Sunday, March 18, 2012

Reflections of Motherhood

My daughter is five.

It's no secret that five can be a rough year. We're only a few months in. Honestly, we're only a month in and a few days change.

And the last 2-3 days have been completely horrendous.


Bringing on the tears.

For us both.

Last night she stood at the foot of my bed, after staying in our room a little bit late to watch Too Cute. One of those adorable Animal Planet shows on cute cats. We love them. She loves them. And then.

She stood there and asked if I'd walk her to her room. Yes. I will. I motioned to shut down what I was working on/looking at and whack. Yes. Sound effects are needed. Whack. She somehow managed to smack me in the side of my face with my husband's belt.

What the heck?

That's what I said. What the heck. I had a lot of other words at the ready. But she's five - remember? I couldn't let them fly. I wouldn't.

So as tears sprung into my eyes I asked her to go to her room. Mommy needs a minute.

And I went into the bathroom, turned on the fan, sat on the toilet and started bawling.


Me. The mom. Exhausted and spent.

I knew it wasn't on purpose. It wasn't. It was totally an accident. And if she had been swinging the belt and not hit me I would have said something like - you know Daddy's belt is not a toy. Put it down. Away. Stop it.

I didn't have the chance.

And I wasn't crying because of the pain. Though it hurt like a sonofagun, believe you me.

I was crying from exhaustion. Because yesterday at Target we were those parents. The ones you look at in sympathy. If you're nice, anyway. Because the ones that stare and are in awe? Well, obviously never had a five year old plant their feet and flash their attitudes outside in public. And the night before last? We were the parents who had our child sass talk and give all sorts of attitude and then not allow us in her room to the point that we had to physically move her - away from her door - away from hurting herself. The backwards hug, I eventually explained as she calmed down. Remind me sometime to talk about it. It's truly an incredible thing. I'm sure many moms and dads do it, but teaching it to your kid as a backwards hug to keep them safe really works.

We are not a spanking family. We choose not to be. And I chose to introduce my child to the concept (again, just the concept) of what some family's do as discipline in their homes. I explained - "Mommy and Daddy do not do this to you, but some children who act as you do get spanked on their bottoms."

I was exhausted. Spent.

And am.

We got ourselves together to go for a late breakfast just now. We were dressed. Shoes on. Even her cute little purse was ready.

And she would not move forward. She would not listen to my husband. She would not get past the point of focus she had. We tried nicely. We asked. We ordered. We stated. And then I turned around and said, We're not going.

She lost it. Yet again.

Sometimes it's all we have. To take away the things that they are moving towards. The things that are theirs. The things that mean something. And yes, it messes up our plans. Our day. Our sights set on a fun batch of errands as a family. One of the two days my husband is home during the week. We hate that. Hate that it is ruined. But what are we to do?

I remind her. Mommy loves you. Mommy always loves you. Mommy is just disappointed in your behaviors and doesn't like you very much right now.

You always love me?

Yes. ... Yes is what I say as I walk into the other room with tears in my eyes.

Motherhood. Parenting. It can be full of the greatest joys. But it can also be so rough. Scratchy. Heart-hurting. We all get through it. We all relate. But man. Some days I wish the rough spells would dissolve more quickly. Because if this is what it is like at age 5? What the hell will 15 look like?


  1. Hey, i feel for you so much. We have a 2.5 yr old, and i definitly have had some crazy days, some days i don't have a clue what I'm doing, some days my mind is a total blank to all the good advice i have read in parenting books. 'This too will pass' is a good saying to think of on those days, not much help when you're in the thick of it i know, sorry. Also just on books- i found playful parenting, how to talk so kids will listen, and anything by David Coleman or Dr. Sears on behavior good. Good luck

  2. I know, sweet friend. I know.

    (It gets better. I swear. Keep loving BIG like you already are!)

  3. You get a nice big break between 5 and 15 though. It won't all be messy like this. So sorry, friend.

  4. Oh hugs, Mama. It goes in waves and it will get easier before it gets harder again... many times. I think, too, that once she starts school this fall, that will help, because you will get a break from each other that you've never had before. Does that make sense?

  5. The backward hug. I love those words for it. Thank you.

    And yes, please do write about it. It's a beautiful way to keep people safe and let those horrible moments become teachable moments


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