Tuesday, November 6, 2012

You got an issue? Here's a tissue!

This entry has actually been sitting in my draft for about 3 weeks now.  I couldn't even get a quarter of an hour to finish it and as I read it back it sounds too whiney to be published.  And I feel like I've been a totally hot mess that I had second thoughts about publishing it.  But then again, this is real life.  There IS mess and chaos in a real home.  And there IS stress and tears and own-hair-pulling and lost of words and desperation in a life of a normal mama like me.

I do want to chronicle our adventure in parenthood and our daughter's development and so I shall not miss this part either especially through these experiences, I have become a better mami even for just a little bit.

So lately (been a while, in reality), the Little Spanish Pinay has been experimenting with her new discovery.  That she is an individual with her own decisions and capability to actually say NO anytime she wants to.  And she finds it really cool. I do know and understand this phase but somehow with the stress of daycare adjustments (back in early September), workload (from my day job) and super backlogged housechores (because of camping-in at inlaw's house on August); and then add the desire of wanting to squeeze in blogging and crafting and baking in the middle, I found myself short on patience and gentleness during those hectic moments.

There were those days where LSP seems to be just being a big pain in the bottom. And one day, I fell deep into that pit where I have told myself I would never jump into.  Nor even peek.  We had a hard time in the morning preparing LSP to go to daycare as she was just plainly refusing everything.  She's taking forever to finish her potty, claiming that she's not yet done.  She didn't want to get dressed.  She didn't like her socks.  She didn't like her shoes.  I literally had to wrestle her (which I really hate to do) to get dressed as we were simply running late.  I had to let her wear her house slippers because that's what she preferred over any shoes I offer her.  (side note:  A couple of days prior, we went to daycare without her wearing socks nor shoes because she just doesn't want to wear ANY shoes).

The ultimate act was when she matter-of-factly emptied a pack of cashew nuts on the floor.  Her face was that of a smirk (I must admit cute, at that) that says "Let's see what you'll do about this, mami".

I snapped.

I yanked her up and sat her on our sofa.  Naturally she started crying.   I told her that we do not throw food on the floor, that what she did is wrong, etc.  She kept crying.  I told her she have to ask for an apology.  She didn't want to.  I got agitated even more.  I got angry.  She got angrier.  Until everything just turned into a vicious cycle.  She started putting her whole fist in her mouth and that made her vomit.  Upon seeing this, hubby got too worried and said "that's it", he's picking up LSP.  I got angry on hubby and told him no as she is just trying to get our attention.  I was trying to let her stay in the sofa until she apologizes.   So my angst got extended to hubby.  The whole battle about me getting LSP apologize for what she did lasted for about 10minutes until I told her if she will not apologize, she'll be sleeping ALONE tonight.

Scared of the ultimatum, she held my face with both her hands and told me mami, perdon! perdon! (mami, I'm sorry! I'm sorry!).

I won the battle.

But I didn't feel good.  Suddenly, the way she held my face with both her face made me feel really bad about forcing her to apologize.  She apologized alright, but what I have just taught her is to use apologizing as a negotiating tool and not to express empathy or remorse for what she has done wrong.
I held her and hugged her and kissed her.  She immediately stopped crying and we went to her room.  We laid down on her bed while she hugged me tightly.  She never stopped looking at me on my face as if trying to measure if I am still angry.  I suddenly felt my excess hot blood immediately left my head.  I calmed down.  She asked to be nursed and in just a few minutes, she fell asleep. 

I felt tears welled up in my eyes.  I lost.  It shouldn't even be a battle in the first place.

I was so consumed about ME being tired with so many things and to top it all off, my toddler is making it all harder for me. Me. Me. Me.  I was thinking so much about ME being the victim of all these.  Boo hoo!

I forgot that my toddler is also undergoing a big emotional stress and big transitions.  I forgot that my toddler does not take changes so easily.  I forgot that my toddler lacks emotional maturity to handle this without her getting fussy.  I forgot that my toddler melts down when she's tired and that's her only outlet.  I forgot that my toddler is in a stage where she experiments on our own reactions with her every action and that seeing us get nervous, surprised, or even angry is fun.  I forgot that my toddler wouldn't know just yet to "want" to make me suffer because she at her age, is too innocent for that.

I forgot to show her even more love in her moments when she seems to be unlovable.

I do have moments when I just don't know what's wrong with me and I'd be in such a bad mood.  In fact, this happens monthly.  It's a girl's thing. When I get hormonal, I wouldn't want hubby to tell me "Honey, you have to go to that corner and think about what you have done. You have been acting weird and unfair so take some moment and face the wall.  When you're ready you have to apologize".  I swear, if he does this, I would go ballistic.  What I would want to hear him tell me is "Honey, you are having such a bad day today and you seem to be so stressed.  Why not take a hot bath, and have some coffee or go out and have a walk or just do whatever that will make you feel better.  I'll take care of the house, don't worry".   That's what we all want, yeah?  But I forgot that my toddler would also like something the same on her days when she woke up with the wrong foot.

