not my favorite stage.

cute boymy boy

this last week {weeks…month perhaps?} i’ve had a really hard time in the mom department. [hence lack of good posts/delay in emails this week]
i feel at a total loss most days and by the time Adam comes home i am just worn out and near tears.
i know i absolutely love&adore Elijah,
but lately i’ve had a really hard time actually enjoying this phase in my life.

i see&hear other mothers be completely enamored by their children.
they talk about how wonderful it is to be a mother, how much they love playing with their kids, how each day is just.so.darn.wonderful.and.amazing!

me?
that happens to me maaaaaybe a couple of times a week. but definitely not everyday.

and because of that i feel like a terrible mother.

i have come to realize Elijah has lots&lots of ENERGY! and not a long attention span.
anyone who has been around him long enough knows that this kid keeps goingandgoingandgoingandgoing…. getting into anything and everything he can get his chubby little hands on.
he gets bored easily and doesn’t stick with things for very long. once he figures out a toy or a game, it’s old news to him. {and he figures it out fast. he’s too smart for his own good really!}
but if he finally finds something that he thinks is just crazy hilarious {i.e hide-and-seek} he would make you play it for hours if you had enough stamina. and i definitely don’t have enough stamina.

i just feel like Eli is at this weird transitional age [almost 2] and i don’t really know what to do with him all day.
he doesn’t quite say a lot of comprehensible words yet, so he whines all day for “aaaah,” “oooohhhh,” or “ayyyy.”
{whatever the heck that means! making him more frustrated that i don’t understand his language}
if he’s already whiny, i get to anxious to take him out somewhere for fear that he will just be worse in public and trigger another panic attack.
he has abruptly dropped his second nap which was a huge blow to my daily routine & sanity.
he doesn’t quite understand how to really sit and play by himself even though he has tons of things to do [see above: “gets bored easily”].
he constantly wants to snack only to purposely grind the crackers into the floor over and over.
he is too young to reason with something being right or wrong but at the same time is old enough to know that i didn’t like what he did even though he still looks me straight in the eye and says “No” as he pulls out the cord out of the wall for the 100th time that day… leading to my confusion of how to really teach him correctly.

i’m just at a loss.
i have found myself crying more and more each night after Adam comes home, telling him that i just don’t think i was cut out for motherhood, so exhausted over little things honestly and not knowing how to handle everything.
i tell myself i’m not patient enough.
i’m not kind enough.
i’m too lazy.
i’m not happy enough.
and it’s all too hard sometimes. 

and then on top of those feelings, i start to feel all the guilt again.
guilt that i don’t always love being a mom.
guilt that i am not being grateful enough for this opportunity.
guilt that i’m not teaching Elijah the right things.
guilt that maybe I’M the reason Elijah is the way he is.
guilt that i’m doing it all wrong.

i have heard from so many women who have struggled to have children how they hate when mothers complain about their kids because they would give anything to have the chance.
and from their perspective, i totally agree with them.
so then i beat myself up for not fully appreciating what i’ve been given
and then i try so much harder to be that fun, loving, caring, patient, kind mom that i feel like i need to be.
trying so hard to enjoy this role.

and half way through the day i’m back in my room fighting back tears and trying to tell myself that i am a good mom no matter how much i’m feeling the opposite of that.

and in all honesty, i don’t think it has anything to do with Elijah and it’s more about me.
my problem.
there’s something wrong with me to not love this time in my life when i feel like i should.

i love Elijah more than i could ever describe.
and i truly don’t mean for this post to be one big complaint or pity party against being his mother.
cause i seriously love him so much!
thinking about not having him in my life physically hurts.
he has brought me so much more joy than i thought possible.
and i really really know he’s a good kid.
first of all, he’s adorable!!
and he’s so sweet and loving and smart and fun and silly and energetic and incredible!

but man, being a parent is a lot harder than i ever really expected.
and sometimes, at least for me, it just feels good to finally get all of that off your chest {therapeutic even} instead of pushing it down deeper and slapping on a happy face.

