‘Today, I counted down the minutes until bedtime. You tested me at every turn, whined and screamed. And me? I lost my cool.’: Mom learns to cherish difficult toddler years

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“Every night I walk into your room to check on you.

Your eyes are closed.

As I get closer, I can hear you breathe steady and see dangling toes peeking through your blanket.

And I can’t help but think about the day, the day you were born.

The magical moment where everything was happening fast, but also in slow motion like time was standing still.

The moment I studied every feature and detail of your face.

The moment I became your mom.

And here I am, and I still can’t keep my eyes off of you.

I’m in awe of you.

And then there was today and all that happened until now.

I was not happy with you.

I counted down the minutes until bedtime, you had breakfast on your face until dinner because you wouldn’t let me wipe it off.

You decided to test me at every turn, and all you did was whine and cry.

And you screamed like you were being kidnapped and threw a tantrum because you didn’t want to leave the park.

And me?

I lost my cool.

I cried in the bathroom while you knocked on the door.

And I berated myself for being a terrible mom.

But it never matters how many things go wrong in a day,

how imperfect I am,

how bad your behavior was,

because when I watch you peacefully sleeping, I want to breathe at that moment.

I want to breathe the entire day in, even the bad.

I want to take in your littleness and keep it forever.

Because one day, I won’t be able to hear your breath and know you’re safe in my care.

You’ll be grown, and I’ll check in over the phone, but it won’t be the same.

Because no matter where you are,

to me, you’ll always be that newborn who snuggled right into me, changed my life,

and stole my entire heart.”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Danielle Sherman-Lazar of New Jersey. You can follow her journey on Facebook and her blog. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read more from Danielle here:

‘Everything’s going to be alright,’ we whisper. She can swoop in and make it all better, but she doesn’t have superpowers.’: Mom says ‘we’re humans that struggle too’

‘Her hard may be little compared to your hard, but she has reason to feel overwhelmed, and she deserves your empathy.’: Mom says ‘push judgement aside, no one’s having an easy time right now’

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