I’ve been careful what I say with regards to parenting struggles. It’s no secret that parenting is hard, but for some it’s even harder not to be a parent. It’s an indescribable pain. I remember silently aching for a toddler with my own DNA to hurl a bowl of macaroni and cheese at my face, and a second toddler to laugh hysterically at my despair.
Ok, that is distinctly not true.
But I do specifically remember hearing friends moan and complain about the affliction of parenting, lack of sleep, crayon on the wall, etc... and thinking that they should just feel SO GRATEFUL that nature generously allowed their reproductive system to do what it was meant to do.
This leaves me at a crossroads today. I have to choose between being sensitive and sympathetic to my dear readers who are still struggling, and being honest with everyone else.
Because my friends?
We are in the TRENCHES of toddlerhood.
Somewhere we failed. And since my trademark is being brutally honest on this blog… I thought I should just come out with it. We don’t, in fact, live a fantasy life where we frolic around with paint brushes and power tools while our offspring quietly play together. At any given time, you would most likely find Nick and I staring at each other in bewilderment while chaos ensues all around us.
SURE. They have their moments of cuteness. And those are the moments I like to capture.
I just really had to get that off my chest, because I don’t want to portray a perfect picture of ‘having it all together’. Know that there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. And grinding of teeth. And biting with teeth. And straight-up teething.
In an effort to leave this post on a happy note… I would like to say that the girls are excellent sleepers. They still take two naps (LIFESAVER) and sleep 11-12 hours at night. This is a huge blessing, and allows us to recover from the trauma of the waking hours.
Disclaimer: Please note that I didn’t write this post to beg for sympathy, I just wanted to be real with my readers. We love the girls without ceasing, and wouldn’t trade them for the world. We know that it’s just a phase, and hope that our parenting skills improve over time. Over and out.
I guess I understand what you are going through, my little one is 14 months old, and out of no where started throwing major tantrums, need to figure out how to deal with it at those moments. We couldn’t consieve for a year but then thank God it happened naturally, we love our daughter so much and I can totally relate 🙂 Ether way, you are doing an amazing job with your girls!
Day After Day says
I randomly found your blog and just love it! The furniture you redo and the back-splashes you paint are amazing, but it is your struggles and the honesty of your experiences that keep me reading. My husband and I tried for 3 years to get pregnant and finally did with the help of an IUI (it took on the second try). Our beautiful daughter was born in Aug 2009. The guilt on the bad days was enough to weigh me down. I felt so guilty when I would get stressed or overwhelmed because I tried so hard to get her, I should just be grateful. It took me a long time to realize it was normal to feel overwhelmed and I was actually making it worse by putting that pressure on myself. It was hard to hear some stuff while we were trying, but if any of your readers would be upset by your need to be honest, then they don't realize you have paid your dues and deserve to live your life to the fullest and experience the highs and even the lows.
As a reader who is struggling with infertility, I appreciate you acknowledging that there are many of us out here who would give anything to be where you are right now, hard as it is. Your post was a good balance of "We love our girls and love being parents but boy is it hard sometimes." Thank you.
Meagan B. says
I love that quote "The days are long, but the years are short" Sooooooo true and helps you appreciate even the hard times! 🙂
Mary Cole says
I just started reading your blog, your girls are so cute! My baby is 14 months, and we haven't hit tantrums yet. I think its always refreshing to hear bloggers bring readers into their real world! Good post.
We have three daughters who are now 16, 12 and 12. Our first daughter has a very easy going personality and I don't remember her toddler years as being overly difficult. However, with our twins it was so challenging! I remember making it through their first year and thinking it wasn't too bad because we managed to get a reasonable amount of sleep. The second and third years were so much harder than the first, and I wasn't really expecting that so I think that made it worse! They were so quick and seemed to get into trouble everytime I had my back turned for a second. They wouldn't stay in time outs, bit each other, had tantrums all the time. You are doing such a hard job! I always liked to remember this saying when I was having a particularly hard day: The days are long but the years are short. Our oldest daughter now has her driver's license and our twins are soon to be teenagers and boy is this saying every true! Heidi
We have a biological daughter and adopted twins. They all go through the same stages! Infertility or no infertility, it's often hard to go through the stages with them. All I have to tell you is just wait until they are teenagers. Then you will be certifiably going nuts.