 

and now that i just totally burdened you all with my problems and “woe is me” attitude and possibly turned you off from ever having kids {they really are great i swear!}… if you have any advice on how to keep an almost-2-year-old entertained for longer than 15 minutes, please share your pearls of wisdom with me! i would be forever in your debt :)

31 comments:

Desirae R said...

My daughter is 2 in a week and we are in the same stage. Very frustrating, we also have a one year old who has started walking and climbing into everything. I have many of the same feelings as you do. But you know what, we will make it through this stage.. what choice do we have :)

Hugs!

the Momma Bird said...

oh sweetie. if i didn't know any better I would swear you were describing my 1st kiddo. He's still full of energy and tests the limits but now that he's almost 3 (he's been better for about 3 months) and his vocabulary has improved it's a WORLD of a difference. Seriously. There were days he would literally kick and scream, bang his head on the floor, throwing a massive tantrum and I would have NO clue why. Now that he talks well we are able to discuss things with him and he understands it. Yes he does still throw an occasional tantrum, but NOTHING like before. I mean we used to be in fear of taking him places bc he would throw himself on the floor. Luckily our 2nd isn't as "pronounced" as our 1st. He's more laid back but he's showing those independent signs lately. I agree, this is the hardest job ever, and like you, sometimes I don't know how some of those Moms do it. Just remember, everyone is different, and everyone's circumstances are different. Just because they have it all together on the outside doesn't mean they don't feel the way you do on the inside. :) If you ever want to chat, as I think your kiddo is a LOT like my Cohen, let me know :) I'd love to! xoxo

Natalie said...

I don't have any advice as my baby is just shy of 6 months but I'm so glad I found your blog! As a new SAHM, I've already had my fair share of frustrations and it is nice to know I am not alone. Hang in there mama!

Jennifer said...

It is so obvious that you love that little man, so never doubt yourself in that. It sounds like he is starting to need some discipline, which is hard for parents who, up until this point, have had a baby. But, he's not really a baby any more and he's able to take some firm direction. So when he pulls the cord out of the wall the first time, give him a warning..the second time, sit him in time out. Same with mushing the crackers. If he's old enough to say "no" and mean it, he's old enough for some consequences. I hope I'm not sounding mean, and maybe you're already doing this, but know that it is OKAY to start young with discipline. He'll survive:) My mom also always said that if she gave us an hour of her undivided attention, we would be able to better entertain ourselves while she got some things done. Take a look at the time you're spending with him--are you thinking about other things or trying to multi-task? We are ALL guilty of that! But try to put everything else aside and enter his world for an hour--see what happens! Hang in there and keep at it. Your hard work now is going to make him an amazing young man!

Amanda said...

I've recently started following your blog, and I have to say I think you are so sweet and adorable. It's obvious that you are a loving mom who wants the best for her child; I'm sure all mothers experience periods of desperation and frustration! I am not a mom, so I don't have any parenting advice for you, but I am a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist. From your description, it sounds like maybe your son is experiencing some frustration from his inability to communicate with you. By his age (almost 2) he should have at least 10 to 20 words that he is able to use. If you feel he isn't using that many, this may be part of what is causing all the frustration. I'd be happy to email you with information of things you can do to help improve communication skills - ajenkings1983@gmail.com

Good luck and keep up the good mommy work!

MommaPea said...

I feel for you! My son will be 2 in May and has LOTS(too much sometimes) energy. Oh, the energy is 24/7 too. Add that it's cold outside and we're inside most of the time isn't helping. The good part, it's a phase, it will get better. Just know you're not alone :)

Ashley said...

You know I don't have kids yet, but I can tell you this: any woman that feels this strongly or passionate about the things they have done or are still trying to figure out with their child is amazing. An amazing person. An amazing woman. And even more so, an amazing mother.

I know you'll make it through this. Keep up the good work.

Ruthie Hart said...

I can't give you one piece of advice since I am not a mommy but I can give you encouragement, hugs and prayers!

GingerPeachT said...

