Laughing from the Other Side

My mom used to tell me that the toddler years were when she really started to enjoy motherhood – we were a bit more independent, we could express our feelings using words. Life seemed more fun.

In the midst of a screaming rage from our own preschooler, I looked at my mom and asked, Really?!?! This was your favorite mothering season?!?!

My mom laughed (as only you can laugh from the other side…) and suggested that maybe she had forgotten some of these moments. She was sure they happened, but when she looked back, she didn’t really remember them.

That gave me some hope. We are in the trenches with All the Emotions and I worry that I’ll look back on this time with distaste. Or that Bea will look back on these months and wonder at my parenting skills.

IMG_9960.jpgThank God we forget. That there’s something in our brains that lump rough feelings and experiences into the I survived so it couldn’t have been that bad category. I wonder if the toddler/preschool years are dealt with in the same way as birth – that we somehow forget the pain and remember the result.

I’m clinging to the hope that the results of these power struggles and boundaries and everything result in an well-adjusted, thoughtful, empowered daughter. At this stage, I can only hope and pray and trust that it will. If I stopped now, it would be too discouraging, so I remember my mom’s from-the-other-side laughter and hope that one day, I’ll laugh in the same way, having forgotten these rough moments.

(Note: Bea is an amazing kid and 95% of the time we’re good and we have amazing adventures. It’s just that other 5% that is so intense…)

Are there life experiences that you’re thankful to have forgotten or, at least, looked back on with rosier perspective? As a parent, what’s your favorite stage?

Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing. Today’s prompt is Forget.

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8 thoughts on “Laughing from the Other Side

  1. It is funny how our parents see things differently on the other side, isn’t it?!? Praying that you find those sweet moments in the midst of the tantrums etc.

  2. Do not give up. You put in the time and effort now and you will reap the benefit in later years. When I look at my daughters now (and one is headstrong), I am glad that I did.

  3. Ahhh, Annie. The toddler years are TOUGH. There is joy in them, but when they make up their minds to express their independence . . . watch out. You’ll do a great job guiding Bea through these years, and it will equip you for dealing with the years to come. You’re focusing on relationship, and that’s what she’ll remember, my friend. Hang tough. With God’s help, you can DO this. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Jeanne! Parenting without God’s help – I just can imagine… He truly sustains me. (As does the perspective of those who are past these years – thank you!!)

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