Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Toddler Times and Mama Moments

"You really ought to blog about this", urges my partner. "I think most people reading your blog think that your parenting comes really easy, or something. This would be really real."

Yesterday, my son made me cry. In many ways, he's a typical rambunctious toddler, and I am a typical first-time mom. He was being manic, in that typical toddler way, running around, stomping, squealing, and throwing his ball. I was enjoying watching him be him, while we took a break from unpacking. Then he threw his heavy metal sippy- at my face. It hurt, and almost gave me a fat lip. I yelled at him, like I would yell at anyone who assaulted me. His little face crumpled, and then he started to wail.

My partner stepped in and redirected our son as I recovered my cool. Then Rowan was brought back to me. I was still crying, partially because of my lip, partially because of my feelings. "You HURT Mommy. Please don't throw things at Mommy." He hugged me frantically and said without prompting, "I sowwy, Mommy. I wuv you." It melted my heart and made me cry a little more. I was feeling a little emotional after my unfortunate outburst.

I am not a perfect parent. I yell and say no more than I want to. (Especially in this last week, with the house being a minefield of boxes of fragile things that a toddler could destroy so easily. Our house was not set up to be the "yes environment" that he is used to and that I want for him. Thankfully, with lots of hard work and effort from my partner and myself, it is now set up- just as my partner returns to his job.) My episodes that I am not ashamed of, while they happen more often than I like, only last a few minutes- then I remember the parent that I want to be. I feel shame in these moments, and wonder if I will leave emotional scars.

Can the good moments negate the bad in the end? I know that I am going to yell at my son in the future just as I know that I will hug and kiss him and tell him that I love him multiple times a day. I know that I will do something in my parenting that my son will remember and resent. Perhaps it will even cause damage and baggage. That hurts me deeply. Is there nothing I can do to stop that? I don't think so.

Our day ended well. We decided to walk to the park that is a mere half block away and asked the neighbors if they would like to come. They said that they were on their way out for a walk, so we combined the outings- a walk around the neighborhood that ended at the park. My son seems a little crushed out on their 4 year old daughter and kept saying her name and chasing her through the park. On the occasions that Rowan fell down, he ran to me and I kissed his "owies" to make them better. That trick always works and he runs away smiling. He looks to me for comfort when he is in distress, and that tells me that I am doing more good than harm, I think.


  1. These moments happen and you cannot help your instinctive reaction. I, too, wonder how much of what I inadvertently do will eventually shape my children. However, you are showing him that while you love him very much, you are not perfect and that is okay. If he grows up thinking that there are perfect people, he would be very disillusioned when he is an adult.

    I have been a reader of yours for a while and I admire the way you are raising your son. He will turn out to be a wonderful man for some lucky woman in the future.

    Brightest blessings!~~Rachel

  2. don't feel bad, we all lose our tempers and it's going to keep happening, just as long as you reinforce why you yelled and that you love him, children are resourceful, im sure my mother had plenty of reason to yell and flip out when we were all little but i don't remember those times as much as I remember handing out with her and learning something new from her. your on the right path, have fun while doing it and remember good or bad they blame their parents anyway lol

  3. Oh yes, this will happen. There is no stopping it. I have two step-kids that are teens now and man, oh man I find myself losing my temper and regretting it everyday. Someone once told me the reason babies are so cute is so you don't kill them when they are teenagers. LOL. Anyway, try not to get too hung up on. Apologize and move on. We are after all only human. And like Rachel said, you are giving him examples of imperfect people who go through life integrity and kindness. That's way more important than perfection.


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