Proof We’re Doing Something Right #ShareYourLife

As mothers we often feel like we’re failing. We question our choices, we give ourselves grief over a short fused moment with our kids, we see others seemingly judgmental looks or statements, and question if we’re screwing it all up. It’s hard not to feel that way when there are so many conflicting ideas out there as to how we should parent and what’s the best way to go about raising our kids. But the truth is, we can only do what feels right to us. We can’t work so hard to live up to the expectations of others or what we think we should be doing according to how we look to other people.

These last few years have been tough on me in the parenting department. My oldest daughter is a gem – to this day, easiest kid ever.

 

She was always so lovely and agreeable when she was younger. When she threw a fit, you could almost always talk her off that proverbial ledge.

The twins aren’t like that.

In their three short years of life,  it is very obvious that  they are so different from our oldest daughter. She set the bar high that girl and I’m so proud of who she is and I’m proud of the role we’ve played in the person she is today.

So imagine my surprise as I am now coping with two very difficult toddlers who are such spitfires that I end most days in pure exhaustion. They are so full of life, laughter and they can be such little stinkers.

They are full of piss and vinegar, they fight and push and don’t give up until they get what they want or until they are placed in timeout.

It’s tough folks. Real tough. It’s tough not to feel like a failure when they are bolting in two different directions after I’ve just told them to stay put. It’s tough to not feel like a failure when I’ve asked them to not throw something on the floor and they do it anyway. It’s tough to repeat the same directions for what feels like the umpteenth-time that day….and all while they give you that mischievous (adorable, I might add) grin.

It’s tough.

I have noticed family  and friends who act differently towards my youngest girls because of this and it hurts my heart to see it. I feel the rejection for myself and for them deep within my soul. I even find myself angry about it because it feels like their love is conditional and it shouldn’t be like that.

I see beyond the unruly toddlers. I see that tenacity and stubbornness serving them well as they grow into adults provided we can help them channel it properly. I don’t feel squashing it is the answer. It’s not to say we shouldn’t provide boundaries. We are consistently working on this, there is daily work  on expectations for behavior. I know how all of this works, I was an Elementary School teacher, so I am very aware that consistency is key and in time, they will get there.

But I want my girls to grow into strong women and these two ridiculously frustrating toddlers will likely grow into tenaciously driven women if given that chance to develop these traits into positives.

I also know  we’re doing something right . When I see these three together, I know their individual gifts combined make them unstoppable.

I know that when I am snuggling with Charlotte and she strokes my hair like I have done hers that she is gentle and loving even though she runs around the house like a wild banshee and now refuses to let me help her put on her clothes because SHE can do it all by herself. It doesn’t matter that she’s putting her arm through the head hole or that she has two legs in one pant leg – SHE does not need my help…that is until she’s in full meltdown mode. She can be so stubborn one minute and so gentle the next. Her sweet smiles, pleases and thank you’s without prompting gives me hope that I haven’t messed it all up.

We’re doing something right.

I am encouraged when Madison walks up to Jordan after she’s obviously been upset and wipes her tears away and gives her a hug. I am inspired when she falls (yet again) because her legs have failed her that she picks herself up and will continue to run with the other kids like nothing happened. I can’t help but be enthralled by her infectious belly laughter – she LOVES to laugh that girl.

We’re doing something right.

All three of my girls love to be together, Jordan to this day, she’s half way to 8 years old and she would rather sleep on the floor in between her sisters toddler beds  in her sleeping bag then sleep alone in her comfortable bed.

We’re doing something right .

I may be the only one who sees their gifts underneath the frustrations of their toddler antics, but perhaps that’s my role as their mother, to see the things others refuse to see.

Then again, it’s quite obvious their big sister sees it too, no?

Have something to share from your life this past week? Link up with Sharon from Mom of 6 and I each week for #ShareYourLife – the only rule is it’s a peek into your life. And, we’d love for you to grab our button there as well.




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14 thoughts on “Proof We’re Doing Something Right #ShareYourLife

  1. gigi

    Oh Nicole, you are doing a lot of things right. That you are able to see the dark and light spaces in your children, see the positive underneath the outwardly negative behavior, is so huge.

    You are right, those characteristics that are so maddening now will serve them well as they get older. I truly believe this. My daughter has these same qualities. You are at a tough age with your girls. If my experience can serve as a guide, it gets better at about age 5. That’s not to say that my daughter’s feistiness has gone away completely – it’s still there, people still see that she’s a bit of a pistol in comparison to her brother, I never quite know what she might say or do – but the edges have softened a whole bunch. She is learning and growing, trying to figure out how to live in the skin she’s been given – and it’s not easy.

