Failure Mom

This photo was taken just moments before noodles and rice exploded all over, around, and under our table.

This week $hi! hit the fan in our household. All at once I felt like a Failure Mom.

Perhaps it was the moment when my daughter had a temper tantrum in Target. She wanted the goldfish, NOW. She wouldn’t sit in the cart. She arched her back, flinging those little gold fish everywhere. Then she laid flat in her back, arms spread out like an angel (how ironic), and proceeded to scream at the top of her lungs right in line at the checkout. My armpits started sweating immediately. I wanted to run. I wanted to avoid the glares and judgements. Defeated, I picked up the fish as quick as I could, grabbed my screaming daughter, and paid as fast as possible.

The only restaurants I can go to without feeling like I am ruining everyone’s dinner are places with high chairs that lock my child in. Those places typically have a menu with burgers, fries, and soft serve ice cream as the final course. My friends are always surprised by my suggestions in restaurants. Well, crap, I’m not picking places that are filled with foodies and the finest culinary delights. I’m finding places where my toddler can throw a fry or two and run around after without feeling like the World’s Worst Mom.

I guess it all came to an exploding point when I realized how exasperated I was. I realized I couldn’t control my daughter or her many moods. I felt so out of control. I looked around and felt like the room was filled with all these well-behaved tots, sitting in their high chairs eating like perfect little angels.

Thank GOD for some sane and wise friends who brought me back to reality. Just as I was feeling like I somehow screwed up my child for good by lack of consistently in discipline, they reminded me that what I am experiencing is actually normal. Sigh of relief.

They shared with me their many difficult moments, all the ways they tried doing discipline, and their own embarrassing times. The weight felt like it was coming off my shoulders.

I’ve realized a few things about parenting a toddler:

1. It is only a season.

For now I might need to say goodbye to fun pubs and restaurants until we have established good eating habits and table etiquette. I might need to hire a babysitter for nights out with friends. It won’t last forever.

2. The short, unpleasant moments are minuscule compared to the wonderful, funny, sweet moments.

Toddlers are brilliant little scientists, inventors, and explorers. Half the trouble they get into is their curiosity getting ahead of their logic. There are moments where Lillian is being defiant or disobeying me, but those are a small amount of my frustrations. Many of the frustrations of parenting a toddler are the inconvenient moments- the spilled milk on a freshly mopped floor, for example. Those little inconveniences are going to happen! I have a little learner on my hands. When I sit back and think of all the things she is learning to do- drink from a big girl cup, eat with a fork and spoon, and speak a new language, I realize how easy it must be for her to get frustrated. She is learning so many new things so fast! That gives me more patience and compassion to handle moments where she gets mad or clumsy.

3. Discipline, done right, is so rewarding for both me and Lillian.

When I calm down and try to be consistent in my discipline with Lillian, I see so much love grow between us. All our time-outs end with an apology, a clear explanation of why time-out occurred, and a hug and kiss. I love seeing her learn from her mistakes and understand how to obey me. It is tiring, and feels endless some days, but the fruit of seeing her make real changes is so amazing.

I love being her Mom. There is nothing in the world like it. Nothing prepares you for the challenge of guiding and loving a little person through life. It is such a high calling, and such an overlooked role in our society. We need to encourage one another as mother’s that we can do this high calling and that it is challenging some days and rewarding on others (or both). I found so much encouragement talking to other Moms who didn’t just try to tell me how to parent my kid, but who wrapped their arms around me and said, “Oh, I’ve been there. Your doing great. Parenting is hard.” Then, if they wanted to share some tips, I was ALL EARS!

With time and reflection, I am realizing how much pressure I put on myself and my kid to have it all together. We don’t, and we won’t. And that’s ok. I’d rather love and enjoy her than fit a certain mold. Maybe she will have another tantrum and I will have to deal with it, but I am learning that doesn’t make me a bad Mom. It makes me a normal Mom dealing with normal toddler things. So, I’ll get better at ignoring the glares from other tables or checkout lines for the time being, and just keep my eyes fixed on my daughter.

Tiffany

 

Let’s Be Friends Blog Hop is now LIVE! Come link up! :)

Heyoo friends! It is time for the Let’s Be Friends Blog Hop #32! Link up to gain new followers on GFC or bloglovin’!

Promote this blog hop by putting the button on your page, or throwing a shout out at the end of your post today or tomorrow. The more link ups we have the more our blogs will grow! Invite a friend, tweet it, or let your Facebook friends know! 🙂

Make sure to follow the hosts and co-hosts!

PS- I have some great giveaways going on right now and coming up! Scroll down to check them out and stay tuned also!

