Friday, September 16, 2016

Parenting The Heavy Stuff


Parenting.  Nobody warns you how hard it truly is.  You go into it blindly because people don't tell you that kind of stuff, kind of like nobody tells you hard it is to truly get your body back after a baby.  You get pregnant and have this sweet innocent little baby.  You worry if they are eating enough and meeting milestones and you are tired but life is good.  Then they start moving and talking and all hell breaks loose.  

If you really sit and think about the enormity of raising a child it will stress you out.  
As both Sterling and Frances get older it has started to hit me even harder.  I am fighting constant battles with both of them and it is hard to know the right thing to do.   I want to raise them to be good kids but man it is hard.  I wake up every morning and think today is the day I am gonna be the best mom ever.  I won't lose my temper, we will play and do fun stuff, I will savor every little moment and it will be glorious.  Then the kids wake up and Frances immediately starts crying,  whether I gave her the wrong cereal or forgot one of her animals from bed she is easily offended and upset in the morning.  Then Sterling has a melt down over what to wear to school.  Then we are running late because he refuses to get dressed because his favorite shorts and apparently the only ones he wants to wear are in the washing machine.  Then they both start fighting and I lose it.  My perfect day is shattered all before 7:05am. 

I know I will miss these mornings, I truly know that but sometimes being in the actual moment it is hard.  I constantly teeter between wanting to savor the moment and not wish time away to counting down the hours til bedtime.   Then I lay in bed at night and rethink the whole day and question what I could have done better as mom that day.  I beat myself up a lot questioning what I could have done differently that day.

We went to Sterling's school yesterday to watch him run a fun run and as I watched all the first graders line up, I got teary eyed.  They are all so sweet and innocent and I just wanted to freeze time.   Sterling was smiling and waving at us and he was so proud and happy we were there at his school.  We are still cool for the moment.  I try to volunteer and eat lunch with him as much as I can because I know soon there will come a day when he will say Mom leave me alone and not really want me around.   I dread that day.  

He was sweet at school but that night as we sat down to do homework the attitude emerged.  When he is mad he is mad.  He frequently tells me I am a bad mom and that he wishes he never had a family.  The kind of stuff that tugs at your heart strings.   You try to brush it off but it hurts your feelings.  You want to say fine get out of time out and give him a hug but you have to stand your ground and that is the hardest part of parenting.  Sometimes it is so much easier to just give in to what they want so they will be quiet.  But in the end that is what will make them troublesome kids so you have to stand your ground no matter how hard it is.  He threw a pencil at my head that night- it did not hurt but it caught me off guard.  I sent him to time out and early bedtime and then went to my room and cried.  I cried because being a parent is hard as shit.   I expected the teenage years to be hard and filled with lots of attitude but not at 6. 

Sterling doesn't like one single team sport.  We have tried soccer, lacrosse, and flag football and he hates them all.  I am talking we get to practice and he screams and cries and refuses to play.   At age 6 it gets to the point where it is embarrassing.  I watch all these other kids excited to get out there and play and think why doesn't my son want to play?  Now I can't entirely blame him as I never liked any sports either so maybe he gets it from me.  How do you know when to give in and let you child quit or keep pushing them to try.  I don't want to raise a quitter but I also don't want to keep forcing him.  It seems innocent enough but these are the choices that will mold him as an adult and that scares me. 

Frances Moon is full on terrible twos.  She is almost violent sometimes.  When she gets angry she lets out an almost primal scream and then she flails herself to the floor.  If Sterling has done something to offend her she gets so mad she claws at him.  Sometimes it seriously scares me and amazes me that this 2 year old has this much emotion and anger.  She makes Sterling cry way more than he makes her cry.  

Frances is impossible to get dressed in the morning.  She runs and hides from me.  Then when I find her she curls up in a ball so it is impossible to get her pajamas off.  If I pick the wrong dress she cries and screams.  The struggle is real every single morning.  Same with changing her diapers, she runs and hides.  I can tell she is gonna be hard to potty train because she will just sit in a dirty diaper and not care one bit. 

