Being a mommy to a newborn is difficult, but I think raising toddlers is at least 10 times harder. New babies need you 24 hours a day, but it is pretty straight forward. Make sure they get enough to eat, enough sleep, and enough cuddling, and you’re a pretty good parent.
When the child gets older, things get more difficult. There are so many choices you have to make every day that affect your child’s behavior, how much they learn, and how healthy they are. I firmly believe that it is my job to to make choices that are best for him in the long run, which is often NOT what makes him happy at that moment.
Obviously, my almost-3-year-old does not understand the benefits of having string cheese instead of m&ms for a snack. And he has no idea why I’d rather he play with his blocks than watch Diego again. He can’t even seem to figure out that he feels better after a nap.
And so, he fights.
He cries, yells, whines and pouts when he doesn’t get his way.
And ideally, I stand my ground. Once I’ve said “no” to something, I try very hard not to give in. I do NOT want Adam to learn that throwing a fit will get him what he wants. That’s just not acceptable to me.
But it’s. so. hard.
Sometimes, I give in right away. For example, if he ate a good lunch, I won’t argue over snack. Some battles just aren’t worth fighting.
But other times, I say no, and brace myself for a battle of wills. Unfortunately, he is often more stubborn than I am. He wears me down and his fighting makes me long for the same instant gratification that he’s seeking.
And too often, I give in.