    Hang in there. You are an amazing mom. :)

    Reply
    1. Nicole
      Twitter: MTDLBlog
      Post author

      It’s good to hear from someone who had a spirited toddler that is now older. I really have hope that we’ll help them grow into strong girls who use this energy to lead and be positive, strong women, but for now – they’re driving me batty. ha!

      Thanks for your supportive message my friend!

      Reply
  2. Elizabeth Flora Ross
    Twitter: efloraross

    I could so relate to this! I only have one child, a girl, and she is very much like you describe your twins. My daughter is often called “feisty.” And I need to be reminded at times how well it will serve her in life. It can make me want to tear my hair out, but I never want her to lose her spirit.

    It is evident to me you are doing a lot of things right. Keep up the good work, mama! “The days are long; the years are short.” The truest words anyone has ever shared with me regarding parenthood…

    Reply
    1. Nicole
      Twitter: MTDLBlog
      Post author

      I do try to remind myself that this age is going to pass quicker than I realize. It seems like it wasn’t that long ago and they were little babies. I try to take the really lovely moments with them and savor each and cement them in my mind because there are so many in the midst of the chaotic moments. They are truly great little girls, but SO much energy and spirit right now. Oy! :-)

      Reply
    1. Nicole
      Twitter: MTDLBlog
      Post author

      Exactly, I am focusing on their individuality and I plan to embrace it, build it up and hopefully they’ll find happiness through that. Here’s hoping!

      Reply
  3. Stephanie @ CMTS Blog

    I love your statement “we can only do what feels right to us.” There are so many judgmental parents who believe that what they are doing is the ONLY right way to raise kids and they try to make the rest of us feel bad. Why do people feel the need to do that? I just don’t get it. I don’t feel like its my place to tell other moms how to raise their kids. Sure, if my friends are struggling with something, I may share what worked for us and I even word it that way “This worked for us…”. But I would never say “You’re child is doing X because you are doing it that way! You must do it my way!!!” It irritates me so much that people think they know what is best for MY child. I’m going to do what I believe is best for my kid. As you said, I’m going to do what feels right for MY child. So take heart, my friend. You are doing something right. In fact, you are doing alot of things right. Those girls know what love feels like and that should reassure you that you are definately doing something right. :)

    Reply
    1. Nicole
      Twitter: MTDLBlog
      Post author

      That’s exactly what I say to friends as well when they ask for advice. We were one of the first couples to have kids within our immediate group of friends, so many of them come to us and ask questions about kids and I always say, “this is what we tried/did etc..” because it is so true that they are all different and just when you think you have it all figured out, something changes again! This is especially true for me right now. :-)

      Reply
  4. Arnebya
    Twitter: whatnowandwhy

    Don’t ever believe (think, wonder occasionally, sure), but don’t ever full-on believe that you’re the only one who sees their gifts, sees them outside of being 3. They are JUST 3. And 3 is adventurous, especially when you have a companion. You are doing so many things right; don’t second guess yourself. I know it’s hard not to, especially when people are assholes to your kids just because they’re being…kids. Yes, it is tough and yes it is frustrating but at the same time, it is wonderful and anyone who chooses to handle the twins at arm’s length because they tend to run amok? They’re the ones missing out.

    You are raising three wholly different women, yet still similar. In the early years, they are still finding themselves and you’re still figuring out how different the twins are from your oldest, and how the twins differ from each other. It is simultaneously maddening and awesome.

    Reply
    1. Nicole
      Twitter: MTDLBlog
      Post author

      Thank you. Your words were perfection and really, just mean a lot. I read them in the thick of the trenches today and it carried me through. :-) I know you are right and what you said here is so empowering, and honestly, I think I’ll always carry it with me. So, thanks for taking the time to be so supportive.

      Reply
  5. Natasha

    You have such a beautiful writing style. Love your blog posts. You are doing everything right when we look at your beautiful girls!

    Reply
  6. Julia's Math

    I kind of feel like you are describing my life. Although I only have one wonderful, opinionated, stubborn little girl. I am about to start “Raising Your Spirited Child”. The introduction had me jumping our of my seat yelling “that’s my kid!” I found you via Letters For Lucas and look forward to following everyone’s progress!

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Yes, I Blog. Yes, It’s A Real Job | Letters For Lucas

  8. Chaunie
    Twitter: tinybluelines

    I love this so much! Thank you! I had a horrible experience with my two-year-old the other day that left me convinced I was doing a terrible job as a mother. But you’re right, every child is different…sometimes it’s hard, because just when I think I have the hang of this mothering thing, they throw me for a loop!

    Your girls are beautiful!

    Reply

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