And that's because we pretty much started off the new year with a bang around here with sickness upon sickness coupled with a four-year-old who has been really, really, really challenging us.
In terms of sickness, we bounced from colds, to a respiratory infection, to croup, to strep, to stomach bugs... Not to mention E cutting molars and we were all like SOS.
In terms of the four-year-old, we have been s-t-r-u-g-g-l-i-n-g.
We're not sure if it's post-holiday hangover, trying to get back into a routine, recovering from all of the sickness, jealousy over her little brother (which, honest to goodness, she has never had, since the day he was born.. so maybe it's finally surfacing?)...
No matter what it is, her behavior has been absolutely unacceptable, and we have had many, many challenging days and nights and talks about what to do and how to handle her and how to guide her in the right direction and what consequences to try and what incentives to promote...
The issues we're having are mostly focused around naptime and bedtime. Refusing to sleep, refusing to stay in her room, kicking and screaming and keeping the whole house awake at all hours of the night, etc. The straw finally broke the camel's back and one night, at 3:00am, T and I stormed into her room and removed every single toy and stuffed animal, even her lightbulb... leaving her with her bed and her dressers.
And for the record, that night she was up from 1:30am-6:00am throwing the most epic tantrum I have ever witnessed.
Parenting is no joke, y'all. Especially when you see your sweet, kindhearted, sensitive, rule-following four-year-old act like a child you've never met before. We have been at a loss for what to do, for how to handle her. We've researched, we've prayed, we've asked family and friends for advice, I've cried, we've taken about a million deep breaths...
I think we're finally headed in the right direction, though I still miss my sweet CK who usually makes it her goal to please us and make us smile. As with most things related to kids, I'm hopeful this is a phase that is related to previously stated circumstances. Three-years-old was tough for us with our stubborn and hardheaded girl, but since about July she has been an absolute joy... up until recently. And I'm not naive, I know things ebb and flow and you have peaks and valleys in parenting... good days and bad. It's just so tough when, day in and day out, you put so.much.energy into guiding your child to be kind and selfless - to make good choices and to make people smile - to be considerate and compassionate. And then it's like everything you've done seems like such a waste, because your child seems to be completely disregarding everything you've ever said.
AND SHE'S ONLY FOUR. How in the world am I going to survive her teenage years?!
I hate to sound all down and woe is me and negative, but Lord knows I needed to type this out and explain my absence. I rarely if ever get a midday break these days, and if I do I'm usually trying to catch up on life or maybe even nap since girl hasn't let us sleep through the night in weeks.
Parenting is beautiful, but it's also brutal. And when being a mama is your FULL-TIME JOB, and everyday you feel like you're failing... it's exhausting. And my mama heart has just felt so insecure and frustrated and sad lately.
And truth is, there isn't enough red wine or Blue Moon or Deep Eddy's Grapefruit Vodka in the world to fix my exhausted mama heart.
So we'll keep on keeping on, plug along until - fingers crossed - we crawl out of this rut with our girl... And in the meantime I'm trying to focus on the fact that her tenacity, her persistence, her stubbornness - those will all pay off at some point in her future, right?!