We went to a "Music, Mommy & Me" class today and about 13 kids and parents were in the room. All the children sat happily in their parents laps....except, guess who? Parks! He was not pleased with being constrained he wanted to be on the move. I told my mom, "I felt like I had the special needs child". He was different than the other kids in the class.
Although I am confident that he is a healthy child (our pediatrician confirms this) he is different. His energy level and his need for interaction and stimulation is just different. I say this...almost as a confession. The last few months have been very difficult for me. I've been struggling to find joy in a day that seems filled with non-stop demands and a young toddler who is not easy to please. Nothing is easy anymore. Parks is already throwing tantrums (and I mean arched back, screaming, crying tantrums) when the simplest thing doesn't go his way. Can we say "Strong-Willed Child"?!!! He eats great one day and the next, he refuses everything and cries in his highchair. I can't eat out anymore, sometimes I can barely eat in peace at all. I've actually adopted the motto "A Baby Einstein a day keeps the crazy mommy away" What has happened to me??? The list goes on....
Don't worry, I'm not about to jump off a cliff or anything. Things have gotten better. I have an adoring, amazing, supportive husband who is a phenomenal dad who will do whatever it takes to support me in my new role as mom. I also have an awesome family in town who helps with Parks a lot. I'm not alone, and I've got lots of people around me to help me troubleshoot and give me breaks.
I'm just realizing, parenting is A LOT harder than I thought it was going to be. It's really hard not to look around and see other mom's LOVING staying home with their kids and having an absolute blast and having way more good days than bad. I'm humbled to say, that has not really been my reality. Of course, I love Parks. Of course, I want to stay home with him. Of course, we DO have lots of fun some days. That should go without saying. But, there are still really hard days that leave me wanting to pull my hair out and scream!
He's kind of at an in-between stage I think. Old enough and active enough to NEED stimulation and activity, but too young to really, truly enjoy the park, or the zoo, or other typical outings. I think we'll be a lot better off in the next six months or so.
But I'll tell you what helps, is just having people acknowledge that he's NOT an easy baby. It's funny how someone just acknowledging your reality makes you feel better. If people acknowledge he's more challenging, then I feel like the expectations on me are different and people understand that I'm dealing with a more challenging child.
Until then, I remain humbled and in need of God's grace and mercy on me. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and tempted to sink into a pit of "poor me, look what I can't do anymore, look how boring my day is" instead of focusing on what an amazing blessing Parks is and trying to be the best mom I can be for him.
So, maybe that is why things have been a little different on the blog lately. Hopefully there will be more to come soon! Thanks for listening to my mommy ramblings!