“My son throws tantrums. The kind that makes friends look away and hold their breath. The kind that makes strangers stare and walk away quickly. The kind that makes everyone in the family cry at the same time.
But I know he isn’t a bad kid. He’s exhausting and complicated and particular. He’s strong-willed and persistent and intelligent. He’s kind and funny and sweet. And I am the luckiest person in the world to be his mama.
It’s not easy raising a stubborn 2-year-old. But in my heart, I know all of his BIG personality traits are what will one day make him an incredible man.
I see dedication when we’re 45 minutes into a meltdown. I see persistence when he runs out of his room the 5th time instead of napping. I see compassion when he’s finally able to calm himself down and apologize for knocking down his sister.
Helping him through this developmental phase has been the most exhausting part of his little life so far. It’s all encompassing and draining for both of us. The tantrums are frequent, long, and Level 10/10. Some mornings I start putting out ‘tantrum fires’ at 6:00 a.m. and don’t stop until 8:00 p.m. But that’s what he needs from me and that’s what I’m going to do.
Because the little boy throwing shoes and screaming at the top of his lungs 15 minutes ago is now the little boy sitting on my lap asking our pet fish if he’s having a good day. The little boy who was screaming in the middle of the store is now the same little boy who quietly sits in the car and asks me, ‘What makes you happy, Mommy? Cars, trains, or fire engines!?’
My son has a big personality, a lot of new emotions, and only 2.5 years on this earth. It’s not always pretty. There are tears, and a locked door, and screams and deep breaths (so many deep breaths), but we’re going to navigate this one day at a time.
We’re going to somehow get through this strange, difficult time together. And when we do, we’ll look back with a sigh of relief and also a huge sense of accomplishment. Because he and I need each other. We’re teaching each other patience, awareness, and vulnerability. We’re learning things we never knew about each other or even ourselves.
The tantrums are bad and the meltdowns are severe. But he’s still my sweet, sweet boy and I love him through the tears, screams, and fights. And I know I’m not alone in this. There are countless other exhausted mama’s out there doing the same thing.
They’re getting through day by day, cherishing the gentle moments and navigating through the awful ones. There are better days ahead, just as I’m sure another epic tantrum is right around the corner.
So, to the strangers who try to distract and help, I thank you. To the other moms who politely ignore us without passing judgement, I appreciate you. To the people who criticize or look upon us with shame…well, screw you.
Motherhood is not in easy job, but how lucky are we to have it…even through the tantrums.”
Read more stories about motherhood here:
‘I caught a glimpse of her little polka dot covered legs in Best Buy. Tears came to my eyes. Like a gut punch, I realized just how much I’m going to miss this one day.’: Mom urges ‘soak in every moment’ with your ‘wild child’
‘I see you tired of trying to reason with your child. I see you crying in the bathroom, wishing for an ‘easy button’ to press.’: Mom to ‘strong-willed’ child says ‘there is light at the end of the tunnel’
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