A few weeks ago at the gym I picked her up after my barre class and she was in time out.  I asked why and they said she had taken off her princess shoes and hit another child in the head.  They put her in time out and said she could get out if she said she was sorry.  Well Miss Frances Moon is stubborn much like her daddy and she doesn't say sorry so they said she sat in time out almost 45 minutes waiting me for to get done.  We had a long talk about hitting kids and she is no longer allowed to wear princess shoes (they are hard as crap) out of the house.  Now every day when I pick her up from school the first thing she says is " I did not hit anyone today." Like she is so proud of herself for not hitting.  

Every single day I think about 16 years from now when the house will be empty and they off at school and how much I will miss these days.  I know these are single handedly the hardest and the best days of my life.   So today I just needed to vent and take note of this time in my life.  It's exhausting, and it's hard but it's fleeting.  It is much better to have noise and chaos than a quiet house:) 


Happy Friday.  Hope you have a Winner Tonight.




58 comments:

Baker Tange said...

I don't have children yet but I am so thankful for your honesty. You're doing a great job-- always remember that!

MHM1314 said...

It's the hardest job in the world. Everyone deserves a vent sesh now and again!!! And sometimes I find, after the days when I want to rip every strand of my hair out, she'll do something that just melts me and makes it all worth it. You're doing great mama.

theKfam said...

I very much feel for you. ..parenting is really hard, and I think if people knew ahead of time how hard it is, many would think twice! Lol! My son is almost 15 and my daughter is 11, and it is so much easier now. You're right, how you show your authority as a parent now will help determine how it goes later on. But also don't feel guilty about not enjoying and basking in every moment either. I think we put too much pressure on ourselves as parents to love every minute and that's not realistic because that's not life. Also, I remember thinking that it would be so sad when my kids were teenagers because they wouldn't be as cute, or need me as much. But I assure you the teenage and preteen years are awesome and I wouldn't turn back time even if I could. So you do have a lot to look forward to and it seems to me like you're doing a great job! Hugs!

Emily Redden said...

Our mom struggles are similar. While my children are older than yours (11 & 9), I remember those younger days. My son didn't want anything to do with team sports either. This devastated my husband who played football and baseball in high school and college. Our son just wasn't interested. His extracurricular activities now include music and academics, which is just fine! Sterling will find his niche and will do great. I also have a stubborn daughter that tests me daily. When she was little, I rarely wanted to take her places in fear of a meltdown... but now, her strong will serves her well. She is a very determined little girl that sets goals for herself.
Parenting is no doubt hard, but can also be so rewarding. One day at a time...

Kelsey said...

Oh sweet Mama I can relate to this post so much! My 6 year old daughter is in 1st grade. She wears glasses, and ALL week has forgotten to bring them home from school. Every day this week after I pick her up and she doesn't have them, I re-park and we go in and retrieve the glasses that she was supposed to remember. Well yesterday I picked her up and she didn't have them...AGAIN...and I parked and we went in. They were missing from her classroom. Missing from her backpack. Missing! I asked her where she put them and she said that she lost them on purpose because she doesn't like how she looks in them. We JUST bought them a couple months ago! They were expensive! They are gone! I was reading this post almost in tears because I'm feeling the same way you are! How do we instill values and structure and discipline and responsibility and also keep our sanity! Its a battle that I'm willing to keep fighting though! This job, mothering, has spiritual significance. The job of being a MOTHER is as difficult and heart wrenching as a job can get but its worth it. Every bit of it! Praying for you sweet Mama! You are doing a great job! Keep on keeping on and remember that it WILL get easier!

OliviaK said...

I have a two year old and a six year old, my six year old is the same with sports, this week we started karate, hoping its a winner! I needed this today, made me feel like I'm not the only one, thank you!

amandajernigan said...

Really appreciate your honesty!

Courtney said...

Thanks for this Natalie! Love the honesty and even with these precious, healthy kids parenting is so hard!

Brooke said...

Thank you for the honesty! My little guy is only 7.5 months old, but I can already sense what he's going to have a temper about! It's always good to vent and hear you're not in this crazy parenting thing alone. Kudos for standing your ground too...your kids will thank you one day!

M {livinlife941.blogspot.com} said...

