For this past week's subject of study, I didn't have to look very far for research. I did not need to even venture outside of my home. You see I have a toddler who lives with me. And I have learned a whole hell of a lot from her since she arrived 2.5 years ago.
For starters, toddlers are bi-polar. All of them. They throw temper tantrums over anything and everything. In public. At home. In cars. On trains. Confined on airplanes.
If your toddler doesn't, well then I hate you. No seriously I hate you. And you are lying.
One minute these little people want to be big. "I do it myself mommy" as they pour milk all over the counter missing the cereal bowl. The next minute they want to be babies conveniently forgetting how to walk upstairs as you carry their younger sibling and a small child inside your belly.
"No" is the most frequently used word by these little monsters. No this. No that. No when they actually mean yes. No, no, no, no, no.
Then after they do something so annoying that makes your blood boil (i.e. stand and pee on the rug that was just cleaned because you told them no more dessert), they rush to give you a hug and say "I love you."
Yep there is that bi-polar behavior that I just mentioned. And the reason that your heart bursts with a thousand emotions big and small every.single.day.
Someone recently told me congrats on my third pregnancy followed by you make it look so easy. It was one of the best compliments that I have received. It is also a sham. There is nothing about being a mom that comes easy. To me anyway. Especially a mom of a toddler. With an active 10 month old. Carrying a baby in my belly. I have always been a strong person who fights through the hard stuff. Usually with a smile on my face making hard for most people to know that I am struggling. I don't like to complain (but have myself doing it too much as of late...read overwhelmed!). Partly because I don't like for people to know my weaknesses and partly because I do have a very blessed life that many people would rejoice for in a heartbeat.
But the honest truth is that my strong-willed, defiant little bi-poplar toddler has pushed me in ways that I have never imagined. There are days when I find myself on the floor, head in hands, sobbing because I am at my wits end. Or because I lost my patience and temper, raising my voice at her. Or because I think that I am failing miserably at this whole mom thing. In every aspect of my life sometimes if I am being brutally honest.
Yet somehow in those moments, where I am exposed, that is when her sweet, kind, empathetic side shows through. Coming over to hug me and say it's okay mommy, please don't cry, I love you.
And just for that second, I know that I am doing something right...
If there is one take away from learning all about toddlers this week, it would be that while they test the limits they are learning how to navigate life simultaneously while we learn to navigate motherhood. Both difficult, stressful, and overwhelming at times.
But both beautiful, rewarding, and greater than anything else in the world...