Thankfully, we were able to get away as a family and find some peace and relaxation before the end of September. It was refreshing and recharging. It was really that hubby and I got to really talk and he was able to remind me so many things about our wonderful little sucker. I really thank God for having the kind of husband that I have and the kind of father he is toour Little Spanish Pinay.


I still have moments with the little sucker when I just want to eat my eyebrows because we are still in that big toddler phase but I have been really trying to remind myself about being a gentle mama.  Because that is what I want to be for her.  It does make a huge difference with the way she responds to us on her stormy moments.  Talking to her helps a lot.  Even at those moments that she seems like she doesn't hear us because she's over the top of her lungs screaming and wiggling, most often than not, we get surprised because suddenly it would seem like what we tell her made sense to her and she would start to calm down.  The key is never reciprocate her agitation with agitation.  Staying calm (which is soooooo hard but doable) is a must. 

Sometimes I just fail to stay calm but I don't beat myself up about that anymore.  I know I can start over and that I can ask her to forgive me for getting angry.  And she ALWAYS say yes, she forgives me.  That little twerp is really innocent and pure hearted, you know?

So there.  Every time I find myself getting near the end of the rope, and feeling like a victim of the circumstance, I'd stop and tell myself:  You got issue? Here's a tissue!
and I also look at this picture because her smile is just something that always, always make me smile too.


14 comments:

  1. like what you've said, this is just a phase. I've been there. ayaw pabihis ng anak ko, sinakay namin siya sa car na walang damit dun na kami nagbihisan because we're running late na rin. ayaw mag sorry, sa sofa din matutulog na ayaw naman niya. hehe! don't worry sis, this happens to any mother. this too shall pass.

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  2. Great post! I thought it was just Kelly doing all those (spilling stuff on the floor, crying then putting her fingers in her mouth to vomit because I told her to apologize). It's good to know that other mommies go through this as well. I've actually been feeling lost about what I should do in moments like these- and guilty as hell when I snap. I'll keep what you said in mind, "Never reciprocate her agitation with agitation."

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  3. Awwwww that happens everytime to me, but still you're right that we should understand their adjustments too. Pero ang hirap syempre. Normal lang yung minsan, just a snap, we lost it. Kailangan talaga ng patience - more of it. What I do, pag talagang punong puno na ko, I stopped, I breathe, parang stand in the corner and calm myself. Ironic, mas nakikita ni Meg na pag tahimik ako and di ako nakikipagtalo sa kanya, lalapit sya. Now, I don't have to yell or battle with her. It's still a long way. Marami pa tayo pagdadaanan sa mommy life natin. We learn, we make mistakes but at the end of the day, we"re super moms! xoxo miss this blog! =)

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  4. I can so relate. i've lost it a few times already and always feeling guilty after. what an awful feeling.

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  5. I think every mom in the world has been there..must be a part of being a parent. love conquers all though and in the end our kids know that.

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  6. I believe that is a normal part of being a mother and you are doing greatYour daughter is very sweet.
    My yougest daughter is 19 now and doing things that dissappoint me so much and I am helpless. But it is her life and I cant do anything. That you will experience one day too. But, take one day at a time and enjoy:)

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  7. Aww! I'm on the same boat too! Lia is just 17 months and there are times that she's already getting into my nerve. Like you, I feel guilty also because sometimes, I just ignore all her wailing and crying then wait until she stops crying. Ang hirap!! But then again, you are right. The kiddos are too young and innocent to stress us out so "kalma" lang dapat :)

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  8. That is one big truth, mess is normal in a real home. No mess means, no family. No family, no fun :)
    Good thing you were able to unwind a little; it's what us moms need when we feel like we have too much of everything and about to explode. Love this post, no pretentions!

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  9. Hi Sis,

    I understand what you are going thru :) (Eventhough I am not yet a Mom) but I understand you being soo occupied with lots of things.

    And I admire you as you can still assess where you were lacking and you tried to correct those things :))

    Just don't take everything so stressful :))
    Take time to rest too! Stress kills me too!

    Take Care Always!!Godbless sis!!!

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  10. ang bata talaga...unawain sa bawat sandali...

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  11. Hi Marilou...every parent has experienced this. :) It is part of the difficult, but amazing job of parenting. :) Try not to fell guilty...you are only human!
    When my kids were young and being 'obstinate'...didn't want to put on a coat or hat...didn't want to pick up toys, etc...I would always sing a song and usually, in a minute or two, they were distracted and singing along with me. :) Your sister is right...try to take a break, get enough rest...tired mommies often snap. :)

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  12. Hugs, sister.
    I believe we are all going through the same phase. If you think you are about to explode, breathe in... then breathe out. Count 1-20, before you reach the 18th second, kalamado ka na before you know it :) cheers!

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  13. This is real life drama, hard to admit, but it was truly not a battle and staying calm must be on top of it all.

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  14. That's ok sis. Sending my hugs to you, it's really hard. Running a household, taking care of a growing toddler, maintaning our marital responsibilities, managing a career, trying to still look hot to the hubby, all of this while staying sane. Kaloka diba! U'll get pass through that I'm sure. I was warned about this, but I never thought it would be this hard. But you know, life goes on. Years after, you'll just look back at these moments and laugh your ass about them.
    Just chill, sis!

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