I am sitting here reading this and found myself saying "Oh, thank God it is not just me" to pretty much every other sentence. The struggle is definitely real! Many days I wake up with the best intentions and go to sleep feeling like a failure. You want to do right by your children, but, dang it some days are hard. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said one day, when the house is quiet, you are going to miss these tough times. However, in the interim, thank heavens for wine, girlfriends, and a good old vent session. Keep on keeping on, Natalie!

Julie said...

I love your honesty! We have a little one that just turned and the opinions are rough! Everything is no, she cries to get her way, it is exhausting! I love that you shared though so others can remember we are all in the same boat!

Aja said...

I wish I could give you a hug and have a chat in real life. In my experience, the early school years are a HUGE stressor for kids and often they act out. They're tired, they've been trying really hard to follow rules all day, their bodies and brains are working overtime (or not working enough, in the case of lack of recess these days), and they just unload when they get home and feel safe around mom. For my son, it was a combo of a ton a sleep- I mean unreal amounts, healthy food, and a lot of prayer and talking that helped. Around 2nd grade it's gotten a lot better. As for FM, she reminds me of my youngest. He has a temper and it was a lot of consistency and firmness (and also prayer!) that helped him, but I cried a lot from 2-4 too. Now he's in K and he's a lot better at self control.

Overall, my parenting philosophy is mostly centered around the fact that kids are people, with their own personalities- good traits, struggles, likes, dislikes and quirks. While we have to help guide them and manage their feelings and behavior, a lot of parenting becomes less stressful when you keep in perspective that they're their own people and will have their own successes and failures. It's not necessarily a reflection on you as a parent. You do the best you can. hugs!

Elizabeth said...

Great post. Thank you for sharing!

Kelly Graf said...

I have an 8 yo daughter who is also not into any sports- team or otherwise... It feels weird because it just seems like one of those things all kids will want to do- and something I was totally into. But I have to remember that she isn't me. And that is ok. My hope is that we can find some interest for her whether it be music or art or whatever! It's hard to let go of wanting them to participate in things like sports- I have learned to be happy that I'm not running back and forth to practices all week long ;) hang in there momma!

Kristi said...

These are really tough years! My kids were exactly the same. They are 10 and 12 now, and it does get a lot better. I know ladies used to tell me that all the time, and I just wanted to grab them and scream,"WHEN? When does it get better?" I think it's ok to find something that works for you and helps you keep your sanity. My daughter was totally potty-trained but REFUSED to use the potty before bed and then she would wet the bed. It was a nightly battle to get her to use the potty! I would end up so frustrated I was shaking. I finally asked myself, why am I doing this to myself? So I quit battling and put her in a pull up. About a year later she said she wanted to go potty before bed so she could wear her underwear. Done. My son is the same way as yours with sports, and I've had a few pencils (and other things) thrown at my head. He was tough to be around for a while, but now he is 10 and I love spending time with him. If it makes you feel better, we have had 4 different child psychologists tell us that very intelligent kids tend to be more "difficult." It sounds like your kids are probably very smart and strong willed, which are great characteristics to have when the get older. It just makes them harder to parent. I don't know if it is true or not, but I have also heard that kids who are difficult as toddlers are easier as teens and vice versa. Hoping that's true!😉 So, takes lots of breaks and don't let other people judge you. You are doing a great job!

Marychris said...

Love the realness here!!

Danielle said...

I found myself nodding in agreement with nearly everything you wrote. It's comforting to hear that others have the same stuggles as I do. And I'm here to tell you, we are in the same boat. We do have to be steadfast and stand our ground. I'm beginning to see glimpses in my 9-year that what I've been nagging about for years is starting to sink in. I can see it as he interacts with his friends and I hear it from his teachers. It will all be worth it in the end and we have to just do our best. The fact that you show up everyday and care makes you a great mom! Try to only focus on the present and don't dwell on what you could have done differently or what you might do tomorrow. Those things are out of our control and are not living in the now. Hang in there and good for you for getting this off your chest. Happy weekend!

steph said...

