Sometimes it seriously feels like my child hates me, and I know I am not the only mom to ever feel this way. I love that kid more than I could ever adequately express in words, and every single thing that I do, I do with the intention of providing the best possible childhood for him.
So, this begs the question: WHY DOES HE GIVE ME SUCH A HARD TIME?! The answer is actually quite simple: Because he is 2-and-a-half years old. Right now, he doesn’t know any better, but one day he will understand.
He will understand what I went through during my last two months of pregnancy and how I kept going mostly for him.
He will understand how difficult it was to work full-time and then come home to a never-ending “Mommy To-Do List” of bath time and laundry and homework.
He will understand that every time he heard the word “no” it wasn’t because Mommy was mean, but rather because she was teaching him the difference between right and wrong.
He will understand that Mommy taught him manners and the value of “please” and “thank you” not because she was strict, but because she was molding him into a gentleman.
He will understand that Mommy taught him to apologize when he hurt someone so that he could learn how his actions affect other people.
So for now, when he yells at me in the mornings because he isn’t ready to wake up and kicks his legs as I’m trying to change him out of his pajamas…
When he tells me “I don’t want you” as I’m trying to get him to eat some breakfast so that his mood will improve…
When he chooses to sit in his time-out chair for close to an hour because he is insanely stubborn and prefers to prove a point rather than say sorry…
I need to remember that he doesn’t hate me. He is just testing boundaries and learning how to navigate his newfound independence. That same willfulness and determination may just enable him to effect serious change as an adult. But for now,
it’s my job to help him harness these traits without breaking his fiery spirt. He may not understand yet, but someday he will.
He will look back on his childhood and remember how Mommy always loved him fiercely - mostly by giving him hugs and kisses, but sometimes through necessary discipline.
More importantly, he will remember how Mommy was always there for him unconditionally.
To all the stressed out moms feeling defeated by their strong-willed toddlers: I feel your pain. Hang in there. Our kids are just gearing up to someday change the world.