The difficult days started at the very beginning. They are nearly always flanked by good days, full with happiness. But still, in the thick of it, it can feel like the hard days may just well stretch on forever. When Lachlan was a babe these days meant incessant crying, fussing and refusing to be out of my arms. It meant staying in my pajamas til midday and choosing the least vomit covered t-shirt to wear that day. It was hard, yes, but I
knew hoped, only temporary. For the most part I kept my cool. Sometimes I broke into a million pieces, shattered with exhaustion, but I never boiled over with anger.
Now, the difficult days mean incessant whinging, crying and refusing to agree to do anything the easy way. It means spending an hour trying to explain to Lachlan why he must sit at the kitchen table to eat his breakfast. And putting the socks that he has pulled off back on for the gazillionth time. It’s carrying a thrashing, screaming 14 kilo toddler out of the shopping center while amused and pitying eyes follow us out. And sometimes, much more than I would like to admit, I lose the plot. I yell in annoyance, in anger, in complete and utter frustration because as hard as I try, sometimes I just don’t ‘get’ what the big deal is. I am pushed to my limit and I crack.
These are my definite low points of mothering because I know the shortcoming during the difficult days is absolutely mine. And with that knowledge comes the doubt, creeping stealthily in. The sense of failure is overwhelming. What have I done wrong? What I am doing so wrong to cause my child to be so unhappy, so defiant, so utterly disagreeable? Maybe I am too soft. Or perhaps too strict. Or not consistent enough. Or praise too much. Or fail to praise enough. Or simply failing to be enough, for this little person, that I love so dearly.
And just when I think one more difficult day may drive us all permanently mad, the easy days return. Like the sudden emergence of sunshine after a summer downpour. The easy days return, not a moment too soon. With them comes my confidence that I am at least doing something right to raise my son. To help him develop in to the absolute very best version of himself. And that, that feels so, so good.
Do you have noticeably difficult days with your kids too? How do you deal with them?