You are not alone with how you feel. Thank you for putting your thoughts and fears out there. I'm so tired of reading blogs written by women with kids who NEVER express their daily struggles with raising children. After all, along with all the good times, there certainly is a fair share of difficult ones! I concer with the commenters above who said it does get easier. I do have to add that the problems and issues don't stop...they are just different. I was lucky to have two little boys who didn't really act out much in public. I think they were just too embarrassed it would call attention to themselves. Lol. There were many times when we were out and they would see a child misbehaving or yelling and they would just stare. I think that was just their personalities, they never want to the center of attention. Having said that.... There were MANY times when they misbehaved at home, especially after coming from a full day at school. An older woman once told me this is completely normal. Kids have to be so good all day at school and obey so many rules they "let loose" at the end of the day. It wasn't that they screamed or threw things or anything like that. They seemed to need to have some unstructured activity or just simply play outside. I don't know if it's because they were boys, but, I found if they weren't involved in some physical activity it was much harder to deal with them. Like I said above, it could just be as simple as letting them play on the school playground for 15 minutes after school or even kicking a ball around the backyard. I know this isn't always an option for anyone but it sure helped me. I also think there's a lot of pressure these days to have your child in numerous activities. We tired to limit our boys to only doing 2 activities, groups, sports etc... at one time. We eventually ended up dropping that down to one once they got to high school because of time and job constraints. I would encourage you to keep trying different options with Sterling. Every kid is different. I had a boy who loved playing hockey and soccer and did so for several years. My other son had absolutely no interest in sports, arts, music etc.... He ended up joining the chess club at school and although it only met a couple times a week it worked out well for him. Sometimes it just takes a little longer to figure what your child likes to do. You still have lots of time to do that with Sterling, and even more with Francis. I do think it's very important that a child is involved with some type of extra curricular activity by the time they are 10 or 11. It's just my opinion, but, it's a good thing because they tend to make friends with the same interests and that will carry them into the teenage years. I can honestly say, having that helped both my boys stay out of a lot of trouble throughout their teenage years!

Jenny B said...

You should never beat yourself up, the number one thing is that your kids know you love them. I really think you should get this parenting book-the author is a life saver.
https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Parenting-Kids---Preteens--Without-Punishment/dp/0374527083/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474037169&sr=1-4
Sometimes we need someone with 30+ years of experience to help us, and that's what this book does.
PS- Some kids don't like sports till later ( when I was growing up we didn't start sports till 4th grade, the kids that start so young can really end up burning out and getting a lot of repetitive stress injuries). And my son, also my second child and youngest, we called pajama boy because from about age 2 to 3 1/2 that's all he wore, pretty much. I decided to choose my battles, and only for things that were important for safety or respectful behavior reasons. His pjs were like a shirt and leggings, so no harm. Your kids sound like real individuals, which is a wonderful gift. Good luck Mama.

Kristen Gallimore said...

Oh girl! I don't even have kids yet and I worry about when I do. I know it's exciting but getting my tiny figure back and getting sleep and being a good mom. They all concern me but I know being a mother is the best feeling in the world. Giving birth terrifies me! Hate hospitals and needles. You forget the pain though?! My sister has four boys and trust me the terrible twos and threes are real and the anger at that age toward the older siblings is real. I've seen it watching my friends kids. It's like they have to keep up with the older ones. Sports, I wouldn't force if he just isn't into it. My sisters son is 10 and played soccer some but didn't care for it and then tried baseball in the spring and liked it better but he is just artsy. He is in Boy Scouts and Piano and is probably one of the smartest kids I know and can build anything with his Legos. I say he is going to be an engineer or something one day. He has this dry sense of humor but is always thinking and listening. Every child is so different and I think your doing a great job. Life is just chaotic at times. It's either peaceful or crazy. I know those children love you and wouldn't trade you in for anything. I will be praying for you girl! Have a great weekend!

hhmommy said...

Gosh I love how real you are! I completely relate to this. It is truly a struggle. Parenting is the hardest and thankless job there is! I do the same as you, at the end of the day I feel usually disappointed with myself for not being in the moment, not being the best mom, yelling or just wishing I did better. Sometimes I dont know if I should be more strict or softer. Sometimes I just wish they would listen and life could be easy..mine are 8 and 6 and my 6 year old is so tough at times. My 8 year old son is not into sports or activities like that, and all the boys in the neighborhood are and I feel bad wishing he was more into it so he could experience it and be part of a team etc.. thank you for your honest posts. Makes me feel like I am not totally alone!

