Have you ever been in one of those places in your life where you felt completely lost, completely drained and was on the verge of having a serious mental breakdown but then had something happen to you where it almost felt as if the angels saw your desperate need for hope?
I just experienced one of those moments and I really wanted to share with you.
Parenting has never come easy for me
Not to say that parenting is easy for anyone else but for me, personally, it has been really difficult. For one, I never envisioned myself as a mother. At 18 years old, I decided I didn’t want children. I know that’s still young but at 19 I found out I was pregnant.
Needless to say, it has been an extremely hard road for me.
When Andrew was born, I didn’t feel the overwhelming love that many mothers describe when holding their baby for the first time.
I didn’t feel the overwhelming connection with breastfeeding because I struggled from day one, was too focused on how dead tired I felt all the time, and didn’t realize the high demand that came along with breastfeeding.
I suffered from postpartum depression; I would sit at home all day, watch TV, and drown myself in my lonely, overwhelmed, thoughts. I would think about my pre-baby days and how I missed diving and working and teaching and being free.
I eventually snapped out of my depression and felt better but with the ever-new challenges (or growing pains) of parenting I encountered, I’d find it difficult to cope.
This past year for me has been incredibly hard as Andrew has gained his self-confidence, independence and strong-willed personality
I am very happy and blessed that he has these qualities and I hope they stick with him as he grows into his own adulthood, however it has been increasingly difficult trying to figure out how to be a good parent. You always hear you need to discipline so they become good people. But how do you discipline a child who is strong willed?
The past year, I have dealt with many negative feelings and actions from Andrew. Hitting, telling me he doesn’t want me, going for daddy instead of me, acting out, and full on negativity towards me are just a few of the circumstances. I know every kid goes through their phases but for some reason I feel as if Andrew is a little more difficult than most.
I eventually reached out to one of my favorite Facebook forums (Nourished Children) and with advice from the mom’s in there, I was able to make light of things and turn most of the negativity around.
The ever changing cycle of parenting has now switched gears again on me
Now, more than ever, I feel completely stressed, overwhelmed and out of control. Andrew has tested me to my limits and after living with my inlaws for a few months, our routines have gotten completely out of whack.
Now that we are in our own home, I feel as if I am not the parent. I feel like every day my child rules my life. Every day, it’s the same, miserable battles between mother and son. Every day, when I do not give in to his every want and need, he throws full blown out tantrums. I mean, bad tantrums. Like, screaming at me, running to the front door, banging on it, yelling to let him out, calling for his dad or grandma, and more. Whenever I try and console him, he yells at me more.
He even throws a tantrum when I am trying to put pants on him so we can go play outside. Pants are necessary because it’s cold. What am I supposed to do?
There is no talking to him. There is no reasoning. There is no rationalization.
At times, I yell back at him. I tell him to, “Please stop crying. You can do anything but just stop crying. Stop whining. You are driving me crazy!”
Now, I have reached the point to where I just freeze. I sit there and zone out while he’s running through the house, screaming. There’s not much else I can do in those moments that seem to last forever.
At the end of most days lately, I feel resentful. I feel upset. I feel suffocated. I feel overwhelmed. I feel defeated.
I want my son to have the freedom for choice but I want him to know that I am the mother and some things will not go his way. But how do I do this in a way that is constructive, not destructive?
I felt like I was at the road block in my life and I had no idea how to make a change. No one could give me solid advice on what to do and I felt lost.
But, just the other day, I felt as if the angels brought me a gift.
I felt the angels had heard my pain, my discouragement, my frustration.
This post ended up being way longer than I had anticipated, so for your reading pleasure, I have split it into two parts.