In general, I consider myself a proponent of attachment style parenting. We exclusively nursed for the first six months, and practice
*I'm as pro-breastfeeding as they come but, Dear Baby Jesus, please get this thing off my boob already.
When I'm well-rested, I don't believe in "crying it out." I don't believe in corporal punishment. I don't believe in foods made with high fructose corn syrup. Naturally, I do believe in unicorns and fairies.
When I'm especially not well-rested? When I've spent half the night trying to get her to sleep before tiptoeing down the stairs, trying to will the 100 year old hardwood floor not to creak, then crawl with cautious optimism into the grown-up bed, then hear "Mommy, where are you?!?" right as I'm starting to fall asleep?
My parenting ideals go out the window. I want to spank her little baby butt. I want to not only let her cry it out, but also lock her bedroom door and find my earplugs. The next morning I want to go ahead and hook her up to an IV of Capri Sun "juice" if it'll buy me five minutes of relative peace.
Yesterday K woke up at 5am after going to bed at 1:30. (I hadn't gotten to bed until 2!) She ignored my
Bob, conveniently enough, had taken the day off work. He volunteered to stay home with her while I went on a much needed work-off-the-stress run. (I like this having a co-parent thing.) I was in the middle of making a snarky comment about how with each step I was going to imagine ... well, maybe not stepping on her head, but --
then she threw her arms around me in an enthusiastic toddler hug and said, "Love you, Mom."
Way to work that guilt, baby. You've got this down to a science.
I went on my run. I came back feeling less homicidal. I didn't beat myself up (too much!) over the things I'd thought under the cloud of sleep deprivation and general parental stress. I know that there will always be a discrepancy between the kind of parent I want to be and the kind of parent that I am. I get that that's a part of the game.
I don't like it, but I get it.
Parents who have survived the toddler phase: at some point this evens out a little, right? I kind of feel like starting an It Gets Better campaign for parents of two-year-olds wouldn't be a horrible idea. . . (Consider this an open invitation to leave inspiring stories in the comments section!)