MLT said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! My daughter is a few months older than FM and I relate to so much of what you're saying. I constantly worry that I'm doing things wrong and will screw my kids up. You're doing a great job!

Emma Casler said...

I am right there with you mama! This sh*t is crazy!!!!! My 5 and 7yr old are WOW . . . . its a daily battle about everything and anything and then they are super sweet the next minute ---- so jekyl and hyde-- it is so incredibly draining to say the least . . . thanks for sharing -- mama's need to support, love and unite and you always do that with your honest posts xoxox E ...oh and remember you ARE a great mum!

Sinclaire said...

Your honesty is amazing! I follow your blog and Instagram, and I almost feel like I know you because you are very transparent each day. I am not married yet, and don't have kids - But baby fever is real. I appreciate reading your post today because typically, your posts are adorable pictures of your kids, dressed in the cutest outfits with huge smiles doing something cute like staring at a donut or posing next to a beautiful beach skyline. Posts like this help emphasize that it's not always about the cute, adorable pictures - Kids and their attitudes are real. Please know that even though I don't know you personally, I can tell you are a great mom and you're doing a great job (and the hardest job of all time). Thank you so much for sharing - I'm so obsessed with your blog!

Frannie said...

Soooo relatable! I only have one and I have days like that too! And now I've got a puppy to train and they are making it very hard to be the mom I'm supposed to be!
Anyway, I have found GREAT advice and information from Janet Lansbury. She literally changed my life and the way I interact with my little girl and I have seen the difference.
Her website has most of her articles and advice for free. Here's two links but there are so many more and she even has a podcast that I listen to when I go for my evening walk. http://www.janetlansbury.com/2013/11/stop-feeling-threatened-by-your-childs-behavior/
http://www.janetlansbury.com/2016/03/when-children-fall-apart-over-the-smallest-things/
I hope these help!

Joy said...

I can relate to many things in this post. My 2 boys are now in college. They are 4 years apart in age, so they honestly did not fight much and I think the age difference helped. They are also different as night and day in many, many ways. As a stay at home mom whose husband works very long hours and was not home for nightly dinners when the boys were little, activities kept us (me)sane. So I of course signed my oldest up for soccer when he was about Sterling's age. He kept wandering off the field or stopping to pick dandelions. We were all getting very stressed out about the whole thing (insert -some yelling go on), so we stopped going. I ran into one of the moms of a soccer teammate at McDonalds and she asked if we were going to the end of season party and I responded no, he didn't ever really actually play. She responded that we should come anyway, that we had paid our money and the party was part of the price. So we went and when my son received that trophy he never looked back. He played for 15 years and is still playing on a recreational level while in college. My other son was a swimmer which is something we were in denial about, but after asking for the 100th time, we signed him up for year round as he was not talking about summer swimming league!
I also have partial custody of my 11 year old nephew for complicated reasons and he will not do a team sport to save his life. Again, it was becoming stressful and he did not want to come and stay in the summers as long. I finally let it go. He does not like to compete! Period! So he now has his black belt in karate, plays the trumpet and loves his legos like nobody's business. He is happy not doing team sports and our relationship is so much better.
Good luck, you are doing a great job! Oh, and for a while I did work and when I would pick up my son from daycare, he would throw a temper tantrum because he didn't want to go home! Makes me laugh now, but oh so stressful back then. He is a very, very social child and the one that left for college and didn't come home nearly as much as we would have liked. But again, we now know, he is very social and enjoys his life and his friends!

Jennifer @ littlemeems.com said...

Such a real post. It IS hard, and what's harder is that the expectation of parenting and who and what your kids are going to be rarely matches up with reality. My middle child is basically both of yours (what you are describing) combined. She never knew what she wanted, but knew specifically what she didn't want. I learned, after lots of tears and frustration, that she is just who she is. We went round and round (and still do sometimes -- she's 13 now) and I didn't think I would survive her being 3 (her terrible twos came late) because I felt like she spent most of her time in time out. You figure it out, then it changes, and you figure it out again. And she wasn't interested in doing ANYTHING, so I just stopped pushing. She just wanted to play. There's nothing wrong with letting them do that, in fact I came to embrace and encourage it. She is now trying new things, but it was all in her own time. She's still sassy and impulsive and stubborn, but she is also brave and kind and compassionate and hardworking. So, it'll all balance itself out. As they grow up, they are able to figure things out for themselves. In the meantime, happy hour helps!

