As I laid cuddled up next to her as she drifted off to sleep, I began thinking about what she said: Mommy, you GET to put me to sleep – like she was giving me a gift. Like I was the lucky winner that night. And boy, was she right.Read More
On that night one year ago, I rocked you to sleep with bittersweet tears in my eyes. I knew I was in labor and that everything would change for all of us. But mostly for me and you. I held you extra-close, for extra-long, while you drifted to sleep.Read More
The “terrible twos” have hit our house.
For probably the whole first year of Lucy’s life, I was never more confident in the decisions I had made in my life than I was that first year she was alive. This is opposite for most first-time parents. I researched and read EVERYTHING I could on different aspects of parenting so that by the time I made a decision, I was 100% confident in the choices we were making as parents.
Boy, Kate is a different story. She has thrown me for a loop since the beginning. But I digress…
The Terrible Twos are challenging! Their ability to think for themselves, communicate their wants and needs, and their desire for independence is sure amazingly awesome to witness but makes me seriously question my parenting. The tantrums, the attitude, the defiance. I’ve yelled at her in response to an exorcist-like tantrum in protest of nap time. I REALLY don’t want to be a mom that results to yelling. It makes me feel out of control of myself and of my household.
Thank goodness for mama groups on Facebook. They have become my sounding board for advice and reassurance when needed. Another mom going through the toddler phase asked for recommendations on books to read to help effectively parent in these formative, important and difficult years.
Janet Lansbury’s “No Bad Kids” was recommended, which I ordered on Amazon that day. Understanding that no two moms will parent the same, this book rings true to what we believe is the most effective way to raise and discipline children: through love and respect. This book has given me two things: 1) reassurance and confidence that we are doing many things right; I’m on the right track 2) Tools and ideas for improvement on areas where Mike and I are missing the boat. I’m about 50 pages in (150 pages total) and I’ve already been able to implement many of the strategies she suggests and have noticed a difference in a few short days!
“Gain perspective. Our attitude toward limit-pushing behavior is everything, and our perspective is what defines our attitude. Testing, limit-pushing, defiance and resistance are healthy signs that our toddlers are developing independence and autonomy” – Janet Lansbury
I feel like I am again the CEO of my household, confident in the decisions I’m making. A few tools in my tool belt, a cup of coffee in my hand and Eric Church blaring on the radio and I’m back. Peace in the house is getting restored and I’m taking the time to think through how best to discipline – which is most certainly not the easiest way, but the most respectful and honoring ways to help Lucy learn to express her independence and emotions. (yelling, bribery and distraction would sure be easiest but are not forms discipline, as I have learned. Makes sense, right?)
Will I never “lose” it again and yell? Of course I will! But at least I don’t feel unsure of my self.
Now, to figure out miss Kate…. who is increasingly the sweetest and happiest baby.
Gosh I love my girls. Wouldn’t trade them for the whole world.
Next on my agenda, mastering Yoga. In true Shannon form, I am reading about it as much as I can…
Enough for today.
Originally published on February 12, 2016
My little Lucy. She’s a pistol (Or perhaps just a typical two year old). But gosh she’s so dang sweet. Returning to work after Kate has not been smooth and I’ve found myself crying a lot more than usual; worried about Kate, worried about Lucy, just wanting to be home with my girls, worried that I’m not a good enough mom, employee, wife, friend.
These little humans we create and mold are just quite amazing. Lucy has seen me crying several times over the last few months. And it never fails – she comes right over with a hug and a kiss and a “It’s ok, Mommy. It’s ok.” I’ve found myself feeling guilty for allowing my girls see me upset. But, it’s OK. In fact, it might even be a good thing. We are trying to raise our girls to know it’s OK to feel their emotions; it’s OK to be angry, sad, frustrated or upset. And then, we try to teach them the best way to work through these emotions. It’s OK to cry.
And it seems little, but her gestures like these remind me that I’m doing something right. Amidst the tantrums and the sass, she also shows compassion. And then she tells me how much she loves me and daddy and Kate (followed by a big wet toddler kiss) and my heart melts.
They are teaching me just as much, if not more, than what I’m teaching them. I’m learning from them all the time and I thank God every day they chose me to be their mommy.
Originally published January 22, 2016