Since the boys were born, I’ve been fully aware that my monthly updates are a little bit schmaltzy.
Full of sentiment, more often than not, and singing the praises of my two little charges.
And whilst I can’t help myself on this front — they’re my children after all; humans that I yearned for and dreamt of for years before they finally joined the party — sometimes I’m mindful that my updates are a little one-sided and rarely show a fully balanced reflection of motherhood.
I tend not to dwell on the negatives — instead I’d rather celebrate the positives — but whilst I don’t often share the warts and all aspects of parenting on my blog, it doesn’t mean that I sail through life and don’t have bad days.
I don’t think that there’s a parent on earth who doesn’t struggle occasionally.
There will always be days when you’ll feel as though you’ve failed — have let your temper get the better of you — not been ‘adult’ enough.
I’m not going to lie, it’s been a tough few weeks.
I’ve heard the term ‘threenagers’ bandied about a lot on social media — terrible twos, threenagers, ferocious fours — but, as we seemed to navigate through the twins’ second year without very much drama or conflict, it wasn’t something that I paid very much attention to.
Now that I understand why these terms were created.
One of the boys has been having regular meltdowns recently; daily episodes of anger — more often spurred by frustration.
No amount of calm, gentle voiced reason, pleading, cajoling, or bribery can pull him out of it when he’s in full flow.
I’ve resorted to threats —
‘Right. NOW I’m phoning Father Christmas!!! You will NOT be getting any presents this year!!!!!’
— cue, me, picking up the phone and having a lengthy discussion with the speaking clock.
I’ve been a paragon of calm*.
Talking like a children’s TV presenter — with forced jollity — to try and gloss over the awfulness (and upset) of what’s happening.
*It doesn’t work, by the way.
Shouted back (at the top of my voice) and resorted to equally childish behaviour.
Getting on the floor and thrashing about might have worked on the advert — I wrote about this once, funnily enough — but it doesn’t work in real life.
It just makes you look stupid.
The only thing that seems to work is space and time. To have the good grace to just ignore the head banging, raging, frenzy that’s going on in front of you and try your level best to keep calm and carry on.
Easier said than done. Particularly when it’s in public or you’re desperately trying to strap this thrashing, pinching, furious little human into a car seat.
Thankfully, only one of the boys seems to be going through this phase (at the moment). The other watches in silence. Sometimes with his little hands over his ears. Sometimes crying, because he can’t bear to see his twin — or his mama — so distressed.
These tantrums are the devil.
I blame hormones — they’re always responsible for everything.
The absolute worst was last week. Picking them up from nursery one afternoon — not even getting to the car before the MOTHER of all tantrums descended — my sweet, good natured baby totally overcome by a stranger. He morphed into a blustering, shouting child that I just don’t know. It was crippling.
Needless to say, I was so happy and relieved to hand over parenting duties that night. My boy had barely walked through the door from work and I’d already passed the baton — told him I was off duty.
Lucky that I can do that — hat’s off to the amazing single parents who don’t have that luxury.
Incredibly, that evening, I stumbled upon a blog post from one of my lovely blogging friends Jenny. She was going through the exact same thing with her youngest child. I identified with everything she’d written and seeing someone else’s thoughts, mirroring my own, suddenly made everything feel so much better.
The age old adage ‘strength in numbers’ springs to mind.
When your child is the only one in the supermarket/carpark/soft play/at home having a tantrum just know that you’re not the only one.
There are mums and dads everywhere dealing with exactly the same thing.
So whilst life is most definitely still a bed of roses — particularly when I compare my lot to those in need and crisis — sometimes, there are definitely thorns in with all of the beauty.
But that is real life isn’t it?
Hang in there. We’re doing a great job.