your life that brought you to that moment? Yesterday was just such a day for me.
Becoming a parent to a toddler and a newborn has not been an easy feat for me to manage. I'm not nearly as patient or as giving as I had envisioned myself to be. I also find myself with less dedication to the parenting principles I had set forth in the beginning of my motherhood with Benjamin. I tell myself that if I could just put myself back on track with those, everything would be so much easier. Maybe, maybe not.
Miriam has been struggling with colic, and there are days that it is manageable and days that it is much, much worse. I've done all that I can for her and it's not enough. It's so heartbreaking to see and hear her scream. The only thing that brings her comfort is being held. However, her definition of "being held" changes hourly. Sometimes being scrunched up on my chest is enough, other times it must be high up on the shoulder, and yet others it must be some position that we have yet to determine.
Benjamin is a toddler. He's beginning to assert his independence but doesn't yet know the dangerous situations in which he must follow Mommy's directions. Temper tantrums are a daily norm. Unfortunately, they are getting out of control because I'm often not able to get on the floor with him to diffuse the situation. I feel very bad that I'm not able to have my hands free to cuddle and play with him like I did 6 weeks ago.
Besides the half hour quick dash to the store last weekend to purchase Benjamin a winter snowsuit, I have not left the house for anything but work and church and doctor appointments. It's been too difficult to go out in public with a toddler that runs away from me and a newborn that can't just chill out in the stroller or carrier. I often use the Moby wrap around the house, but it's not a great option for going out because we live in Wisconsin and it's starting to get cold outside, too cold for taking out of the carseat without a jacket on (which we've been told not to put one on a baby in a carseat because the seatbelt won't be tight enough). But, I might just go crazy if I don't get some time out of this house for fun!
So, please, when you see a mother who looks ready to cry as her toddler runs away down the street screaming, "No!" and as her newborn is crying because she's not being held the right way, please offer her help! Do not just shake your head and keep walking. I really need a village to get through this.