Liam was a handful this past weekend. He played in the toilet, had his first store meltdown, would throw things off his highchair and laugh at me when I got stern with him and told him “no-no.” You know, toddler stuff. But, the whole weekend was a battle for me. My baby boy is no longer a baby. He has his own personality, his own thoughts, and…well…a little bit of a temper. I told my mom that Liam was testing me this weekend and she asked me something that has made me stop and think. She said, “Well, have you passed?”
Did I pass? Well, I didn’t get too overly upset or lose my temper with him, but I did let his behavior ruin my day and found myself getting frustrated that I couldn’t control my own kid. It made me scared for the next 18 years and what is in store for me. I don’t want everyday to be a battle. I want to enjoy motherhood and watching my kids grow and learn.
As I was rocking Liam to sleep on Sunday night I reflected on my responsibilities as a parent. My responsibility isn’t to control Liam, but to teach him every day. He is new at this living and learning thing and, as his mom, he needs my guidance. I feel like after this past weekend I needed a mommy attitude adjustment.
This week I have been focusing on finding joy in the journey and honestly, I have noticed a difference. Not necessarily in Liam’s behavior, but in my reactions. I have found myself laughing at Liam instead of getting frustrated with him. The little angry shake he demonstrated last night left me giggling because he was so angry I washed his hair. Instead of ignoring his behavior and feeling annoyed like I would have done last week, I told him that wasn’t very nice and we went about our night. I have found myself being more patient. I have looked for the teachable moments instead of just giving in to his demands because it is the easy thing to do. I am figuring out how to embrace and thrive during this next phase of motherhood. Yes, Liam is his own person. Yes, I am going to get frustrated with him. Yes, he is going to get frustrated with me. But, through it all I hope Liam can feel my unconditional love for him and we can both grown together. Poor kid, he is my guinea pig.