Beth, I am always very positive in my replies but this time will be a little different. You are living through the tough times with the sisters right now. The tantrums, the potty training, changing the nap schedule, etc., etc., etc….. After this time of teaching them to be a human is passed, the next years are wonderful! They are so much fun, and they idolize you! However, when preteen and teen hit, you feel like you are back trying to get them to act like human beings until their 20's. Then they start to need you again. That is a good stage again and the stage when the grandkids start to come. That is the best time in your life!!! Anyway, what I am trying to say is there are many, many different stages that you will go through with the girls. You and Nick will be the best parents you can be in each stage and that is all you can ask for. Just sit back and enjoy the ride; it will be bumpy but well worth every minutes!
Megan Epley says
I have heard and found to be true that "terrible 2s" starts at more like 1 yr & 1/2, 3s are worse, and when they hit four it's like a miracle took place. 🙂
Karen Smithson says
You will live through this and so will your cuties. My much longed for babies are now 29 and 25. We messed up royally over the years, we lived through lean times, busy times, and lack of sleep. So did they. Now they have stories to tell their friends and spouses. I just tell my kids that all the craziness they grew up with made them more interesting!
Katherine aka Harper and Ollie's Mom says
I'm right there with you sister…having two kids is HARD! I love them to death, but man…sometimes I just want to shut the door and put my head under a pillow! HA! I will tell you though, that my girls are now 5 and 7 and while they still fight and we still have LOTS of drama and crying and fit throwing…they play together…like all the time! I can finally work on a project without being in the same room with them, and I can work outside in the yard while they play inside…they are now big enough to come get me if they need something…so hang in there it does get better and it really seems like its an overnight change…
thank you for being honest! i read several blogs and most of them where the writer is a mom it seems like a perfect picture of life is painted…. I LOVE THE HONESTY ON THIS BLOG!! I am right with you feeling like the I am in the craziest part of toddlerhood with my daughter! I'm pregnant with our 3rd, such a blessing, and sick a lot so our apartment is in shambles most of the time ha ha… adorable girls you have!
I'm so glad you are in the thick of it with teething and toddlerhood and tantrums!! A wise woman once told me, "you're payin' for your raisin'." (p.s. don't forget to have fun in the middle of all the chaos.)
Oh Honey…almost 40 years ago when my first was born, my brother-in-law (father of 5) gave me this advice.."It gets worse"!!! I took this to heart. Keep your compassion, love with all your heart and most of all keep your sense of humor. You'll make it.
Julie @ followyourheartwoodworking says
It's not easy to have children and deal with everything, but my middle child just left for university, my youngest just started a job and I would give ANYTHING to be back in the baby days. I miss my babies so much, so try and enjoy it all as much as possible, it goes too fast.
I hear ya! I remember when I was pregnant with my twin boys and all other twin Mom would tell me that if you can get through the first year it gets easier. I don't know why they lied to me but the first year was so easy all they did was eat and sleep haha. I swear 2, 2 year olds might be my undoing on some days but those are usually the days that I go to bed and think about how I used to pray and pray that this would happen then I feel a better!
Mrs Bishop says
We all have the hard times, especially in these toddler years. I sometimes have trouble complaining too, because, being a fellow infertile, this is what we wanted so badly. But, hey, parenting sure isn't easy! Haha! Kudos to you for sharing your true feelings! 🙂
The only thing here that I take issue with is the falsehood that you have failed. I totally believe it's a VICTORY to be vulnerable (especially given the complexity of sensitivity you are trying to balance in this public forum), humble, and to persevere! Love you!
Kenz @ Interiors by Kenz says
Honesty should never be apologized for. I very much appreciate you being willing to talk about real life struggles. Even though the girls are naughty little things, you are still a great mom! Hang in there, and text me any old time you need to vent! xoxo
Kayla Carruth says
We all have to vent every now and then, no matter how lucky we are. It's worse to falsely portray living in a fairytale land!
I'm sure y'all are doing a great job!
I never post on your blog, but I've been following you for some time-since before the girls were here. I have a 21 month old daughter myself, so I feel like I'm one step behind you, every step of the way!
I needed this post today. We are expecting our second baby girl in November (#1 will be just 23 months) and are struggling with tantrums and possessiveness, transitioning to a "big girl bed" the works…should be fun with a newborn around, huh?
Anyway, thank you for your honesty and for sharing real life. Makes me realize I'm not alone! I love that little girl more than words can say, but boy oh boy are some days longer than others!
I have a 5 yr old and a 2.5 yr old. The 5 yr old is all fine and dandy and was a very easy baby AND toddler. Then we had the 2nd kid. He is SUCH a handful. I dont feel comfortable going out in public unless someone else is with me. He is a runner. In fact, last night I got in a run because he decided to take himself around the block, while chasing a bird. (yay for work out, but boo for kiddo running towards busy street) And then add in the fact that he has a speech delay and is deathly afraid of bandaids and the toilet. Hes a turd but he is so darn cute.
