If there’s a Dark Ages to my history of motherhood, this should be it.
It’s now looking like the darkest ever. The toddler and preschooling years were pretty manageable. Exhausting but manageable. There were poopy diapers to change, dirty mouths to clean and lots of bedtime stories to tell but looking back, except the fact that you hit the sack every night bone tired, those years with 3 kids at those milestones were pretty much OK to navigate through.
Now that the kids are older, the challenges that I am facing are mentally and emotionally exhausting. Besides schedules, learning needs, progress follow-ups in between sassy retorts and juvenile arguments, there’s also the middle child and her difficulty to cope with changes and transitions smacking me right in the face.
I wished I could document in detail the pain and heartache and challenges and horrible days I go through managing her but I have decided against that and am learning to emphathise from a child’s perspective – that it can be both embarrassing and difficult, and I should park the details at some recesses of my memory somewhere where it wouldn’t hurt her. Suffice to say, there’s a lot of stuff going on from January till now, from learning needs and anxiety to lack of confidence and disastrous meltdowns. They are all now rolled up into one giant mess ball, coupled with my initial inability to handle her at her point of need (I was harsh, firm, upset, hysterical, critical, judgmental and having my own meltdown with every meltdown she had) and we pretty much have a bad situation right now, bad enough for me to call it the Dark Ages of my gig in motherhood.
I told myself I wouldn’t write.
I would deal. I would learn. I would press on.
And until I have found that little success, that aha-I’ve-overcome! moment, I would not write or rant for fear that it would cause more damage. Because you know, people would tell you ‘It’s ok, you’ll be alright’ and ‘Don’t worry, you’re doing a good job‘, and I know for a fact that IT’S NOT OK and I AM NOT DOING A GOOD JOB.
Because if I truly have any ability to reflect, I really can be better.
I can be better at…
…being consistent – and not swing from extreme to extreme, one moment encouraging and the other moment turning into a monster and screaming at the kid
…empathising – hey look, Mama, she is having a hard time too, and I shouldn’t be the only thinking that I am having it hard
…riding the tantrum /meltdown out – because a tantrum is technically not a tantrum but a “a good, deep work on fear” which can be deep-rooted and needs lots of emotional work.
I’ve been reading a lot and finding comfort in the advice and articles on this website, Hand in Hand Parenting, and taking heart that I am not alone going through this; that probably a thousand has gone before me.
I’ve also learned to ask God boldly for patience, wisdom and peace, every single day, every single moment of having to go through this.
And most of all, I’ve learned that motherhood is about change. Because the person that you’re mothering will never stay the same.
Tis’ true, the saying: that the days are long but the years are short. I so miss those bubbly, happy tods in my brood and wish so much I could baby them over.
But hey, change is needed now, and onward I go – to soldier through the Dark Ages.