Have fun and meet some friends!
Brittney from Teaberry Trails 
Kelly from The No Drama Mama

Natasha from Serenity You

My Birth Story

Well, I suppose this is a long time coming. I know so many people having babies this next month. It takes me back to that special time. I love hearing birth stories. Each story is so unique and beautiful. It is amazing how women are able to have babies. Every mom experiences the same sigh of relief the moment you hear your child’s first cry. Every step and labor pain toward that miraculous sound is filled with emotion. 
I remember when I made my “birth plan”. I wanted to have by baby natural. I read books, researched a ton online, and handed my midwives and nurses several copies of my plan. 
I am so glad I made a plan, but let me tell you: it did NOT go that way! That is OK. Going into labor is like going into war. You can have a plan, but if you need to be flexible and change your plan or strategy for the survival of the baby then DO it! (I hate using the war strategy, but it really does fit!). 
My due date passed, and I was still a swollen, big, huffing and puffing pregnant momma. I remember the day my water broke: I was standing in the kitchen and all of a sudden I thought I peed my pants. I mean, it felt like a huge gush of water! I cried out to Brian, laughing uncontrollably because I thought I peed everywhere and was SO embarrassed. He reassured me that it was not pee, it was water, and my water broke. 
We called the midwives, and they were super gracious. They told us to go eat dinner, and mosey on in once finished. They reminded us it would be our last night together solo as a married couple and to enjoy and take our time. Woah! That was a crazy realization! We went to our favorite Pho restaurant in the world, and I ate as much as I could, knowing that might be my last meal in a while. (It was.) After chowing down noodles, delicious broth, and melon shakes, we sauntered into the hospital. 
I had no labor pains yet. Yet, they admitted me, because I had tested positive for group strep B. I had to be hooked up to antibiotics right away. From here, everything went a little haywire. 
I was not dilating. It took almost 24 hours for me to dilate a few cm! The next morning, they gave me a few pills with hormones to induce me. Those puppies worked, a little, and I started feeling contractions. Brian and I walked around the hospital to get me moving. By about noon, no real progress was being made. Then they gave me heavy doses of pitocin. The labor pains really started coming on at that point. For two hours I was walking around the labor room like a nut, squatting here and there in serious pain. Woah- it was like nothing before! The worst period cramps I have ever felt in my life! I am a VERY modest person. I am the girl who goes into the bathroom at the gym to change. Well, I could have cared less who was in the room. I ripped off my gown because it felt horrible against my skin. After about three hours of this, I wanted the epidural, and I wanted it NOW! I HATE needles, so I couldn’t believe I was asking for the epidural. Once the anesthesiologist finished up, I thanked her and told her I loved her. In the moment, I really did. 
Well, the pain subsided, but the problems did not. By this time it was about 5 in the afternoon. I started getting sick. I felt dizzy and nauseous (probably from all the icky stuff they were pumping into me).  I was beyond hungry since I hadn’t eaten since the night before. I could have juice, but that was it. I was tired. My sister was awesome. She brought me magazines and just chatted with me. I took funny videos of her and Brian (I still have them, I sounded so drugged up!). We laughed a lot to pass time. My husband was amazing. He was attentive and loving. The nurses rocked. They promised me chocolate cake when Lillian came out. But I still felt awful. 
Throughout the night I developed a fever and another small infection. They kept giving me antibiotics. The next morning, Brian left to go shower and take a morning run. He had been cooped up at the hospital for over 24 hours and needed a well deserved break. The funny thing is, that is when things got a little crazy.  I finally dilated to a 9. I tried to push, but had no energy. I started to throw up. Lillian’s heart rate started dropping. Then she passed meconium. At that point, my sister was calling Brian and was like “get here, now”. We saw him pulling into the parking lot like a crazed new about-to-be Dad. Right as he walked in, about five different doctors and nurses walked in saying we needed to do a c-section, immediately. I was so out of it I didn’t care. Brian was a little anxious for sure, but he suited up and joined me in the surgical unit. 
It was like a whirlwind. All I remember is hearing her first little cry and seeing her being lifted out of me by one of the doctors. My heart swelled with love for her immediately and I was so filled with relief. I literally didn’t care about the surgery. The first moment I held her was phenomenal. I turned into a momma bear right away. 
…and I got my piece of chocolate cake! Although at that point I was more interested in cuddling with my baby than eating it.  🙂
Someone once told me that after you go through the pain of childbirth and see your child for the first time, you realize you would do it again in a heartbeat. 
It was true! 
Those days in the hospital are precious memories in my heart. I loved every minute while I was there. I am weird- I was actually sad to depart since so many memories were made there. I took pictures of the room, of her first little “bassinet”, of the white board… it was all so amazing.