My Toddler is Driving Me CRAZY!

stef:
My Toddler is Driving Me CRAZY!

In an effort to be honest and to make other moms feel ‘okay’ with their innermost, private thoughts I have a confession to make.  My toddler drives me crazy.  I mean really and truly crazy where I almost just wish that someone would take her off my hands for a few hours (okay for a day).  The constant asking for a snack, for a poured drink and the making of mini messes all over my tidy house makes it impossible to get things done.  Just today, she started spitting out her juice all over the television electronics while I was in the shower.  Yesterday, she got into a bag of corn meal while I was folding laundry.  Have you ever tried to clean up corn meal off the floor?  I know I will be finding it for the next few months. 
 
Some days when she really needs a nap and won't take one, I feel like I could scream.  Every once in a while I would love to watch something besides Dora the Explorer or those god awful Yo Gabba Gabba dudes, but the minute I try she wants me to read to her or worse...play.  So what is the use in watching a television show if I cannot hear it?  There are also the issues of her sudden distaste for having her long and curly locks combed, as well as brushing her teeth?  And each and every time I try to get her dressed, she tells me that her clothes don’t feel right.  Yes…the day-to-day routine with a toddler in tow can be mildly disrupted.  This is something that most non-stay at home moms never have the privilege of feeling. 
 
My sister in law has a toddler but hers is at daycare all the time.  So she spends the weekends doting on her child and enjoying every sneeze, fart and sniffle.  Oh how I wish I could be like that.  I also wonder if there is something wrong with me.  After all, is it truly normal to be irritated by the sound of your own child’s voice?  Wait for it….
 
YES!
 
I have to say that in all the moms that I know, there have only been a few (okay maybe one) who finds every single thing their toddler does absolutely adorable.  In fact, the constant questions, the sudden refusals, and the quick changes in attitude give them the same bad case of whiplash that I get.  And yes, there are days when all moms wonder and dream about life without kids.  This does not mean that I (or they) have any regrets about having children, just that a break is necessary every once in a while.
 
You shouldn’t feel ashamed for wanting a break.  Let’s be realistic, what do you really have in common with a toddler besides your DNA.  You need to go out with your friends, enjoy a shopping trip, take a walk, and do things that do not include the confines of having a baby.  In fact, not doing so will wear you out more quickly than a Zumba class.  If you are anything like I was, I was afraid that needing and requesting a break was sign of weakness that meant I just wasn’t cut out to be a mother.  What I found is that in order to keep up with the Jones’s and remain in denial; I wore myself down to the wick and ended up getting sick more easily and feeling unhappy. 
 
Recharging your parental batteries by taking a break makes it possible to watch Yo Gabba Gabba.  It also makes it possible to enjoy your child and get the most out of the moments you share.  Perhaps most importantly, it gives you something to look forward to.  On those days when your toddler acts anything like mine…you know a break is coming.  Suddenly the corn meal on the floor and the unkempt hair seems less tragic.  You will also find that by taking breaks (regularly) you will parent the way you want to rather than be on edge at every moment.  What kind of mom do you want your child to remember?  The one who is frustrated or the one who puts herself on the priority list and is happy?