It's been a tough couple of years, but we've been living with purpose- with an end goal in mind- and that has made everything more bearable. We have made the choice to struggle briefly so that we won't have to struggle in the long run. And I think it's a good choice. A choice that our families have mercifully supported. I know it's a good choice for our family. But in the day-to-day, I've forgotten about that purpose. I've forgotten about the end goal. I've been so concerned with making it through the day, that I haven't stopped to celebrate all we've already made it through. Together.
And then there are the babes. My two boys who are growing so fast and learning so much. These two boys who, more often than not these days, drive me completely bonkers. They are nearly two and three and half, and they are testing all the boundaries and pushing all the limits. And instead of realizing that they are nearly two and three and a half- and therefore DESTINED to be naughty- I think, "Where did my sweet little boys go? WHY ARE THEY ACTING LIKE THIS?!?"
Because, let's be honest here people, both of these ages are trying. Two is legendary in its challenges and three should be- I find it to be WAY harder than two. So, as my two boys are bouncing off the walls and each other and ignoring my every request/suggestion/order, I find myself standing in the middle of the room (OR hiding in the bathroom) wondering- WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?!?
Well, first of all, nothing happened, really. I mean, my kids are at challenging ages, and there are two of them
And then there's our asshole neighbor who continually shows up at our door at weird times (like 4:30 a.m when we're trying to get out the door with two exhausted/cracked out children for a funeral) whining about how my children move and make noise and it's just so hard can't we make them be quiet. Which, um, NO WE CANNOT, but we live in fear of his icky visits because he's an annoying, mousy little asshat. This keeps my husband and I on edge and perpetually begging our nearly two year old and three and half year old to please be quiet and stop running which IS. NOT. POSSIBLE. (Nor is it reasonable to ask of them.) I think this may be making my children high strung. It's certainly making me and my husband high strung.
And then there's life, which has been a challenge, and our stress is (unfortunately) reflected in our children and their behavior. As much as we try to avoid it, our stress comes out in our actions, in our tones of voice, in our general demeanor. And our kids react to it- usually in highly unpleasant ways. Which makes us more stressed out. And repeat cycle. It sucks. We did a damn fine job of keeping our kids in blissful ignorance for a long, long time, but you can only live in a constant state of worry for so long before it starts to leak out of you.
And the thing is, as I've said before, I'm a worrier. I've ALWAYS been a worrier. And even the smallest things can cause me to worry incessantly. I think I've done damn well with all of this, considering my clear and present psychosis, but it still escapes sometimes. And it freaks my kids out. Which SUCKS. I try to model healthy coping skills- I try to name my feelings and show my kids how to handle intense emotions- but I am human. Sometimes I just get pissy. And then my kids get pissy. And then I wonder what's going on with them. Geez, MOM.
Anyway, all this to say that I'm working on it. I'm working on remembering how much we've accomplished, how much we're continuing to accomplish, and what a positive decision this has been- and will be- for our family. I'm working on remembering how much I love my family and how blessed I feel to be able to spend so much time with them. I'm working on stepping back and realizing that my kids are just kids. That they're not really doing anything wrong- that they're just being little people who are trying to figure out their place in this world. They're pushing boundaries so they can figure out where they are. They're just growing up. And it's all going to be okay.
Maybe I can remember that. Maybe.
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P.S. If you have a three and half year old and you're constantly wondering why they are so psychotic... this article at Planning with Kids helped me feel a lot less crazy. http://planningwithkids.com/2009/11/17/characteristics-of-three-and-a-half-year-old-behavior/