Hi lovely peeps! Hope you’ve had a good weekend?! Thought I’d drop by and write a little about our last week and weekend, as things have been a little crazy, and I feel I need to process it a little bit. My blog is perfect for that 🙂
So, I last posted at the end of September, and a week has passed since then! Which is actually pretty scary, how quickly time can pass without you totally noticing! It’s been somewhat hectic, stressful, emotional, overwhelming, but also pretty good too. I shall enlighten you….
The start of the week was pretty uneventful really, the usual money in, money out scenario causing stress, but it is what it is, and I’m starting to take steps to get on top of that. As the week went on, our little miss started being a nightmare at bedtimes. Lots of screaming, shouting, crying and general defiance. We were honestly at our wit’s end by the weekend. The days were long, stressful, and she was being a little menace most of the time. However, I posted about my frustrations and emotions on my favourite Facebook group, for parents (well, mums) of only children. The support, advice and love I received were truly overwhelming. It made me feel so much better and less alone. It made me realise that what we’re going through is totally normal and that our daughter isn’t doing it on purpose. It’s natural to think sometimes, that your child is testing you deliberately, and sometimes that’s true, but most of the time it’s just them struggling with their own frustrations and they just need a little more love and respect. Like any human being. We all have times where we feel like we can’t cope with what’s going on around us, and for someone so small, it must be quite terrifying at times. So, it’s understandable that she has meltdowns, tantrums and gets upset over seemingly insignificant things. To her though, they’re big things, and she doesn’t understand why they’re happening and gets overwhelmed. Looking at it from a different angle, and putting myself into her tiny shoes, I felt so guilty. I hadn’t stopped to think about how she may have been feeling. I was getting frustrated with her demanding my attention all of the time, and not letting me out of her sight for even a minute. But, after chatting to one of the admins on the aforementioned group, she offered to voice message me some advice. She’s a family therapist, and so very wise. After listening to her message, something clicked in my head, and I looked at my daughter with a whole new perspective. It actually made me well up with tears, because I had such a sudden rush of emotions, and love for her. Since that point (this morning!), I’ve not shouted, lost my temper, or dismissed her demands for attention. I’ve been there 100% for her, giving her my all and spending quality time with her. Today has been such a different day compared to the last week. It was calm, chilled, I still managed to get things done (namely housework, how dull!), and I even had a bath. So the self-care really helped me and gave our daughter some precious daddy and daughter time. As the evening came around, we had dinner, and I did the usual tidy up and other little jobs that I usually do in the lead up to her bedtime. But then we did something different. Instead of then getting her ready for bed, and facing that nightly battle that we’ve had most of the week. We just sat down with her, and let her run around, burning off the excess energy, and having fun. She was happy, laughing and so were we. There was no drama, no tantrums, no crying or screaming. It was pure bliss, to be honest. It got to nearly 10pm, and she was starting to show signs of feeling tired. So, we suggested we get her PJ’s on and brush her teeth, which she didn’t mind doing. Whilst daddy was getting her ready, I got her milk ready. As soon as she saw the milk, she said goodnight to the cat, grabbed her favourite teddies, and went and stood at the bottom of the stairs ready to go up. So we all went up, had some cuddles on our bed whilst she drank some milk, then she got off our bed and started heading to her bedroom (with a few distractions and a bit of procrastinating along the way!). But, we let her do what she felt she needed to do. Then she came to me for a cuddle and a kiss, and I said the usual goodnight routine things, and daddy got her into bed. I quietly went downstairs, to tidy up, and daddy stayed with her until she fell asleep. She was so calm and didn’t make much of a fuss about getting into bed. In bed by 10pm, and asleep by 10.15pm!! It felt so amazing!! My husband came downstairs, and we actually high fived, we were so happy! There’d been no tears, shouting or protesting. We were all relaxed and content. It was truly a beautiful moment, and I feel so relieved. Whether it’s a fluke or one-off or not, I don’t know. But if we carry on with the same approach, I don’t see why it wouldn’t carry on in the same way. We can hope that it does start to settle down now, but we’ll just take each day as it comes, and try and not get too worked up over things. There’s honestly no harm in being child-led at all. It’s ultimately going to benefit us all, in many ways.
Our daughter is really strong-willed and fiercely independent, so letting her lead the way is a pretty natural approach to our parenting. We’ve always been in that kind of mindset to be honest, ever since she was born. We’ve always gone by her cues, for most things. It’s simpler and effective. I think recently though, we kind of lost our way a little bit, with other stress factors playing a massive part. We got too worked up over what we thought should be happening, when in fact, it didn’t really matter what time she went to bed in the grand scheme of things. Taking a step back, relaxing, and letting things just happen naturally, has made such a huge difference. It’s made us both feel far more confident about our parenting skills, we’re both happier, and so is our daughter. We’re going to try really hard to keep calm and go with the flow, as it’s honestly been a total game changer.
There’s a lot of developmental things going on around this age, and I can’t begin to imagine how tough it must be for someone so small to comprehend it all. If you think about how stressed and frustrated us adults can get about things, it must be all the more difficult as a toddler. They’re naturally curious and want to know what everything is and why it’s happening, and that’s a really good thing. We need to embrace that and encourage it. We’ve noticed our daughter really shine with confidence recently, she’s speaking more and more in sentences, she can tell you what a lot of things are, her grasp of letters and numbers is getting really good, and she’s genuinely a pleasure to be around. We just need to cherish her, enjoy her, and take comfort in the fact that hard times don’t last forever, aka the mantra of “This too shall pass”. The days are long, but the years are short. She won’t be little forever, and there’ll come a day when we’re sitting here in a quiet, tidy home, and missing the chaos and mess of having a small person running around. Children are a joy and we should make the most of every moment. It’s wonderful watching them learn and grow, their imaginations are fascinating, and I love watching my daughter playing and chatting away to us, telling us about everything. It’s amazing. I’m so overwhelmingly proud of her, and always will be.
I have to give huge credit and massive thanks to the amazing Charlene! You can find her website here – The Village Family Support
It’s thanks to her that my mindset and perspective has totally changed for the better. I think I’d just lost my way a little bit, with one thing and another going on in life, I was burnt out and run down. I let my head rule over my heart too much, and I became a frazzled mess quite frankly!! But now, I’ve really relaxed, taken everything much more in my stride, and feel so much happier as a result. I’m not by any means, a perfect parent, no such person exists. We’re all just winging it, and that’s okay! We all make mistakes, and we all lose our sh*t from time to time too, which is also okay! Just breathe, cry it out if you need to, vent to a friend or your spouse, shake the negativity off and carry on. If we get stressed or anxious, our kids pick up on that, and they too feel stressed and anxious. Keeping calm ourselves keeps them calm. Taking time to listen to them, let them express their feelings, vent their frustrations, and be there for them, not just in that moment, but always. Hold them close and cherish them, they’re so so precious. Make the most of every minute, and make every minute count. For me, being a parent is an amazing, emotional, breathtaking, crazy, chaotic, journey; but I wouldn’t have it any other way! ❤