Ditto to what ruthie said. Lol
And also don't be afraid to use more discipline. Put the fear of the lord into that child! Lol
I've had to deal with kids at nursery at my old church and sometimes when you set some rules and stick with it they learn what's wrong.
I even give kids mean looks if they are misbehaving in public and blatantly rebelling their parents. Hahah sometimes just a look of "don't you dare do that" is all It takes. But that's just me now, and have no clue what will happen when I do have kids.
Hugs!! You are a good mommy!!

Amy said...

There's some great advice given so far and I really don't know that I have any words of wisdom. I try to muddle through and somehow survive another day. That's really my secret. I find that sometimes when the kids get to be too much, I need a break. We recently got a Y membership and it has been awesome. I take my 2-yr-old to the Y-care after the older ones are in school and I can have up to two hours to workout and know that he is enjoying himself and someone else is keeping an eye on him. Maybe see if you could get some other moms together for a weekly playgroup and commiserate together while your little ones play. Ultimately, you'll make it and he will be heading off to school in the not-so-distant future and you'll wonder where the time went. Hang in there! :)

amber said...
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amber said...

I, like most everyone else who has commented, am right there with you. Reading this post, I kept thinking about how true it is. I think that every mom feels like this. I know I do. I don't have near enough energy to keep up with Lucy all day, so I feel like a failure a lot of the day because it seems like all of the other moms have so much energy and are always doing activities and going places with their kids and I'm not doing that all day everyday. I kind of blame that attitude on blogs. :) I looove blogs of course, but most women, me included for sure, only blog about the happy times, the cute pictures, the funny things when in reality that could have been the only good/funny/whatever thing that happened the whole day (maybe week?). :) Also, it's so true that we we are all in different circumstances. (Example: everyone's getting huge tax returns back right now, except for us. We were planning on getting a huge one like everyone else because we have kids now, woohoo!, but we found out that since we didn't make 3,000 dollars last year because Ryan's just doing school full-time, that we only get 70 bucks. Seriously?! So with that, I am totally depressed because I was so excited about finally having a little bit of spending money to maybe go shopping and do a few crafts. . .but anyways, I digress.) With us all in different circumstances there are so many different things that come into play. I was talking with Ryan about this just the other day because breastfeeding is really hard for me and I cry a lot of nights and I want to quit pretty much every night and I always am like, why is it so easy for everyone else? It doesn't seem to be at all as emotional and hard for them as it is for me. But Ryan reminded me the other night that my circumstances all combined are different than any one else's (we live in an apt that I hate, having a newborn and a 1 1/2 yr old, having a husband gone all day, breastfeeding being incredibly emotionally draining for me, not loving my body post-pregnancy, not loving our ward(I know, sinner), having no friends in this town which is totally my fault(glad to be moving soon), etc. etc.) and anyone placed under my circumstances would probably feel the same way as me most likely. I liked when he told me that because it just clicked. Anyways, I kinda feel like I'm rambling and not making sense because I've been interupted writing this about 50 times :), but just know that you are doing so great and I love how honest you are on your blog because it reminds me that I'm not alone in my struggle to find balance between being a good mom and a sane person. :)

Also one more thing, I'm right there with you with Eli doing the same thing over and over with the cord, we have a drawer with a bunch of crap in it that Lucy is now tall enough to reach into and pull everything out over and over all day while I am nursing and she won't listen when I say no no etc. So after I'm done feeding the baby I have her pick everything up and tell her it's naughty and a no no. . .so hopefully she gets it eventually. :) I do know that consistency is the best so that's what I'm trying out. I'll let you know if we get to a point where it's paying off. :)

Jessica Sebastian said...

Wow, seriously great advice from so many people! I was wondering if you were going to write a post like this and I am really glad you did. I agree with you that it is therapeutic. And I know there are others who can completely relate.

Can I offer one piece of advice since I both really believe in it and I know you? :) Use other people! I would love it if you sent Elijah over for an hour every day so you could step back and have some "Mommy really needs to have some big person time so I can be a good Mommy again" moment. That's a really hard thing. No one likes to admit they can't do it, all on their own, but we were definitely not placed on this earth to do it alone. You just need some time to be Megan the Person instead of Megan the Mommy. Let me help!

