I’m sure there will be a time when I look back and appreciate the endearing moments of tortured screaming at bedtime. Maybe when they’re thirteen and they don’t want anything to do with me. Or when they’re sixteen and sleeping until noon (or maybe it’s the other way around and I don’t know it yet because my boys are 19 months and 33 months-or do I just say almost 3?).
Today, however, it’s the greatest thing in this insane world of motherhood that can get my anxiety to a level I’ve never felt. The cries, screaming, pleading and bargaining.
During this madness, I’ve got the caring and firm mommy conflicting within me.
The caring and sensitive side of me wants to jump at every cry out and rush to their aide.
“I need my mommy!” I’m there in a second!
“I have to go potty!” We were so successful in potty training, how could I betray his trust of the system.
“I need more water!” It’s summer. He could be thirsty. What if he’s dehydrated…I MUST check on him.
“Mommy! Don’t. Do. This. To. Meeeeee!” My heart is shattering. I’m clearly setting him up for emotional disaster.
And I return to his aide once again.
But then…the curtain falls, the precipitous silence envelopes crowd, the spotlight shining on the other half of me; exhausted, confused, frustrated.
I know I’m being manipulated and I question my reasoning in my coddling moves. How can it be wrong when it seems so natural and motherly? I need to be firm.
Yet each afternoon and each night for as long as I can remember, it’s a battle. My husband, my mother, my best friends all think I should handle it in a different way. I’ve always been labeled as too sensitive. Being a firm and consistent mother has no room for the overly sensitive. And now I feel outplayed. I need to be stern. I need to be more consistent.
I know this is a phase or at least I’m pretty sure they won’t be crying and screaming like this when they’re home visiting us from college. It’s got to end. I just hope I can figure it out and do the right* thing along the way. In the meantime, I’ll just battle my inner Jekyll & Hyde…which is appropriate since it’s my favorite Broadway musical.
*If you know the right thing, please leave a comment or post on our Facebook page! Luke, Zealand, (aka…my two little stinkers) if you’re reading this…I’m onto your games and I WILL win this challenge!