Stephanie said...

Thanks for being so real and honest! Parenting is SO hard, and sometimes it is easy to look at other moms in real life or on social media and think "man I wish I had it together like her!" But the truth is we all have bad days and so do our kiddos! I'm convinced that thinkng you're a bad mom is a sign that you are a great mom who always wants to do her best for her family! #momminainteasy

LeeAnn Russell said...

Thanks for posting about real life! I have a 6 year old girl and a 2 year old boy so I can totally relate. Your mornings sound very similar to ours. My 6 year old's attitude is so bad lately. I am glad to know I am not the only one. I often feel so defeated. And I am pretty sure my 2 year old will be wearing diapers in kindergarten. Thanks for keeping it real!

Nancy Hunt said...

Your honesty is so refreshing. You are not alone. Parenting is the most difficult and at the same time, the most rewarding job you will ever have. Hang in there Natalie, kids go in and out of stages and sometimes they can test your patience beyond belief. As others have mentioned, a strong willed child can be so difficult for parents. But that independent nature will serve them well in life. Believe me I know, my daughter was so much like FM and she turned out beautifully. The ironic part is I remember years ago when I was so angry at her, I told her "I hope when you grow up, you have a daughter that is as difficult as you." And you know what? She now as a daughter who is five who is equally if not more strong willed than she was! I love and adore them both, they are strong, loving and independent. Blessings to you Natalie!

Kristen said...

I NEVER comments on blogs, but have been following yours for awhile and just had to comment that I found your honesty so refreshing and relatable in this post. I feel the exact struggle, I want to enjoy every minute and know that it will be gone too fast, but it's hard and frustrating and I feel like I'm failing more often than not.

Brittany Shue said...

I really appreciate your honesty with this post. No child is perfect but sometimes on social media we parents tend to see SO many perfect looking families. It can make you feel like you are doing something wrong and your child will surely end up an ax-murderer because they never act like these perfect children. Thanks again for the post!

Andie R. said...

Thank you Natalie!!! I have a 2 and a 4.5 year old and it is tough.
I think you are doing a great job. I love seeing your kids' personalities.

duff said...

Thanks for sharing Natalie. My son will be 25 and he was not an easy child. He's not a easy adult either. Some days I wish we could have a do over & others I'm so glad the kid years are over. My sister has 2 little boys 6 & 3. One is easy & the other strong willed... But good boys. She doesn't spoil them at all. No toys at the store etc... Only with the money they earn and only special occasions. They do gymnastics instead of team sports. Best of luck to you. Just remember we're all doing the best way can. Take it one day at a time!!

sweetmommy2007 said...

My kids, 7and 9, don't like team sports either. I tried golf camp and they love it. It's playing with others but you're on your own really. I might try tennis as well because it's the same sort of thing. You practice by yourself but you are still interacting with others.

A little bit of this...and that said...

Thank you for keeping it REAL!!! Good lord parenting is hard. I swear I beat myself up everyday and say well I should have done this or that. I worry all the time about everything too. Thank you for being vulnerable with us! xoxo

Georg and Renee said...

Thank you so much for sharing something so real. I am a mother of a 5 year old and 2 year old, and it was so very refreshing and encouraging to read that I'm not the only one in the trenches. Haha. I often sing to myself "you're going to miss this. You're going to want this back. You're going to wish these days hadn't gone by so fast." (Trace Adkins) Hang in there, mama! You are doing such a great job, and Sterling & Frances are such blessed kiddos to have you.

Alexandra said...

My kids are 9,7, and 4..The early years were miserable for me, it didn't go by fast. It gets a lot easier when their older. I remember crying in the pre school parking lot because my daughter had 4 tantrums before 9:00 am. I couldn't take it. It will get so much easier when your done with diapers too!
My son plays lacrosse and it is a contact sport and I don't think their is anything nurturing about it especially for a 6 year old! I wouldn't want to play it if I had any trepidation as a 6 year old. Its more important that he plays with your husband with the stick and ball in the back yard if he wants. I see too many moms these days stressing their kids and themselves out over sports way too early!

