Toddler Tantrums And Persistent Anxiety

Today it’s my son’s tantrums. Yesterday it was anxiety.

Everyday has a battle in store, or 5.

Persistent anxiety, the kind that makes you feel on edge all day, is just plain annoying. What makes me anxious? Usually everything, but yesterday it was nothing. I just felt that tension within my chest and tried to distract myself from it. It didn’t really leave me, from the time I woke up to the time I went to sleep and it increased every time one of the kids would cry for more than a minute.

It makes sense that I have this struggle at such a high intensity. I live far from home, we have two amazing but challenging kids, and I did a lot of growing up in a short amount of time. Basically my plate is stacked high and my mind is always reminding me that it could all fall to the floor. I know it may sound like I’m complaining, but that’s the last thing that I want to communicate. I am so very blessed in all of this hardship. I live in a state that people dream of visiting and I have two children that fill my heart with joy. My babies are quite literally my life! They make up every part of my day and although it is hard, I couldn’t imagine spending my time elsewhere. It would just be really nice if my fight or flight senses could chill out for a second.

Now onto Dalton, the screeching 22 month old. He’s messy. He’s loud. He’s stinking adorable, but most of all he is grumpy. It’s all totally normal but when you’re kid has squealed out of anger for the 500th time, it can stir up some anger within you too. I love this boy, I love that he is learning new words, he is following directions to a certain extent… I love that he loves his sister and that he laughs when he’s doing something cute (like now – he’s banging spoons together). I just think that this is the hardest stage I have experienced as a mom. It tests my patience and sometimes I’m short with him.

It’s hard not to be the parent that yells. I would rather be soft and stern. I also don’t want my child’s inner voice to be as negative as mine is. Not that I can really control that but I want him to learn to be responsible and to listen. I was raised by my mom, so I didn’t know what it was like to have someone reinforce the rules, she was the good guy and the bad guy. Now I have my husband who can bring balance and can teach me to follow through with discipline. As a parent you learn as you get to each stage. It slowly transforms from feeding them milk every two hours and changing diapers to teaching them to talk, walk, and behave.

I just want to be a good mom. I don’t want to fail even though I already have at times. I don’t want my children to have negative memories of their mom that they carry in their hearts the rest of their lives. I want them to learn to be strong in the way that I am learning to be. I want them to face their fears, to love, to be kind, and to persevere.

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