There are countless books by experts who offer advice to help parents deal with the toddler years. Toddlers Are A**holes: It's Not Your Fault is not exactly one of them. Here's another taste of what the author, Sopha King Tyerd, has to say (read more from her here).
I had a playdate with a mom friend yesterday. By playdate, I mean we sat at her kitchen table and complained about our families for several hours. Getting out of the house feels like preparing a small nation for war so I hadn't seen her in almost a year. It was a fantastic day. It was the kind of day that I wish could be my everyday reality. Every now and again one of us buttered a piece of bread for a child or threw a cookie or cup of water their way, but other than that, we had time to just talk.
I realized some things. There are a few universal mom truths.
Five Things Moms Know To Be True
1. Kids really can grow overnight or during naps.
I told my husband the other day that the baby had grown during the night and he looked at me like I'd confessed to being a former stripper. But I knew it to be true. The baby was heavier. There were facial changes. I swear I'm not crazy. This kid GREW IN THE NIGHT.
2. There's nothing more annoying than a man pretending he doesn't know how to take care of his kids.
Do not. I repeat, DO NOT, call me when I'm at the grocery store by myself trying to remember what it's like to be a human being with a baby screaming in the background telling me you don't know what to do. Um, have you tried taking the fruit of your loins on a walk? How about feeding the kid? Changing a diaper? Trying to lure me back home with the cries of our child and a flustered voice is expert level parental manipulation, and while I applaud you for your efforts, knock it off and figure it out.
3. Children are at their worst when mom is around.
I thought it was just me who was toxic to her children, but it seems like I'm not alone in feeling like my kids regress 50 percent of their age when I'm in smell-range.
Scenario One: Mom leaves Dad alone with four children to go to the gym (not to work out, for the WiFi and quiet). Mom comes home two hours later, after squirting some water around her hairline and pits to mimic sweat. She walks into a clean home. Dad says he mopped the floors, did the dishes, sanitized the fridge, and cleaned the kitchen while the kids played by themselves. They didn't bother him once. They even drew him a picture with a heart and flower that says, "We <3 Daddy So Much" in crayon. They drew you, too. You're a little charcoal figurine in the corner with x's for eyes. Oh yeah, he hasn't fed them yet so they might be hungry but they didn't make a big deal out of it. Mom feels sadness in her heart.
Scenario Two: Dad leaves Mom home with the four kids for the entire day. The minute he closes the door, all four children spend every waking moment trying to crawl back into her womb. When they're not foraging a trail back to the depths of her uterus, they are crying to be held, fighting like maniacs, or asking for food every 10 seconds. The one time they are all quiet (for 30 minutes), mom is splayed out on the living room floor like a dead body trying to hold onto the last threads of her sanity.
Dad comes home and looks around at the trashed house and thinks, "What did she do all day?"
This is the deep injustice of life. It is our cross to bear as mothers. The only solution is wine.
4. Cooking is a terrible burden.
Cooking, in and of itself, can be quite pleasurable. Cooking for children is a little slice of hell served on plate of dung. That is all.
5. You never think you can take a human life until you have kids.
Before children I always knew I would harm someone if my life or the life of someone I loved depended on it. Now, as a mother, I know that if someone harmed one hair on my child's head I would kill a mofo with an axe. I don't know if it's just residual pregnancy hormones or what, but if anyone harmed my kid I would see the inside of a prison cell before the day's end. There would be no conversation with harmer, just me with a weapon inside of their home. I would have zero qualms about sending them back to Jesus, express. Having kids has turned me into an "attack first, answer questions in front of a jury of my peers later" kind of mama bear.
What can I say? Motherhood changes you.