You are only human. Again, NO ONE can play peek-a-boo for an hour {I don't make it ten minutes}. Don't beat yourself up! Don't compare. You are Elijah's mom for a reason. Heavenly Father trusted you and knows that things won't always be perfect but He loves you perfectly, so He can placed people in your life to help.

Is that preachy? Too lecture-y? I love you, I hope you know that! {Now send that cutie-pants over to my house!}

Jessica Sebastian said...

Also, I re-read my comment and by "others who can relate," I meant ME!

Melissa said...

ohh, words of wisdom, i'm not sure i have any but i do know about kids being crazy busy, i spent a LOT of time teaching zak words to make him talk to me so that he doesn't just whine, because that is the MOST annoying thing in the whole world to me. so i would recommend that, i usually say "can you say...." and then he repeats it and i would tell him every single thing i'm doing, it's amazing what he's picked up from just that.

and zak absolutely hates being inside our house. hates it. so i have to take him someplace every day and he behaves infinitely better. i hyped up going to costco a long time ago, and now it's like his favorite place to go, and sometimes we just go there and wander around trying the food haha so i would say take him out anyways if he's being nuts at home. 99% of the time, his behavior has significantly improved as soon as we left the house, even if we just wandered down the street.

we can all tell you love the man, it's ok to be irritated with him, especially when they can't communicate well, it's so frustrating! good luck!

Camille Griffiths said...

It's a hard stage in a lot of ways. Everyone told me it would pass and they were all right. My daughter is 3 now and I can tell you, it's a lot easier. I still feel annoyance and desire to escape or just take a nap sometimes, I think that ALL parents do. I read to my lil one a lot and that is one of the only things that gets her to sit still. I put on Nick Jr. and Sprout shows that have singing and dancing, that keeps her attention for a bit and gets some of her energy out. And of course, if the weather permits, we go outside!! And taking a class, joining a gym, or doing something for you would probably help a lot. Even an hour break really refreshes me.

Citlalli said...

So, I am not a mother, so I cannot relate, but I think that being honest with yourself truly shows you care. And that's the most important thing, you care to give Elijah quality time. That's all that matters. How many mothers have I heard say: my kid is great, we are awesome together, but they are sitting down watching tv with them all day. Ummm...that's not quality time!
I admire everything you are doing with your life in order to enrich his life. Don't feel down, feel proud that you actually care to give Elijah your quality time. Patience my friend, he'll let you know what works/doesn't work. All in due time.
Love you and your accomplishments. I have a hard time doing what I do, and I cannot imagine how I would manage with a kiddo. You are admirable!!

Cassie @ Live.Laugh.L0ve. said...

Oh my sweet friend Megan! I can relate to this post so much. I know I fall into the category of "the mom who loves her children, loves playing with her children and how each day is wonderful" Well - mainly because it is to me. I normally just share all the good stuff because I try to look past the bad.

My tweets & facebook status ..heck even some of my posts should go a little something like this...

"Jay just spilled marinara all over the kitchen floor and KJ is standing on the top of the couch, yes I just said on top of it, as in the edge."

"Ohhhh no Jay just broke a glass and KJ is screaming because he can't get a toy unstuck."

"Sigh, the boys once again are fighting"

"KJ is getting into every cabinet he possibly can & heaven help me Jay wants to know what his nipple is... really?!?!"

"Guys, not even going to lie my house looks like a tornado hit it - tornadoes name is Jay & KJ."

"Oh and did I mention every time I have gotten onto the boys today I've cried..literally cried."

