So this week, my family and I took a quick trip to Charleston. It should have been more relaxing, but I have been so burnt out between school, work and life in general, my anxiety was rearing it’s ugly head. And on top of that, my 4 year old daughter is going through a “I am not ever going to listen to you again, Mommy” stage. IT SUCKS. The whole trip (2.5 days) she was getting under my skin. Whenever I would ask her to do something, she would not only NOT listen, but just do the complete opposite. I was beyond frustrated and she was completely getting under my skin.
It got so bad, that even Matt noticed. He asked me if I was okay. Why I was getting so upset with her, telling me to go lay down I seemed so edgy. Which I tried. Twice. Both times right when I was about to close my eyes and get a minute of rest, she barged in and woke me……didn’t help the case.
So it was our last day and we decided to go kayaking. She requested to ride with me. I thought to myself that this might be a good way for us to, I don’t know, reconnect. She looked so cute and excited, there was no way things could get worse. Within 5 minutes in our adventure she started complaining. Mommy go faster. Mommy we are losing. Mommy you are doing it wrong. And look, I love an adventure, but I was really bad at this one. Kayaking isn’t hard, but I couldn’t find my groove. And plus, having a 4 year old scold you the whole time made it that much more difficult.
She then proceeded to complain about being hungry and tired and thirsty. Then she told me she was bored. I tried my best to keep my cool, but that shit started to make me nuts. Plus I was running our kayak into the fucking marsh every 5 seconds. PLUS, being laughed at by husband. I was losing it. Then she says…
“Mommy, you are bad at this. Lets ask for help.” I freaked. I mean, I wasn’t being mean to her, but I was being all “I don’t need help, I need you to stop yelling at me.” You know, childish mom. Gotta love that classy move.
When the adventure was over, I was spent. There was no re-connection or bonding. Quite the opposite. When I walked to the car in my drenched, soaking wet jeans and put her in her car seat she said “Mommy, I love you.” Which made me feel like a piece of shit, because I was just so irritated with her.
Sometimes I forget that kids are kids. She is going through a stage and I should just get over it. This is going to happen, forever. Maybe I should have just stayed off the kayak. Maybe she did feel unsafe (lord knows for a second I did.) Maybe admitting my shittiest move was wanting to jump out of a kayak that my daughter was in is cleansing me and my bad parenting. Or maybe, just maybe, mommy’s have feelings too and ours can get hurt, especially by a 4 year old, I created.