I don’t know when it happened, exactly. I’m guessing sometime around 18 weeks.
I remember I had just started to feel the baby move in my belly and it was the most exciting feeling ever. After suffering a loss before this pregnancy and prior struggles to conceive, I was elated to be experiencing pregnancy to its fullest effects.
The movement from that point forward never stopped. Although you’d never know it by the frequency I checked her heart rate with my home Doppler. I was obsessed with knowing my baby was doing ok, and sometimes the movement just wasn’t enough. But it was there. The constant kicking and jabbing and hiccups and rolls…all of it.
I know nothing about womb temperament and any correlations of that outside the womb, and I still don’t after talking to many others who don’t share my experience. but after my second pregnancy now, I should have known from all that movement that my gal was going to be a kicking, screaming, strong-willed, bold, outspoken, social butterfly of a person.
Writing that makes me smile. It makes me feel like no matter what life throws at my girl throughout her life, she will tackle the ups and downs with a smile on her face and rage in her heart. Nothing will get her down. She will be a lover AND a fighter. Except right now, that’s kind of the problem.
Her infant months and now into toddlerhood have been non-stop. There have been uphill battles since her arrival 6 weeks early. NICU stays, health complications, delayed motor skills, most notably a forever compromised immune system, and more. Nothing has been easy. And for the most part, that’s ok. I have my girl despite all of the challenging moments we experience together. But I can’t lie and say it doesn’t get old. That it’s not the most mentally exhausting thing in the world. To want nothing more than to please your child and make them happy, but every single effort of yours fails miserably and we’re both left in a puddle of tears at the end of the day. It’s not fun.
Mostly, people see and experience the happiest of kids. The one who is always smiling, blowing kisses, or chasing you down to place the sweetest of real kisses upon your face. The one who barks like a puppy, moo’s like a cow, meows like a kitty and roars like a dinosaur on command. The one who sings and dances and claps her chubby little hands to the beat of just about anything these days. And for that I’m grateful.
But days where I’m at the ends of my rope, when I’ve spent hours before those precious moments battling screams and tears, and being hit and scratched–to name a few–it is literally PAINFUL to hear “she’s such a happy girl!!!” Yes, she is happy. For about 3 out of the 24 hours in a day, usually not consecutively. And It just so happens this time it’s the 3 you’re around. Most think she can do no wrong, and I guess….that’s really what I want. I don’t want people to know and experience what I do as a parent, but sometimes I just DONT want to hear how amazing my child is when I don’t think she is.
Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like this?
It’s not that I don’t love her. I love her fiercely…but maybe that’s the problem? We have set the expectation bar so low at this point you can trip on it, so I don’t feel like we are asking or expecting too much from her. She’s a child and we get that. But why do I feel like I’m the only parent with a kid that behaves in the most unbearable way? Are there others and they are just hiding it? If so, come out and play…commiserate with me so I can feel normal. Or Is this normal and I have this whole parenting thing all wrong!?
And yes, yes, I know: she has a new baby brother so she is probably acting out. Thank you for your empathy, but that is not the problem. Girlfriend has been acting a fool long before little bro was even conceived.
The goal here is not to complain, mostly because I can feel the judgy eye rolls from here…but I would like some sincere feedback from any parents who have dealt with a similar temperament and if/how/when it gets better. Or does it?
Now that baby number 2 IS in the picture, I can’t continue to neglect him when she’s around, but I can’t mentally afford to ignore her bad behavior either. Help!