We’ve had some tough weeks around these parts lately. Almost 3 is challenging. The big emotions, the “whys”, the “no’s”, the tantrums, the meltdowns, the emotional ups and downs throughout the day. It’s hard. It’s hard on Ellie and it’s hard on Mama. It’s funny that my years of working in early childhood education and my masters degree in ECE, don’t seem to make much difference with my own child. She throws me for a loop most every day.
Yesterday, we were at the park and I was talking to a new mama friend who really gave me (unknowingly) a great piece of advice . As I was telling her my woes of trying to gently parent a strong willed, very sensitive and smart almost 3 year old, she said,” but doesn’t her strong personality and sensitivity make her just that much more vibrant? She’s really feeling life. The ups and downs. The fact that she’s so sensitive to the world will most likely make her very empathetic to the world later on and how exciting to really FEEL your emotions that strongly whilst walking through life.”
Exciting? Vibrant? Empathetic? This Mama (who by the way has a young 9 month old who my daughter has frequently yelled at), was finding the joy in her new intense behaviors. Her words have stayed with me and I’m seeing these tantrums and emotions in a different light. An adjusted light, if you will.
Today we struggled a bit this morning and here and there throughout the day, but I saw the struggles differently. I was able to push past them with relative ease and I think Ellie felt my changed demeanor. We figured things out quicker today. Less tears. We enjoyed each other’s company immensely. We made granola. We laughed. I read a few chapters of Twig aloud (a sweet book i was reading as homework for a custom peg doll and mat order). She kept asking for more. We watched the rain fall and then we went outside and splashed in the puddles. She was excited, vibrant and empathetic today. Traits I myself knew she possessed, but needed to be reminded of. Today was a rather ordinary day. But, I saw it in all it’s joy and splendor. This mama business is tough work, but it’s also the stuff of life. Real, true, challenging, wonderful life.
oh so cute in the photo…
2s have been quiet here but 4 are being tough!!!
Yes- I think if there is one thing I’ve learned so far in my 9 years of mothering, is that it’s less about “personality traits” and more just about phases. My kids have gone through phases of being strong-willed, fearful, rude, loud, and lots more. At first I would want to read every book on whatever I felt the “issue” was, but invariably, it always morphed into something else before I could get a handle on it. My kids never threw tantrums really… My issues are more around smart talking to parents and whining. Believe me, there’s always something.
On another note, I started up my blog again. Hope to see you there. xoxoxo
It certainly is tough work, probably the toughest! I am so glad you had this helpful conversation. I was talking with our boys’ teacher last week about our second son who is testing a lot of boundaries right now. As an ECE teacher myself, I was feeling really stuck with my own kids, and then the teacher said to me, “well in the classroom, we welcome this behavior because it means they’re figuring out a little bit more who they are. Of course, we don’t have to do it everyday, all day long like parents” Imagine that! Welcoming tantrums and boundary pushing! It’s so true though, but still hard to remain patient and understanding in the midst of it.