A picture should be posted of the endless amount of crumbs, crackers, chips that have scattered my living room floor. My point is even though we do love motherhood it's still super hard! You are an amazing momma and an amazing woman! Trust me there have been days lately where I want to hand the kids to my husband, pick up the car keys and just spend a day or two away. Thank you for sharing your heart!! :) xoxoxoxoxo

Amber Marie said...

ah mothering. everybody has an opinion and feeling on how it should go! in case you haven't read this blog before i will post the link:

http://www.71toes.com/2012/01/friday-q_27.html
(that specific link has a question and answer regarding tantrums)
she is a mother of 5 and in my opinion is pretty spot-on with how to deal with inappropriate behavior and motherhood in general. you might want to take time to read through her thoughts and ideas if you haven't already.

dane and elijah are at an age where they are really trying to comprehend the world around them and starting to see how to integrate their own emotions in different situations. i KNOW a few things from my 5 years of mothering and one is that children need structure (how much depends on the child and your family life) and they need directed play and free play throughout the day.

anyway, i've gone on too long. i highly recommend reading through 71toes.com. you both are learning and honestly i don't think anybody totally figures it out until the kids have left the house ;)

Amber Marie said...

also i was going to mention that we don't have the cold weather that keeps us indoors but we do have a veerrry long and super hot summer and so the girls around here use the fast food indoor playhouses all the time. he can play on his own and you can just sit! win-win.

Breezy said...

Sounds like we are in the same phase.

Bri @ Mod Memento said...

Okay, been there. Still there. Hanging in there. :)

Here's what I know:

1) You MUST take time to yourself often. Go out with your girlfriends. Go out by yourself. Wake up before him or stay up late but just find some time in your day or week to RESET without him by your side.

2) Spend time with other mothers in a life stage slightly ahead of yours. It's sooooooo helpful to see how they handled certain things and learn from them. Lean on your friends and ASK FOR HELP!

3) Remember this phase won't last. They actually pass quicker than you think. My son (2.5 years) is going through a mischeivous stage and it's driving me bonkers but I know it won't be forever. I just remind myself that he's exploring his world...learning...taking it all in...testing me. These are all things that 2 year olds do to understand the world they live in. Developmentally, they are at a huge transition... they are trying to communicate but don't always know how. It will get much easier when he's able to talk to you and tell you exactly how he's feeling.

4) Read the book "The 5 Love Languages of Children". It's a fantastic book about understanding how your child prefers to give and receive love. For example, some kids prefer being held and given lots of affection. But others prefer quality time. Figure out which one he is and then fill him up with that!

Hope this helps. :)

~Bri~

Miranda said...

this is exactly me right now. my son who is almost 23 months has no attention span so i don't know how to keep him busy. plus he also doesn't say a lot of words so i get a lot of whining as well. i give him a snack...he throws it on the floor or feeds it to the dogs. i can totally relate...i feel like i wasn't meant to be a mom and there are probably a million moms out there who are much more patient and have well behaved kids. i have no advice i am sorry but i am glad i am not the only one having this problem...and to let you know...you aren't alone.

Aubrey said...

I want to read everyone comments not because I have a 2 year old but because i work with them. I could use some new ideas too. I have a pinterest board for the little tykes that has some really fun ideas. Most of what I pin is for this age. Good luck!

Alexis Kaye said...

I'm sorry Megan! I'm not a mom but I can see how your frustrations are valid!! for sure. It sounds like you are in need of a break. And that you need to make sure you take time to do things for yourself. Can you take care of Elijah if you feel like you're going crazy? Not as well! Figure out what you need to be happy. Cut out what's not necessary. I know that's tricky. With my therapist I've found weird things. It's important for me to spend time at home and to have a clean house. I feel disorganized and off balance when I don't. It's important for me to exercise ever 10 minutes a day makes a difference. I like to make things. I like to color. I read a conference talk every day. I write in my journal a few times a week. All these things help me release. I hope you find something that works for you. If all else fails you can call me and cry! haha!

Alexis Kaye said...

