Thursday, February 07, 2008

Change in attitude

I've had a tough couple of weeks with the kids that have been compounded by Jon traveling. I don't like to complain about Jon traveling because this is the right job for him now, but it leaves me drained to have no backup, double the work, and less rest. I have not been myself - much more irritable and grumpy and short-tempered. I don't like it. I don't want to be that kind of mom.

We had a really nice honeymoon period between 13 months and 19 months. The boys were extremely cooperative, in great moods, and each day was fairly consistent. Because of this honeymoon period, I got it in my head things were "normal" and "easy" around here. What I forgot is that all phases pass, and we are in a different phase now. The boys have changed but I have not.

I decided to change my attitude. I'm going to accept this phase as it is - a phase where they are learning to be independent. And if they are going to be independent, they're not always going to do what I say when I say it. Everything is going to take a lot longer than I would like. A LOT longer. There is a lot less cooperation than I like. There is a lot more crying and whining than I like. There is a lot more fighting than I like.

It is an important lesson for me to learn. I don't want to waste these months wishing they were more cooperative, more obedient, and fighting less. I don't want to wish any phase away because I only get each phase once. Instead I need to learn how to enjoy each phase, even when I am exhausted and tired and frustrated and have no patience.

This morning, I tried to accept things as they are. Instead of wishing they would play nicely and stop fighting, I had them help me unload the dryer and the dishwasher. They loved it. Instead of getting frustrated they were taking forever to get down the stairs, I sat at the bottom waiting for them. They went a lot faster without having to stop to listen to me say, "Let's go." It's going to take some time but I feel this is the right path.

But damn, even with the attitude adjustment, this is a tough and exhausting phase with two.


Erin said...

Bless you Laura! You are an amazing mother. Nate and Alex are so lucky to have such an intelligent, patient and loving woman to guide their little lives!

I have dealt with these feelings before too. Right when you think you've figured them out, they change! It gets easier (and then harder again!) Eb and Flow.

But as much as the days seem to drag on, the months always seem to fly right by. We just went to a Kindergarten info meeting for Megan last night. When did she get so old?!

Before you know it, Nate and Alex will be independent and you'll be wishing they needed you more! :)

Eva said...

This was such a great post. It's so smart to think about things this way. You of course always freak me right out when you write about the challenges of the second half of the second year. But I also love how you address the challenges and share what works for you. Thanks.

lesleysmeshly said...

I love this post. I feel the same way. I don't want to wish any moment away because we only have it once...but ohhhhhh some days it is HARD. Great attitude!!! Just like Erin day you'll wish they needed you more. We've just entered a hard phase (going from two naps to one and cutting molars) so when I need a pick me up I'm going to reread this post and remind myself to enjoy and appreciate each moment, the good and the bad.