Thursday, September 15, 2011

Being the Primary Caretaker

Ever since I've started this blog I've been committed to telling the truth.  I've posted pictures of me in a bathing suit, me not showered, and I hope I've talked candidly about the difficulties I've had about being a mother.  And now I'm here to share something else with you... if you are the primary care taker of a child less than 18 months old OR if you don't yet have kids... there is a secret being kept from you and I feel the need to share it.

It all started once Evan turned 18 months - or thereabout.  We stopped going out to restaurants because he had become too unruly.  However, one time Brian took Evan out to breakfast on his own and came back with glowing reports so we figured we would try to go as a family the following weekend.  All 3 of us went (I was still pregnant at the time) and Evan screamed, cried, tried to get in and out of his high chair, threw food, etc.  It was awful - no fun for anyone involved.  So, I told this story to my mother and she said, "Of course... you were there."

Huh?  What'cha talkin' 'bout Willis?  Of course I was there... we went as a family.  But, turns out, what my mom meant is that my wonderful angelic boy would save almost all of his disobedience and "testing" for me since I'm his primary caretaker.  He would see how far he could push me but for others he would remain the sweet helpful child he had always been.

And even worse, every single primary caretaker I mention this to just shakes their head and smiles.  It's like they've been keeping this a secret on purpose.

What has this meant?  Well... it has meant that my most used word is now "no."  That I spend more time ignoring meltdowns than enjoying my time with him.  That I've become completely immune to the "mama" that he utters oh-so-sweetly when he wants something special.  And that I've become the main shrieking banshee person who disciplines him.

I've been told that as he gets older this behavior will become less and less (but never go away).  I can't wait.

Thankfully there are still moments of supreme cuteness that can carry me through... and then there's wine when those cute moments wear off.

Clarification: The purpose of this post is NOT to tell people they shouldn't have children... even on my lowest days I can never give that advice.  It is intended just to let you know this will happen and it is "normal" (whatever that means) so don't take it personally.  At least that is what I tell myself about 100 times a day.

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