I think as moms, we have to take photos of the all the cute stuff they do so when we look back, we dont have to remember all of the times that they were being such turds!
I love seeing all the photos of those girlies!
What you have to remember is that even people who read this blog that aren't parents know that parenting isn't all fun and games. Sometimes it's nice to read someone's fun and games … without knowing that there might have also been a diaper disaster or a toddler who threw a tantrum for 20 minutes solid.
We're way past toddlerhood, we're in a terrifying spot of 8 going on 16 (seriously, she had her accessories picked out for the first day of school and then matched the outfit to them) and I posted the 10th funny thing she's said this week to facebook. A dear friend emailed me about how funny she was and how entertaining she found what I had to say about my daughter, and that there were days she was thinking about having a baby based on what I said. I pleaded with her to remember I only tell the fun things! There isn't anyone who wants to read about my daughter refusing to take a shower most of the summer because she's afraid there's a lobster who lives in the drain.
The important thing to remember is that even with all the crazy you're going through … you'll only remember the really bad stuff when they get older.
Keeping it real Beth…that's what I love about you! And when you feel like it's all too much, remember "this too shall pass" that is still to this day my mantra
Both of my girls are well pass the toddler days but oh how I miss it somedays.
Keep on trucking and being the badass mommy you were meant to be! xoxo
Jason &Mamawah Hill says
Beth, please know that we all understand your plight. Parenthood is fun at times and stressful at the same time. We all have our days where things are perfect and days where everything seems to fall apart. I have 3 1/2 y.o. twin boys and totally understand what you are going through. It gets easier and your family will experience that sweet spot where everything is grand and children are behaving and actually getting along and lufe is good. So take it a day at a time and go with the flow. Its a hard job but the good Lord chose you and Nick to be parents of those two sweet girls. Thanks for the honesty and sharing your lives will us!
I always love my children, I just don't always like them! I feel your pain
the junk in our trunks says
I think your post is great and honest. I am a mom of six under 9. I find the honesty refreshing. Moms need to stick together, and build each other up. I always have people ask me "how do you do it?", I always reply, having one is hard, just as 2,3,4,5, and 6 can be hard. When it comes down to it being a parent is the hardest most selfless thing we will ever do, but as you know so very rewarding. Some days I feel as though I am going to explode, you know those days, that begin with ,"mom there is something on the stairs that looks like barf or poop", or " the baby is naked in his crib, and is peeing everywhere", but I truly believe all those cute pics, of your babes and sweet moments, are the thank you's God gives us for choosing the hardest job out there.
christina @ homemade ocean says
I just love you guys so much…that is all
Meagan B. says
OHHHHHHHH the trenches. And now we're potty training to add to the joy! Hahaha! Actually, it is pretty fun. M&P; are really excited about it. Thanks for your honesty.
Your Kindred Twins of Terror Mama,
Julie @ Living on the Ledge says
I completely understand where you're coming from. Infertility leaves its mark, and with all the sadness and despair it creates, it also leaves you extremely sympathetic to the people who would do ANYTHING to be suffering as parents of toddlers. And being human means being parents is tough – no matter what road it took to get there! I totally get it. Infertility also leaves you with something special that others don't have…a unique appreciation for all of the madness. My husband and I throw up our arms in despair on an almost daily basis, and I always try to remind us, "This crazy stress is a true blessing." And of course there are days I don't remember that and just break down in tears. You're human.
La famille Larivière-Vachon: Une histoire d'amour says
Do NOT worry at all about this post…on the opposite!I'm a mom of two under two 😉 and for us parents, at least.. for me..it is SOOO encouraging to see that there are others like us out there! I don't know if it would be the right term to say it's refreshing to realize that we are all SOO normal and united with other parents struggling with the same issues even miles away! Keep up your good work! You're blog is GREAT and I love reading it while taking a coffee in the morning (even if it's a cold one) interrupted by diapers changes and a few other stuff lol it still gives me the illusion I do have a break 😀 Enjoy your day, Marie-Soleil xx
Jennifer - The Deliberate Mom says
Thank you for sharing. We need that honesty, not only in the blogging communities but in everyday life.
Toddlerhood is tough. We have one child going through it right now… half of what you're juggling but we try to enjoy it despite the tantrums and the crying. They grow up far too quickly to let the challenges overcome the joyful moments.
Wishing you a lovely day.