Kelly Otwell said...

Hang in there!! I promise it gets easier. I have a 20 year old son, and 18 and 15 year old daughters. My oldest two fought terribly when they were young. I felt like I was a miserable mother because I would lose my temper and even lock myself in my closet occasionally just to get away from all of the fighting. My husband worked long hours and, as a stay at home Mom, I seriously was at my breaking point many, many evenings (and days for that matter). I know it's hard but keep sticking to your guns. No one is perfect 100% of the time. Occasionally you will give in just to get the crying to stop. It's ok. It's what you do most of the time that matters. Also, my older two kids hated all sports. I made my son play baseball until he was nine, when he told me that if I signed him up again, he would NOT go. In retrospect, I wish that I would not have insisted that they try all of these different activities. Honestly, it just made our lives more difficult and stressed me out. My son ended up being interested in music and debate (of course, because he was fantastic at arguing, I can't believe I didn't see that coming) and my daughter became an amazing artist. They will find their own interests and it is so much easier when they choose to do an activity on their own. Our society treats sports like the greatest, the only, worthwhile activity and, while they can be fun, they're not the only good thing. I was convinced that my kids would be delinquents but it has not turned out that way in the slightest. My kids have been much easier as teenagers than they were as smaller children. They are really good students, which was not always the case. My son couldn't care less about reading until he was in the fourth grade. Now he's a junior in college with an exceptional grade point average. I can't tell you how many nights I laid awake, agonizing over his future. My daughter is an honors student at a really good college. Give yourself grace. You are at a very physical, stressful time in your parenting life. Also, I fought over clothes constantly with my daughter until I made her start choosing her outfits the night before. We also had a backup outfit because she would often change her mind in the morning and it made her feel like she had some choice to have another option. But she was not allowed to stray from those two choices. It made a HUGE difference in our mornings! You are a great Mom. You love your kids. They may not realize it now, but they are really lucky kids to have you. P.S. While it is a huge adjustment and really quiet in our house, having my kids living away from home isn't all bad. Of course, I still have one at home. Each stage in life has it's pros and cons and there are things to look forward to and enjoy in each stage. I love the relationship that I have now with each of my kids. It's more friend and less boss.

Colleen said...

Amen sister! I just had a similar conversation about parenting to my mom the other day. It is hard as hell! I have no idea what I am doing, I'm just trying to raise good little human beings. One of my friends said one day the fact that we think we're bad moms probably means were good ones. Bad moms just wouldn't care. Hang in there, we're all just hanging by a thread. I had winner last night for sure!

natasha {schue love} said...

Just echoing the rest of the comments, you are definitely not alone! The days are long but the years are short...at least that's what I tell myself!! ;)

megan said...

I have three year old twins and I needed to read this. Thanks for being so open.

Brooklyngal said...

Motherhood can be challenging but truly is the most special gift. Just a thought what about a more individually focused sport like tennis, swimming, or karate for your son. They still foster self confidence and require perseverance.

J.R. said...

I don't have kids yet, but I'm a kindergarten teacher, and I truly think that parents have the hardest job. You are doing a great job because you are there for them and you love them and you are giving them boundaries. That is what is important. Their job is to test the SHIT out of those boundaries, but your just is to stand firm and be there for them. I'm so sorry it is so hard, but I think it's awesome that you are being so honest about it. I think it's so terrible that kids tell their parents that they hate them (they tell me that too, as their teacher) but they are so lucky to have you.

Shirley Short said...

Good.for.you. At your age everyone thinks that everyone's life is perfect but theirs. You have a big platform and to be able to say this is not easy... and I question myself... is going to help someone else going through the same thing. I do not know you but I am proud of you and your transparency.

Shirley Short said...

Good.for.you. At your age everyone thinks that everyone's life is perfect but theirs. You have a big platform and to be able to say this is not easy... and I question myself... is going to help someone else going through the same thing. I do not know you but I am proud of you and your transparency.

Bec said...

I follow you on IG but had to check out your parenting thoughts here on the blog. Thank you for being honest about a hard place, and keep it up! It's hard to keep being the adult while your kids are melting down and you just want to out-tantrum them.

