Golden Brown Crust
Over the last few years I have polled friends, family, and just about anybody who’d listen - for parenting suggestions, specifically when it comes to dicipline. I’ve learned something really valuable: When you ask people for help, you’ll be showered with opinions. Don’t get me wrong, I asked for them. Live and learn, ya know?
I have spent three years in a hailstorm of opinions - few have been helpful - most have actually caused some damage.
I am the proud mother of three beautiful children. One of which has me under her thumb and has caused me to question everything I know about parenting, and everything I know about myself. Spoiler alert: It’s Navy.
I’ve been made to feel I’ve been exaggerating. Or worse, I’ve been questioned because the behaviors aren’t always on display. “I’ve never seen her act that way” - Doesn’t mean that she doesn’t. Most of my concerns have been shrugged off. “That’s a toddler for you.” But the feeling in my bones has long known it’s more than that.
On the flip side, I’ve been accused of “allowing” the behavior. Or, even cultivating it. Someone in my family asked me what “hand” I played in all of these issues. I’m still reeling over the suggestion that the madness is my doing.
I’m tired of letting everybody else determine our truth.
I have seen a certain behavior, amongst Moms, and it is time I wear it as my own: Advocate. Advocating on behalf of your child means you have to overrule everybody and their dang opinions. It’s like carrying a shield into a field of bullets, and making the shield the most valuable weapon.
I am not a doctor. I am not an expert. I have not spent my life dedicated to behavioral issues of any kind. But I AM an expert on Navy. I carry three important letters after my name. Taylor Thompson, M-O-M.
My husband recently lamented that a problem with sharing feelings online is - sometimes they aren’t fully baked. Friends, in regards to how I feel about my girl - we are baked with a lovely golden brown crust. I wouldn’t trade her for the world, but that doesn’t mean I can’t see there is a problem. My love for her demands I care for her - good, bad, and ugly.
My spectacular firecracker of a girl is full of excitement and joy, but she also has thrown me into a life of havoc. I have not felt more than moments of fleeting happiness in far too long. (Not to say that I’m not thankful for what I have.) Most days have some level of dispair. I have often worried that I am doing this all wrong; that I’m a terrible Mother. I’ve doubted myself, and been filled with grief. We have been limited in our outings because she is not easily managed. I’ve been side-eyed by strangers; paralyzed by how to wrangle the behaviors ... especially when there’s an audience. At home, our life feels upside down. I am in a constant state of crisis, and life has been dictated by a tiny little blonde for far too long. I have not allowed this, on the contrary I have fought against it tirelessly, with no success. I’ve played every role that a normal parent could ever play - from calm, composed and catering, to a dictator straight from hell. And on the spectrum of discipline I’ve offered, absolutely nothing has worked. Our days no longer need to be filled with the rage or tears of this Mama ... it’s simply time to follow my Mom intuition and push past the “strong-willed” and “normal” diagnostics so many have offered.
While I can’t be sure of what exactly is going on, I am sure that I’ll get to the bottom of it. I will find the help. I will find the solutions. I have ferocious love for this little girl. We will overcome this - battered down as we may be, there is still plenty of fight left. It’s time to go to battle ... And I’ve got my shield.