The constant crying and whining, the throwing of fits over things like me taking my shoes off or a disdain for the shirt I'm wearing, not wanting me to make dinner, not wanting me to put him down... it's just been a bit overwhelming for me because Niall is usually sooo mellow and easygoing.
So while I'm typically the really patient one and I'm the one who has to explain to Matt that this is all normal and it's an important part of development to test the boundaries and exert independence... now I'm starting to crack under pressure and forget my own cool, calm advice and tidbits of wisdom.
Yesterday, Niall woke up at 6am after getting up in the middle of the night for 2 hours and topped it off with a measly 30 minute afternoon nap. The mood of the house was... let's say "dismal" between the 2 of us. After a few hours of constant screaming that afternoon, I burst into tears, coincidentally begging him to stop crying (and to eat something for the first time that day).
When I finally got all of our stuff together just to get out the door (which by the way can take up to an hour if your toddler is hanging on your leg crying), I ran into my neighbor/friend, who could tell I'd been crying. When she asked me what was wrong, I opened my mouth to explain that we were just having a bad day, and uncontrollably burst into tears again. I felt like a complete lunatic, but she convinced me that it was normal to feel overwhelmed like this- especially when you're pregnant.
And that's when it hit me-- I don't need any added stress in my life right now; things are overwhelming enough as is. So I decided to write down all of the things that have been stressing me out this month and put a star by the ones that are simply out of my control or not worth getting upset over. It really helped to just take a deep breath and let go of those things. Here are the ones I've found are simply not worth an emotional breakdown:
- clothes bleeding on each other in the wash/ clothes getting ruined while playing
- leaving the rain boots outside to dry, only for them to continue getting rained on for days on end; ultimately meaning you need to find another pair of shoes to wear in the rain
- Niall deciding to try the all-milk diet. No breakfast, lunch or dinner- just a gallon of milk, please (and goldfish in between)
- Niall refusing to let me brush his teeth
- managing to hold onto receipts that I'll never need for a year, but losing the only one that I need to return something
- going a little over budget each month when we don't ever go out or spend money on anything extravagant
- Niall crying himself to sleep for about an hour each night, when we've just read him 5 stories, covered him in kisses and hugs, and said goodnight to all 25 stuffed animals.
These are things I can't control and I have to accept that. Raising a toddler may require me to seek some advice from AA...
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Niall loves your votes!