My children are in a phase of not listening to me.
Unfortunately, I have the sneaking suspicion itâ€™s a phase thatâ€™s going to last the rest of their lives. Growing up, my mom used to repeat the same phrase over and over again (that is, in the rare instances I was actually listening to her): â€œThis too shall pass.â€
When I was dating anyone in a 10-mile radius with an â€œIâ€™m in a bandâ€ bumper sticker and a set of drumsticks? â€œThis too shall passâ€. Insisting that eight inches above the knee was a perfectly appropriate length for a mini skirt? â€œThis too shall passâ€. And now that I am the proud mother of two equally confusing, often confused and catastrophically exhausting beings to call my own, the phrase is uttered more than ever.
The habits of small children are baffling to me (and they will likely only get worse with age). For example, why is it entirely necessary for my daughter to unload a full roll of toilet paper in the commode every time she has to go potty? If we could stop the overuse of t.p. from toddlers, we might be able to save an entire rain forest in a day. How does my household go from calm and serene before the phone rings, but the second I attempt to carry on an adult conversation, it explodes with more noise and screams than Oprahâ€™s audience after a minivan giveaway. And for every time I utter the words â€œdonâ€™t stand so close to the TVâ€ or â€œitâ€™s time to go bedâ€, my 4 year old is slack jawed, nose-to-nose with a screen or initiating a 2 hour battle of the wills from her top bunk, as if she is incapable of hearing the words coming out of my mouth.
And to some extent, perhaps she is. Maybe it was the wise words of renowned philosopher William Christopher Smith who once said â€œparents just donâ€™t understandâ€, but it continues to hold true today. Even though with every generation of moms we become more technologically savvy, less embracing of the â€œmom jeanâ€ and slightly more tolerant of not embarrassing our kids in public, we are still parents. We are officially those people who have doors slammed in our faces, eyes rolled on an hourly rotation, and who repeat ourselves more often then the jokes during a Hannah Montana marathon.
It doesnâ€™t matter how much we want to be the opposite of our parents (you know, actually cool and everything), because when push comes to shove, if you ever said the sentences â€œIâ€™m not asking you, Iâ€™m telling youâ€ or â€œIf I have to say it one more timeâ€â€¦ you are a parent. Youâ€™re the bad guy. Youâ€™re the person on the dark side.
But thatâ€™s ok, because at least years in the future our children will finally find themselves covered in spit up, hoarse from reciting the same phrase over and over again (and then pointing out how often theyâ€™re having to repeat themselves), and uttering those precious, rare words: â€œMy mother was right.â€Â Then again, if youâ€™re really craving a pat on the back from the hours of labor, stress, strain, anxiety and worry we put ourselves through on a 24-7, 7 days a week basis as momsâ€¦you might want to pour yourself a martini and call it a day.
In the end, itâ€™s up to us to enjoy the fleeting moments of motherhood that really make it so worthwhile. The calm before the phone rings. The joy in our kidâ€™s tiny faces (before they proceed to clog the toilet, interrupt our conversations and ignore every single syllable that exits our mouths). Or that atypical, extraordinary day when our offspring will actually hear what we said, listen and do exactly as we ask.
So if the next twenty years seems so impossibly difficult that youâ€™re considering taking up stock in Ibuprofen and boxed wineâ€¦ try to look towards the future. Count your blessings, embrace the tiny successes and remember one crucial thing:
This too shall pass.
Bailey Vincent Clark is the Editor-in-chief, author and founder of Makeover Momma. She hosts Makeover Momma TV on Tuesday (7 PM/EST & 4 PM/PT), and has a weekly column on Friday: “Getting Friendly With Makeover Momma.” If you would like to ask questions, submit concerns or simply chat: please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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