Motherhood (Part 2)

Just when I start to get the hang of parenting, my child goes through a difficult phase and I feel like I've failed. Each age and stage has it's own set of challenges. My daughter Is 3 1/2 and so far the 3's have been the hardest. She is sassy, bossy, stubborn, and strong-willed. She loves to scream "no", she doesn't do what I tell her, and the worst thing by far is when she get's really mad she will hit, kick, scratch, or bite me. Before having kids, if I saw a child acting this way I would totally pass judgement. Well, now I get it, and I'm on the other side of it worrying that people are thinking I'm a horrible mother and need to get my child under control.

Most of my generation and the generations before used spanking as a means to discipline, but there are many studies and resources out there on how ineffective that is, and how helping a child through their emotions is more effective and beneficial. I have read many books and articles on the topic, and the pre-school I work at has been going through a training that is quite helpful when it comes to healthy discipline. But I'm only human and there are times I lose my cool. There are times I spank. There are times I give in to my child because I don't feel like dealing with yet another tantrum. And there are times I don't like my daughter and don't want to be around her because of the way she makes me feel. Her behavior has gotten so much worse in the last couple weeks and I think it's because she can sense change is coming with the upcoming birth of her baby sister. I'm 8 months pregnant, and I've cried every day this week because the combination of pregnancy hormones and my daughter's over-the-top misbehavior has been overwhelming. I'm scared for what it will be like when baby is born.

Motherhood is so strange. It can be one of the most fulfilling and rewarding things, yet also the most soul-sucking and exhausting. I have a constant battle with myself about going back to work full-time. Sometimes I want to go back because of how isolating, boring, and frustrating it can be to stay at home. Within a month I'm going to be a mother of two and I know it's going to be even harder. For the longest time, I dreamed of being a stay-at-home mom, but it's never been what I hoped. I often wonder if going back to work would help my sanity and make me appreciate my time with my daughter more. But then I think of how difficult she can be and I feel like I should be the one to deal with her, not shove her on to somebody else.

I interviewed at a small Christian school last week for a full-time teaching position and will hear next week if I've been offered the job. But just like most teaching jobs, and especially here in Colorado, they don't pay what a teacher is worth. (I won't get on my soap box about that topic right now though.) After paying for day care for a 3 year old and a baby, I wouldn't bring home much. Therefore, is it really worth it?

I could use your prayers because it's a rough season of life right now. I could use prayers for patience with my 3 year old and that she'll adjust okay to having another child in the house. And prayers that I'll be able to make a decision and be at peace about either staying home again or going back to work full-time.

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