Let me ask those of you with more than one kid, HOW DO YOU FREAKING DO IT?
Since I am working on my oral presentation now, I can allow myself to digress and look at other areas of my life where conflict resolution skills are being applied. In this particular area they are applied, I kid you not, almost every few minutes. Please, meet my toddler Maya.
After being a mom of a toddler for about a year I can tell you that I will never have a daycare because I cannot imagine dealing with 5 toddlers who are having a bad day and who have decided that “no” is the new “yes”.
I am not complaining, please, don’t get me wrong. But, man, some days are bad. The worst part is that you cannot negotiate. Negotiations come later, I have learned that dealing with my step-son who is 8 now. But 2?
I have learned to withdraw myself from the conflict. “You don’t want to eat any of the three thousand options that I made you for dinner? Sure. Here is a tub of sour-cream and a spoon. Enjoy!” And she does and eats half and is very happy. I sob in the corner and try to convince myself that at least this is dairy.
I have learned to force myself when she wants to play peekaboo for 30 minutes. Because at least then I can sit with a towel on my head and wait for her to find me. Which means I can close my eyes for whole 2-3 minutes before she finds me. Believe me, it is a very long time when you are dealing with a 2 year old.
I have learned to force her, and when I do I am not really proud of myself. But I have realized that it is inevitable. There will be times in her life when she will be forced to let go of her own goal. There will be times when she will force other people in order to achieve what she wants.
It is give and take. Every day. Every hour of every day. Ever few minutes of every hour of every day. And that brings me back to the question, HOW ARE YOU DOING IT WITH MORE THAN JUST ONE KID? Kudos to you, as you probably can write your own book on conflict resolution and you have reached some sort of zen that only moms with multiple kids know of.
Until then, I will force and withdraw and smooth over our conflicts because I love her to pieces and because she is making me a better person. That’s for sure.