WARNING: Not-so-dainty post up ahead.
I had a bad day yesterday, which rather extended to this morning when I woke up…
I thought I had the motherlode yesterday: a lingering headache, no househelp (yes, almost a month already), meals to cook, stuff to clean, laundry to wash (which didn’t get washed!), a baby to breastfeed, entertain, nappy-change and put down for naps, no husband (he had to go out), et al. I felt guilty for resorting to “TV nannying,” plopping Vito down in front of Baby TV all day so I could get a smidgen of writing done.
After a night of restless sleep (Vito woke up twice), I woke up to a smelly baby who had pooped in his nappies. Groggily, I washed him up in the bathroom, dumped the smelly poop in the toilet and disposed of the nappy, only to find the little tyke peeing on the floor and, yes, issuing a little number that hadn’t quite made it to the nappy earlier.
No, potty training hasn’t been successful yet. I wanted to grab the kid and strap him to his high chair so that he wouldn’t budge. Just one moment’s peace, please, I prayed, wishing that he would shrink back to his pudgy, pre-walking stage when it was all coos, cuddles and baby-wearing. (He’s just too heavy to wear around now while I do chores.)
A thought occurred to me while scrubbing the floor after this morning’s casualty. “It’s not him, it’s you. You need to change your way of thinking.”
When our little ones trump us over to the edge of sanity, it’s really not their fault. They’re babies, and they don’t know any better. All my 19-month old toddler knows is that I change his dirty nappy, I feed him, bathe him, play with him, read to him, and just be a mom to him. He doesn’t know that I need to clean up the kitchen or make sure that the bathroom doesn’t have puddles. All he knows is that he needs me to love him. Period.
Me? I’ll complicate things. As a new mom, I’m still learning to let go of my selfish ways and just be in the moment. I have to learn patience, especially with a very active toddler in the house. I need to see my little boy as a kid every day, not as if he’s another person who intentionally wants to piss me off. (Well, in Vito’s case, he did “take a piss.”)
So, after this morning’s events, I settled down to check emails. This quote from Erma Bombeck just jumped at me as I read through my daily reads. It rings so true: “It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding.”
Stay-at-home, work-at-home, working mom, or whatever version of mom I am, I will need to become a compassionate person. I will need to understand that my baby isn’t out to ruin my day or give me piles more work to do, and yes, toys to pick up. I have to show him the proper way of doing things instead of blow my top every time he does something unexpected. It may be his responsibility to learn new things, but it’s my vocation as a mom to teach him those things.
Maybe yesterday wasn’t such as “bad mommy day.” Even this morning doesn’t seem all that bad anymore. In fact, now that Vito’s playing with his blocks and chatting up his dad, it seems like a distant memory.
Things are fine. They always turn out OK. In the end, I just have to “be” the change.