You *will* miss a lot about this time, but maybe not the morning chaos so much? :)

I'm a mom in the urban/suburban South with 4 littles 4-12 yrs, and only one is a girl, so I particularly enjoy your FM posts. And your salads--keep them coming!

Ash said...

The struggle is real. I can't handle the whining. I have a 5 yr old boy, 3 yr old girl and my fav- 7month old son. He's my fav because he can't talk yet. I find myself yelling too much and trying to force good behavior and manners and am so worried it will backfire. I actually said to my kids that I just need to go to bed and for this day to be over the other night. Not surprising I started my period the next day. Some days I'm blessed with patience and nothing will get to me and others, I want to give up before we make it to the breakfast table. You are not alone- know this!! Thanks for your honesty
A

Ella Mahon said...

The best line I have ever heard that describes a lot of what your saying is "the days are long and the years are short". I have a 3 year old girl and 6 year old boy, very similar to you. I, like you, can't believe how quickly the day can go to heck in a hand basket when my best intentions were to keep the kids entertained and safe. Never fails, the mommy mean face breaks out quickly. With kids, it's such a lopsided relationship!

Beesmama said...

Parenting is sooo flipping hard. Thanks so much for your honesty. My sons are 7 and 4...I stay at home with them and I find myself yelling way more than I ever thought I would,,,then I hate myself for it. We are all doing the best we can!

Carrie C said...

I just read this post-so I am late to comment. My favorite part of your post was the fact that your little girl is not potty trained;) I have a little boy who will be three this fall and he shows NO INCLINATION to be potty trained. He could care less. I worry all the time about him being behind and his school friends all being ready etc. It's nice to know that I am not alone:)

Lori said...

I like these blogs maybe more than your other ones, but I totally enjoy those too.. It's nice to know as moms, we're not alone and experience much of the same difficulties. Thank you for your honesty and your blog..

Kelly Emerine said...

So so true. Thank you for sharing.

Aaryn Rubin said...

My son just turned 7 and he has tried soccer and basketball; he has no interest in karate. However, he is into swimming and running-sports where he can be on a team, but doesn't need to have much interaction. We're hoping he outgrows it. For now, we're not on any teams...

Junkshow said...

I hear you Sister! I have an almost three-year-old too. They are crazy, yet we love them so much. I absolutely understood everything.thing.you.wrote. My daughter is so difficult to get dressed and get out of the house. She doesn't want her hair combed, she loses her sh$% when her kitty towel isn't washed. It's all drama, all the time. She begs me to watch TV, which my husband absolutely hates and has a fit when we say no. Sometimes I just want to plop her in front of the TV so I can get a break. Cuz, she won't take a nap at home, only at school. All I can say is what I tell myself, "It'll be okay, Mama."

Also -- a note with Sterling -- maybe try more creative activities? Which you probably already do -- but just a note of encouragement: Maybe he's just a creative and won't be into sports. My husband hates sports, only likes to work out and he turned out just fine. :-)

Sending love and strength.

Spanana said...

A belated note to say that I think you are doing a great job! I have a two year old and a nearly four year old and every day is a battle.... Like Frances, my two year old daughter is full of rage: so much anger in such a tiny body. Her big brother is super sensitive and both are stubborn. They are lovely but it is so. bloody. hard. Thank you for posting honestly - and know that you are not alone!

Whitney Weber said...

I'm late in reading but thank you for your transparency. My kids are 3 & 1, and my most used statement is "don't touch your sister." I wanted to recommend a book/author to you that helped with my three year old - James Dobson - Dare to Discipline & Raising a Strong Willed Child. His advice is practical, almost verbatim of what to say which is what I need. (I didn't care for Raising Up Girls minus two chapters but that puts me in the minority). My constant prayer is "let me be enough." Thankful many nights for God's grace and wine!

Adelyn V said...

I have a two year old and a one month old. My two year old is a VERY strong willed child and has recently decided bedtime and sleeping anywhere except our bed is for the birds. Some days I feel like I might lose my mind. This post of yours is one of my favorites and I appreciate your honesty. It always feels better to know other moms have similar struggles.