I read a few blogs that talked about being "real" in their blogs. These women don't always paint a rosy picture of their lives and give you the impression that they have angelic children and a spotless home all the time. I like that because it makes me realize that motherhood is a struggle for everyone -- not just me . . . which brings me to my next point.
I had a lousy week last week, and I noticed in the blogosphere that I wasn't alone. I won't go into details, but it mostly has to do with Sophie. I get so frustrated with her lately. Most of my frustration isn't directed towards her, though, but towards myself. I hate how fast I lose my patience with her when she acts up. Not just acting up, though, but acting up with a defiant little attitude. And doing the same things over and over (like smacking Ivy in the face with wooden objects). In the heat of the moment, I really want to smack her across the face, and it takes all the self-control I have to resist. I never thought I would ever feel that way, and a few minutes later when the moment has passed and she's back to her sweet and innocent self, I wonder how I could ever hurt her.
Thursday was a particularly trying day. My nerves were shot, and I had a little breakdown when Steve came home from school. I had a visiting teaching appointment that night, and I almost backed out because I really wasn't in the right frame of mind. I went anyway. I'm sure the spiritual thought I shared was anything but spiritual, but throughout the chats we had, I was the one who went away uplifted. I knew what I needed to do at home. I love how visiting teaching works like that sometimes -- everyone is uplifted, not just the one who's being visited.
Things have gotten better. I've re-prioritized what really needs to get done around the house so I can give her more attention, and I try to make Sophie's naptimes more productive. We decided that our nighttime routine of spending an hour plus in Sophie's room trying to get her to sleep every night was probably unnecessary right now, so we turned her bed around so she can't get out by herself anymore. She's basically back to a crib. Sophie put up a big fight, but luckily it was short-lived.
I think the root of Sophie's behavior is pretty simple: she's got competition now. Some of the best advice I got from a friend (thanks Missy) was to take care of the newborn's basic needs, but really focus on the older child. I try to give Sophie all the one-on-one time I can and involve her in Ivy's care, but Sophie wants all of me. I can't give her that anymore. I guess we'll just have to remember "this too shall pass", and wait for the day when they'll be able to play together. Sophie might still be hitting her in the face with wooden letters, but at least Ivy will be able to defend herself.
I'm sharing this with all of you because I think that, with all of us networked so tightly in the blogging world, we're in a perfect position to help and lift each other. I'm not into airing dirty laundry or sharing private things on the internet, but there's a lot we can learn from each other's day-to-day experiences. I already have by reading many of yours.
Thank you :)