“Mommy, turn on NUHIS!”, M wines…
(Automatically translated from toddler: MUSIC).
I turn the music on and he wines “NOooo! No more! No more nuhis!” I proceed to turn the music off because there’s no arguing with a two-and-a-half-year-old. And he begins to throw a tantrum “want NUUUHHHHIIISSS!!”
What is it? Is it the wrong song? The wrong volume? Who knows? I don’t think Mr. Toddler does.
We get over the whole Nuhis episode, and then move on to the coloring episode. And the story goes on.
Then it got worse.
He was overtired and cranky, and then refused to nap. He proceeded to tear the entire house apart, throwing clean laundry in with the dirty, emptying the contents of the bags I had just organized, undoing a week of hard work. I felt desperate to lie down, the headache I was experiencing permeating the rest of my body.
I chose comfort food instead, which I shared with him, but then he wanted my share…
I had had it with toddlerhood. Remind me why I chose to do this?
And just when I thought I couldn’t handle it anymore, the upstairs neighbor knocked on the door. She came to bring the red sleeper we needed for M’s Elmo costume. She told me I looked like I needed a break. She asked him if he wants to go upstairs to play. He went happily.
I sat there, finally getting some work done.
I heard his shoes squeaking upstairs as he played with his friend.
And I missed him terribly.
Yes, I needed the break.
Not just to regain some energy. Not just to get those photos for that long-overdue recipe done. Not just to write up that blog post that I had been sitting on for four days.
I needed it to remind me, in my darkest moments, why I do this.
Why do I do this when I have a splitting headache, am in pain all over, and physically can’t move?
Why do I do this when I’d rather go out to work, have a job, hire a nanny to do the toddler part?
Why do I do this at all when I could live a “free life” – free of kids, travel the world, spend my nights hanging out with friends?
It’s all for love.
It’s all about the connection.
It’s about something much deeper and stronger than enjoyment, or even living a pain-free life.
It’s about building a world.
“Whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world,” the Talmud says. Well, what about she who created that life to begin with? What about that mother who relentlessly plows through sleepless nights, toddlerhood, grade school drama, teenage hormones, and continues to nurture deep into adulthood? What about the mother who beats herself up with every decision that “may not have been the best”, and thinks before each and every word, “will this build my child up?”
That mother has created a world. That mother continues to nurture that world. That mother is the very heartbeat of this world, building up the next generation that will keep this world, and all the good within, going.
Moms, when you feel like you just can’t toddler anymore, take a break.
Do it for yourself, and do it for the world you are building.
Because sometimes a little break is all you need for some clarity, sanity, and for the drive to continue onward, loving and building up that soul that you created.
Have you had days when you simply couldn’t toddler anymore? How do YOU keep on going?