Candid Chatter

Just Say It

She’s Afraid August 6, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 9:49 pm

“I’m afraid of my tv”
“Brianna, why?”
“You shouldn’t be afraid of your tv, Bree, it can’t do anything but sit on your dresser”
“But I want daddy to take it out of my room”
“Tomorrow, kiddo. Now go to sleep.”
“Mommy, I can’t because I’m afraid”
“Ok, scoot over, I’ll lie down with you until you fall asleep”

So for about 40 minutes I snuggled close to her and as she tried to sleep I started remembering when it was just the two of us all day — well, until daddy got home from work. I think I was a better mom then. Definitely more patient and kinder and gentler. I didn’t raise my voice as much. I didn’t punish her as quickly. I was more understanding. Was it because she was just a baby? Or was it because I had less demands on my time? Was it because I didn’t have to sacrifice for more than just her? Or was it really because the older they get the harder they get?

When Jeremy was born I became a downgraded version of myself. I expected too much out of Bree. She was almost 19 months old when he came along. I had my fears about that, but until he was actually here I had no clue how hard it would really be. Soon, instead of spending all of my waking hours with her, I was trying to keep her out of my way so I could take care of him. I felt like I was always telling her not to touch him, don’t sit on him, don’t roll over on him, don’t do this, don’t do that. Gone was the positive reinforcement I had always given her. I became so critical and demanding and impatient. I was mean. She started to withdraw from me at times. She also became a tyrant throwing tantrum after tantrum day after day.

I didn’t want to be like that. I hated what was coming out of me. The first 6 months of my life with 2 children under 2 years of age was unbelievable. Hard isn’t the word for it. Downright impossible most days.

I hated who I had become. I felt guilt all the time for doing that to Brianna. Doing what? Having a baby while she was still just a baby herself. I love my little sweet Jeremy to pieces. But it cost his sister a whole bunch for a portion of time that I am grateful they will never remember. But I do. I remember.

I remember that I hadn’t raised my voice to Brianna… until he was born.
I remember that I always had fun taking her places with me… until he was born.
I remember holding her whenever she wanted to be held… until he was born.
I remember talking to her about everything and cuddling on the couch an hour before her bedtime… until he was born.
I remember so many good things about my mothering skills… until he was born.

But tonight I did the right thing. She was afraid. I stayed there and watched her fall asleep. I’ll bet I haven’t done that in years. I stroked her blonde silky hair. I caressed her soft plump rosy cheeks. I held her tiny hand and rubbed her fingers. I whispered “I love you” in her ears. I got up as slowly as I could and watched her breathe a few more times before I tip-toed out of her room.

I may have failed you a thousand times when you were a small little toddler, Brianna Lyn, but tonight Mommy stayed and I am so grateful that you were afraid of your television so that I could.

God bless you my child. Sleep and dream well.


5 Responses to “She’s Afraid”

  1. wbppsh7 Says:

    I think that all of us mothers have those guilty feelings about one thing or another. I have them – I’m right there with ya and I don’t have two. Believe me, our Preschoolers know how to handle us – LITERALLY! So if you punish quicker, don’t fret. If you can’t right this minute, don’t fret! When it matters most (and I know that can be switched back to me that all the moments matter), we will both be there, supporting and loving and cheering them on through their whole lives! And her hearing you whisper that you love her, that mattered most…..This time! 🙂

  2. jenny Says:

    I sooooo understand that. and I never had 2 under 2. I only had 2 under 3 for four months and it continues on.

    My mom said it happened to me too (oldest of 3) and that I turned out alright 😉 (or maybe that’s the reason for all my insecurities….kidding!!)
    anyway, just wanted to say that you are not alone. Not alone at all. And I don’t even want to know what a third would do to Ben, but am still curious sometimes.

  3. candidchatter Says:

    Jenny: Thanks for the support. We have # 3 on the way; due mid-January. Sometimes I am nervous about that. Most of the time I am fine with it. Brianna will be almost 4 1/2, Jeremy almost 3. I have more confidence now that I survived 2 under 2. Hopefully I’m not being naive… again. 🙂


  4. Ginger Bliss Says:

    I have had the same exact feelings, it is such a balacing act when the 2nd child comes along then add sleep deprivation to the mix and I felt like I didn’t know the woman looking back at me in the mirror. I don’t have a whole lot of memories of my toddler years so I hope the same for Will. Maybe it is God’s way of protecting them and giving us time to learn more about parenting before they are teenagers and can really start blaming us for all that is wrong with them. I know these days are going to be gone before we know it so I am, like you, trying to enjoy those moments when I can fall asleep next to him in bed and realize it was the best part of the day. I am also thankful for you being so honest as a mom, it is so encouraging to know someone else is going through the same thing. – Ginger

  5. candidchatter Says:

    Ginger: You’re a doll! Seriously, I don’t know any other way to be than the way I am. Plus, I feel deeply that the more honest we are as women (humans) the better our relationships will be with each other. As a Christian, I believe that the more authentic our walks with Christ and the more we can show people we hurt just like they do and feel just like they do and fail just like they do, the better witnesses we are for Him. I know you know what I mean since you are a sister in Christ yourself. Thank God for forgiveness and wisdom that He gives us in abundance daily — moment by moment. Amen?!! See you at church, girl.


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