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Twin Cities Mom Collective

Tomorrow I Will Do Better

Tomorrow we won’t fight with him.

My husband whispered those words to me as he came into our son’s bedroom. I was sitting in the rocking chair next to his bed watching him sleep. I sighed. I had just been having the same internal dialogue in my head.

Tomorrow will be a better day.

Tomorrow I will yell at him less.

Tomorrow I will be more patient.

Tomorrow I will play with him more.

Tomorrow I will laugh with him.

Tomorrow I will do everything I can to make sure he knows how much we adore and cherish him.

Tomorrow.

Tomorrow offers hope. A clean slate. Another chance to be the kind of mom I want to so badly be.

Tonight my heart is heavy. It’s sad, beat up and full of regret. Lately I feel like every day I’m fighting battles. All. Day. Long.

Having a persistent, determined two and a half year old is hard. As charming and funny as they can be, they can also be downright maddening. Enter a mama who gets easily frustrated and well, things can get ugly. We are both stubborn, prideful and too much alike. We both like to be in control. The thing is, he is TWO and his behavior is to be expected. I, on the other hand, am a 30-year old mama who should know better. I should know to remain calm, laugh it off and move on. I don’t want to spend these precious days fighting battles against him. I don’t want to feel battered, bruised and defeated after a long day of fighting. If I’m being honest, fighting is taking its toll. It is stealing the joy of motherhood. It is causing a strain on my relationship with my toddler. I adore him to death, he is my everything- but- I’m exhausted. It is breaking my heart.

As I watch him sleep it dawns on me. I’m not sure that doing better means fighting less. The reality is that motherhood is always going to be filled with battles. It’s part of the job. Our job isn’t to keep the peace at whatever cost. It is to fight at all costs. The fight we are fighting is to raise our children. Children who are decent, responsible, loving, kind, respectful, honest. Children who can hold their own and succeed in this world. Each battle is a small victory as we progress through motherhood. I’m not fighting against him. I am fighting with him. I am fighting for him. This doesn’t mean I can’t change the way I fight. I CAN do a better job at staying calm during the battles. I can choose my battles more wisely, be more discreet. I can teach him to fight battles respectfully. I can fight for him in a way that doesn’t keep hurting our relationship.

Tomorrow I Will Do Better | Twin Cities Moms Blog

So while I can’t say I’m waving that white flag- I am going to change course. I’ll keep fighting the fights that are necessary for his well being. I’ll keep fighting for him to be his own self. But I’m also going to be more calm and let go of the frustration. I’m going to slow down and enjoy the ride. I am going to embrace having a little mini clone of myself and show him how I can keep my emotions in check.

Tomorrow I will keep my cool when he asks for milk and refuses the yellow Mickey Mouse cup because he wanted the blue Mickey cup. I’ll sip my coffee as I talk to him calmly about using “thanks” and “please.”

Tomorrow I won’t get frustrated when he refuses breakfast only to say “I’m hungry” ten minutes later. I’ll gently remind him that we have to eat at scheduled times and that he can have a banana in the car.

Tomorrow I will laugh at his persistence to wear his Jake and the Neverland Pirates pajama shirt to daycare. I’ll be silly with him and tease him as I discreetly dress him in a different shirt of his choosing.

Tomorrow I will be patient and let him walk to the car as slowly as he’d like. I’ll let him climb into his car seat by himself while telling him, you are so independent!

Tomorrow when he asks me to play with him while I’m making dinner, I’ll say just a minute. I’ll talk to him about waiting our turn while I get down on the floor and build Legos and do puzzles together.

Tomorrow I will say yes to his relentless requests to play swords. I am coming to realize that he needs me to play with him in order to avoid meltdowns.

Tomorrow I will be silly with him, make a mess and not care. I’ll be better at relaxing, other things can wait.

Tomorrow I’ll snuggle with him in his bed, holding him in my arms, feeling his breath on my face, his body melting into mine. I know he will feel safe and loved.

Tomorrow I will be at peace looking at him knowing that there is no where else I would rather be.

Tomorrow there is no other battle that I would rather be fighting.

Tomorrow I won’t be perfect, but I will do better.

