My daughter was three and my son was one and it was time to leave nursery school, only no one wanted to go home. We were in the common area with all the other well-behaved children and their ubermoms. The other children were making advanced robotics and speaking fluently in Chinese and Farsi. My kids? One was having the mother of all temper tantrums and the other was literally running in circles holding a Lego.
Bending over to try to get the one child off the floor it begins to rain Cheerios from the overstuffed (and apparently open) diaper bag, my shirt flies up exposing to the world that even though my “baby” was over a year old I was still wearing maternity pants because I couldn’t shake the weight. My face gets redder and redder from anger and embarrassment and I yell at myself internally.
Why can’t I get my act together? All the other kids don’t seem to have a problem! I read the parenting books! I watched Super Nanny! Why are all the other moms so much better at this than me? I know their success is not my failure but in this moment in time I feel like the most incompetent mother on the planet.
Two moms with older kids are sitting on chairs and watching me. I must look a sight. I look up and one says to me kindly, “It gets easier.”
Tears of gratitude are in my eyes because “easier” is something I can look forward to. Suddenly, it’s instantly easier knowing that these other moms aren’t judging me, they’re empathizing with me. And they were right. It does get easier. It’s never easy; but it does get easier.
Likewise, fitness gets easier too. When I was going through the weight loss phase I didn’t think I would ever lose the last ten pounds. I spent hours at the gym. I had to talk myself down constantly from throwing in the towel and buying pizza for dinner. Sometimes it felt like all the gym rats were judging me and laughing at my clumsiness. But it got easier.
It’s still not easy. Some days I just don’t want to lift another set because my arms are on fire. Some days I want to revolt against green bean consumption. But it’s easier. Likewise, after a stretch of good behavior my three-year-old will get into my make-up case and paint himself with my mascara and concealer, but at least he now responds better to time-outs.
A little while ago we went to one of those child-themed haircut places, where the kids sit in stationary race cars as the stylists trims their hair. My kids were laughing and having a blast. Another mother came into the crowed place. She looked about 14 months pregnant, ready to burst, and had a son a year or two younger than mine, who was having an all out temper tantrum refusing to get his haircut. The mom tried to pry her son off the hair-covered floor, her face getting as red as her shirt with anger and embarrassment.
I looked at her kindly and said, “It gets easier.”
Do you know someone going through a tough time right now? Why not share this and let them know it gets easier? (Also – got any good temper tantrum stories?)
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