WT 101: Where Did All These Mom Emotions Come From?
On today's show we’re hitting on questions that a lot of moms struggle with but are almost embarrassed by.
Question 1: I love my two toddler boys with all my heart but sometimes I catch myself always anticipating the next phase and thinking "It will be easier when." For example, it will be easier when they can feed themselves, when they can walk, when they can talk, etc. I am afraid I am falling into a trap of "wishing away my days" away, waiting for it to get easier. How do I enjoy the stage they are in (ages 18 months and 3) and stop longing for them to be more independent?
Karen's Answer: Honestly, these ages 18 months and 3 years, are hard and I think it is normal to wish they were a little older and easier. Try not to feel too guilty about that. Who doesn’t love an easier path, right? But, to answer your question, “how do you enjoy this stage of life?” I think the best way to enjoy something when it is hard, is to look for things to celebrate. These ages are hard, but can also be a lot of fun. I personally loved 18 months because your child is changing everyday. Each day brings new discoveries, new skills that they couldn’t do a month ago. What you are more than likely feeling is the new challenges. Think about journaling at the end of each day and write out all the cute things your toddler said that day, or new discoveries they had. At the end of the week or month, read through your journaling, and soak it in. I’d do the same for the three year old. Last thing, when my son was this age, he was exhausting, because he was constantly on the move and on the go. The time that I could soak in his adorableness was at night when he was sleeping. Try that! :)
Another thing you can do is start praying and asking God to show you things to celebrate in these long, hard days. For instance, I was on the phone with Kelsey the other day, and Chapman, 2, asked her if he could sit in her lap while watching his show. That is something to celebrate, soak it in, because it doesn’t last forever. :)
Question 2A: Hi Karen! I love your podcast, you are such a blessing to myself and my friends that I share you with! My question might sound a little more on the negative side. But can you address how to deal with "Mom anger"? I am generally a very calm and peaceful person (Hello Greens!) I have 3 kids under 3 (yes, I have my hands full! ;)) I find myself having outbursts of anger when I am working on getting my 3 year old daughter to obey. The battle to walk up the stairs at nap time can be a real struggle! If she starts to throw a fit, I get frustrated and find myself matching her frustration level. Any advice? I know obedience is important so I try to pick my battles, but how do you stick to your guns without getting frustrated??
Karen's Answer: Hey! I am so glad you enjoy the podcast. Great question about anger. Yes, I had moments of anger outbursts. I’m not proud of them, but I’m being honest that I did. I found that the best way not to get angry was to not expect my child to always obey me, so when she/he didn’t I was ready for it. For instance, if you know nap time is a struggle with your three year old, then let her watch a show while you put 1 &2 down for a nap, then do the 3 year old last. With the other two taken care of, it gives you more time to deal with your oldest. Make sense? A lot of the times when I got angry it was when my child wasn’t obeying me and making my life harder, so I would get angry. IF you take away the “instant” obedience factor and you are ready to deal with disobedience, you take away most of the power that the 3 year old has. Try that! :) And, since you are a green, you want everything to run smoothly all the time and there to be no conflict. Unfortunately, that is not real life, especially with toddlers. Your peace will come as soon as you get them all to sleep.
Question 2B: One of my biggest challenges in having 4 kids 8 and under is that what makes me snap is rarely that one kid is really doing something awful. It’s just the sum total. So finally, all the talking at once, all the noise, it’ll make me snap, and when I pull back, really no one was doing anything that awful! Help!
Karen's Answer: Hey! Great question! I think what is happening is your are staying in the same room too long with your children, so leave the room. :) If your kids are playing in the den, you go to the kitchen, your bedroom, or go outside to sit on your deck or front porch. You children are old enough to where you don’t have to stay in the same room with them all the time, so don’t. Also, if the house is getting too loud, open up the door and tell everyone, including your 4 year old to get outside. :) Seriously!
Question 3: How can I help my children develop discipline when I struggle with it myself? I feel like such a hypocrite!
Karen's Answer: Since you can relate to your child with a lack of discipline, you can use that in the parenting. You can say things like, “I know it is hard to be disciplined, I am working on that too in my life. Let’s encourage each other.” or “I have a hard time being disciplined in certain areas, here are some things that have helped me.” Keep in mind, we are all a work in progress. Find a project you and your children can do together to develop discipline. i.e.: running program, eating healthy, chore day, etc. Let it be a team effort.
Question 4: How do you really show love to the child that just really, really, really pushes your buttons? I mean…some children are just easier!
Karen's Answer: Some children are easier it is a fact, but ALL children have their issues. For the ones where we have to work on the relationship a little harder, I’ve found that looking for that child’s positives helps me in the long run. If you can’t think of anything positive, and you may not, then ask God, "open my eyes to this child and show me the good,” be prepared, because God will.
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