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84 comments

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Brian May 20, 2016 at 4:31 PM

There is much wisdom in the following:
“As I watch him sleep it dawns on me. I’m not sure that doing better means fighting less. The reality is that motherhood is always going to be filled with battles. It’s part of the job. Our job isn’t to keep the peace at whatever cost. It is to fight at all costs. The fight we are fighting is to raise our children. Children who are decent, responsible, loving, kind, respectful, honest. Children who can hold their own and succeed in this world. Each battle is a small victory as we progress through motherhood. I’m not fighting against him. I am fighting with him. I am fighting for him. This doesn’t mean I can’t change the way I fight. I CAN do a better job at staying calm during the battles. I can choose my battles more wisely, be more discreet. I can teach him to fight battles respectfully. I can fight for him in a way that doesn’t keep hurting our relationship.”

I would change the “motherhood” to parenthood however. 😀 Unfortunately it is wisdom that VERY few find or even realize. As a result we have a generation of children being raised by parents who are more concerned with being their child’s FRIEND instead of their PARENT, never saying no or setting (and enforcing) guidelines or boundaries. It is a wise parent who realizes those boundaries sometimes look like battle lines, and as hard as a child may try to break those boundaries, they really are testing them, to see how strong they are. For in those boundaries they find comfort and in a way, strength which in turn develops the very tenacity and strength that turns them into “are decent, responsible, loving, kind, respectful, honest children (and then adults) who can hold their own and succeed in this world.
Well written and Thank you for sharing!

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Lisa May 22, 2016 at 9:00 PM

I used to always say “Will it really matter ….whatever happened … In five years? Pick your battles wisely and spend quality time with your kids.

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Hailey C. May 23, 2016 at 10:21 AM

I don’t think this could have come at a better point in time for me. I have been to the point of tears from pure exhaustion and feeling like a failure every time I argue or get upset with my 3 and a half year old nearly every day. She is so much like me and we both could argue black is white if we tried and I know that certainly doesn’t help in reducing the daily battles. I know I am a good mom and I love my child to the ends of the earth – this reminder to work through it was perfect.

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Jessica May 23, 2016 at 10:32 PM

You have no idea how much this has helped me. As I read every word, I felt as if I had pulled a book from off my bookshelf – one I never published or even wrote on paper. Tomorrow is going to fun! Tomorrow, my house is going to be messy! Tomorrow, I’ll let my 1 and 3 year old teach me how to be a kid again. Tomorrow, I’ll nap with my little ones instead of picking up toys for the 10th time only to do it 10 more times before bed, doing the dishes or scrolling through my facebook feed from my phone. Tomorrow, will be great! Thank you!

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Missy May 24, 2016 at 4:03 PM

I was looking for a little morning mantra to review to help me start each day with more patience and gratitude for the only 18 or so short years my kids will live with me. This article will do. Thank you!

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Ana May 25, 2016 at 9:25 AM

I absolutely enjoyed reading this article, thank you. Being the mom of two boys ( 10 and 4), as well as working a full time job is so challenging. I was able to relate so much to this article. I tend to lose my patience easily, and at night I watch them sleep and promise that tomorrow will be different. Thank you again for beautifully written article, look forward to reading more of your blogs.

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Alyssa June 1, 2016 at 10:45 PM

Thank you for being a voice for exactly how I feel. I needed to know I’m not alone. Awesome read.

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Yolie June 7, 2016 at 9:16 AM

Rings True… having teenagers is tough. My son told me yesterday that he hates how protective I am, can’t stand it. I explained that he is my son and I will never stop being protective…from his first breath to his last. Sometimes frustrations run high and we all say things we wish we had said differently…but the love and desire for safety and happiness will always be ther

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Sylvia June 14, 2016 at 9:58 AM

Godddddd! I thought it was just me. I thought there was something wrong with me! Thank you for making me realize I’m not the only one who’s having a hard time at times…..

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Sophie June 29, 2016 at 11:22 AM

This article actually changed my whole outlook on parenting. I can’t even begin to say thank you enough for speaking EXACTLY what my heart needed to hear!!!

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