I'm sorry Megan! I'm not a mom but I can see how your frustrations are valid!! for sure. It sounds like you are in need of a break. And that you need to make sure you take time to do things for yourself. Can you take care of Elijah if you feel like you're going crazy? Not as well! Figure out what you need to be happy. Cut out what's not necessary. I know that's tricky. With my therapist I've found weird things. It's important for me to spend time at home and to have a clean house. I feel disorganized and off balance when I don't. It's important for me to exercise ever 10 minutes a day makes a difference. I like to make things. I like to color. I read a conference talk every day. I write in my journal a few times a week. All these things help me release. I hope you find something that works for you. If all else fails you can call me and cry! haha!

Ryan and LeDawn said...

Oh sweetie! First I have to say I feel guilty in a way because I was that infertile depressed girl hating people complain about their kids when I would kill to have late nights with no sleep. I dreamt of 6 kids and happy as a clam. But that hate came from jealousy mainly and feeling like those moms have no idea what they have. And to be honest, I still get angry at the moms whom I feel dOnt appreciate what they have. However, I get it now. I ge being so tired you think horrible thoughts and so frustrated you yell and scream at the kid and then feel awful. I get needing a minute to to yourself, wishing you could eat your food while it's hot, pee alone... Etc. Kassel is only 10 months old and I'm struggling. I lose my temper daily, cry often and feel defeated way too many times. She drives me bonkers and I wonder if I'm really made to have more. I'm not sure I could do it. It's much harder than I thought. And it doesn't help that Ryan not only works full time, he's busy with his church calling leaving me feeling like a single mom at times. It is hard! I still hate hearing people complain about parenthood. But you aren't complaining, you are expressing concern/feelings that I think all moms have, but feel they can't share. I personally feel like I am not allowed to "complain" because I begged and pleaded for this role. I waited a LONG time to be a mom and I feel like I'm failing at times because I'm simply exhausted. And I too have realized I need more me time, more stop everything else and focus on Kas time (like turn the computer, phone, tv off and actually get on the ground and play time) and a schedule. I personally stress and get anxiety over having a messy house. I have found that if I stick to a cleaning schedule each day I can achieve a "clean" house without stressing over it on one day. The me time... Well... Still trying to figure that one out ESP since ryans calling requires him to be gone most Saturday's and has meetings Sunday. But I find I'm happier if I get a zumba session in, or sew

Ryan and LeDawn said...

One little thing. I've learned to sacrifice taking a nap myself to spend that time on me. It rarely happens that I get me time but I try. And I can say I enjoy Kassel more when I make her the center of my attention.

The other thing I've kept telling myself is that they are only young and "ours" for so long. It may seem like centuries on a day to day level, but in reality the time will fly before we know it and they will be at school and then eventually move out and we will have plenty of "me" years with an empty house. I am trying to enjoy those moments. It's not always easy, but it helps me to think "she's only mine for 17 more years!"

And there's a quote somewhere that says "let them be little". This also helps me thru the terrible 2's stage I feel I'm in with Kassel already.

I appreciate your honesty! Again I don't take it as complaining but more of venting. I think we all feel like we have to have these perfect lifes like Judy cleaver and it's just not possible. Raising kids is hard! What irks me are the moms who literally bitch and moan about being a mom likes it's an unwanted calling. You are doing great! Try not to compare and work on you as Megan not Megan the mom or megan the wife but Megan the woman.

Ryan and LeDawn said...

(I dOnt know why my phone is being dumb and making me post before I'm done!) my SIL told me she liked going to the gum because she was Lisa, just Lisa. Not Lisa the mom or the wife or the sister... Etc she was just Lisa. Find time for Megan, just the Megan. :) it's late, Kas wOnt sleep and I'm rambling nonsense I'm sure. But know you aren't alone. I'm right there with you. :)

Me said...

hang in there... i feel inadequate ALL the time! i'm on the verge of quitting my job because i seriously have NO idea how women work and have a functional life with children!! thought i could do it all, but i can't - we have to stop beating ourselves up!!!
keep smiling! :)

Julie S. said...

This is exactly how I feel a LOT of the time, especially lately. Brayden will not listen to me whatsoever and I just don't know what to do. People say "well he's 2"- I get that, but it can't be an excuse. I am worn out by him easily and it is no small feat making it through the day with him. *sigh* Hang in there.