Lately, parenting my almost two year old is a trying time. She is cranky, and clingy and needy. She wants what she wants NOW, and if she doesn't get it she throws things or tantrums. It's not easy to deal with when it's short lived, but when it's day after day, it's exhausting. When you combine this with a toddler who skips naps and who fights falling asleep till 11 pm, it is complete crazy making.
Trying to keep her happy and distracted throughout the day is hard work, and on no nap days damn near impossible on my own. Taking her out can sometimes be good, as she has some fun, yet her wick is short and it's not always fair to people we go play with to have a cranky angry toddler around. Sometimes we resort to Signing Times or Toy Story to get through the last few hours of the day, and sometimes we just go from moment to moment hoping for and early bedtime, and trying not to lose my cool.
As this week has worn on, as I got more and more tired of the whole situation, and as I felt more and more at the end of my rope, I realized I needed to shift my perspective in order to get through this period. I realized that I needed to think more about how my little girl was feeling, and focus less on my own frustration. She gets cranky and wants my attention because she's not getting it. She's going through a growth period emotionally and physically and she wants me to be a part of it, and I'm busy trying to clean the house and cook the meals and run a business. She's frustrated because she can't fully articulate what she wants, and she can't get the things she wants for herself... and I'm slow on the up take of both of those things for her. She's clingy because I'm setting boundaries around how often she can nurse (nope, not every 45 minutes!) and she's feeling the need to be close to me.
I realized that it was time to dial things back a bit and spend a lot of time breathing deeply and getting down to her level. I won't say that once I had this realization that everything was roses and sunshine, but when I was able to really focus on her and what was happening in that moment, it WAS better. I won't say I didn't lose my cool more than once after making this realization, cause I did... but I gave her a lot more of myself before I needed to leave the room.
Our lives have taken on a breakneck speed of busyness lately. The basement remodel is starting to look like it's going to wrap up soon, with that the household is in constant motion, and daddy is extra busy. Spring means gardening which means extra housework, and the laundry and dishes aren't going to do themselves. I'm a social person by nature, and it seems this is birth blessing and birthday season. Running a household, a business or two and keeping up friendships makes for a busy mama. Ruby is my (almost) constant companion, so we spend a lot of time out and about... and it's wearing on both of us. I'm not adept at letting things slide too much, but the laundry is allowed to pile up a little more and the state of chaos of the house is getting higher and higher, and i'm not tackling it as often (not to say it doesn't annoy me!). There is an end in sight thankfully to much of it. We've got a fun weekend/early week of family (Ru's cousins) coming to play and then a week after that our housemate/vice husband/live in builder moves on to different pastures. I think the weekend after he goes, which will be Ruby's birthday weekend, we'll take some friends up on their offer of using their beach house and have a quiet weekend just the three of us.
Life with a little person is short (ha ha ha) and can be incredibly sweet if we let it. My goal for this weekend is to do less multitasking and more mini-tasking with my little mini. We've got a lot planned, but with her hand in mine, hopefully we can get through the days with a little more grace and a little less crank.