We went from a Thanksgiving recess to an unanticipated 18-day-long quarantine straight into a two-week-long holiday break, and let me tell you —
These have been long, trying days of parenting.
I occasionally shrink from this admission when in company, because — well, I am a mother and this is my elective responsibility and it is difficult to admit that sometimes my children drive me absolutely mad because I am of course suffocatingly in love with them and grateful that these two tiny and perfect souls belong to me. I sat with my son in my arms for ten gorgeous minutes on Sunday evening — a rare, gem-like happening because he is a busy and writhing two-and-a-half-year-old-boy who must do everything himself, just the way he likes them. It was such a novelty that I wondered briefly whether he might be under the weather before fully leaning into the moment. For context, I recently pulled out the changing mat we stow beneath his bed and he shrieked at me with anger, shoving it back beneath. I watched him, quizzically. He then pulled it back out himself, arranging it perpendicular to the orientation I’d had it in beforehand, and looked at me triumphantly. “Hill!” he yelled. A prince stomping his foot, naming his territory. And it dawned on me that, well, normally I do pull it out in the direction he’d used: he had done it correctly, and I had not. So these are strange, never-ending days of negotiation and short temper and recalcitrance and independence-staking that I try to meet with gentle corrections. But as the day winds on, and my patience wears thin, I have been known to loudly recite the Hail Mary over squeals and cries and whimpers–more of an angry incantation than peaceful intercession, if I am honest. Some days I feel like a grizzled warden. It is the best I can do when meeting the inevitable “but I don’t want that” whining that accompanies the serving of dinner nearly every night, or the flinging of food from a churlish two-year-old, or the seemingly constant physical battles I must break up between them. There has been hair-pulling, and toy-throwing, and name-calling, and even a few instances of biting. It has been —
I am not writing this from the standpoint of self-admonishment or even self-improvement. I do often sit in reflection after the day has ended, parsing out what I aspire to do differently, but today I just want to shoulder the burden with any other moms flagging in the face of a long break, or muscling through a quarantine, or overwhelmed by the frenzy of the holidays with young children, or just in it for no reason at all. In a way, I think I anticipated the emotional toll of motherhood: I sensed that having children would be tantamount to walking on heartstrings. But I did not know how wearying the everyday parenting could be — how sometimes, after forty-five separate instances of reprimand over my son plucking ornaments off the tree, that I might actually pretend not to see him doing it a forty-sixth time because I cannot fathom moving through that conversation again. Of course, writing this out makes me realize that I have probably not dealt with the issue adequately to begin with (move the ornaments! clarify the rules! etc) but — wow. I would like to see myself as the type who calmly crouches down beside her son, firmly re-states the boundary and then smoothly redirects him, but sometimes I am the mom hiding her face in the fridge.
As we say —
+Quiet thoughts on parenting.
+Parenting advice I love.
+Getting through a tantrum phase.
+On weaning. (It remains one of the hardest parenting stretches to date, for me. So if it feels tough — IT IS!)
+A small relinquishing of control.
+A pretty little eye shadow palette — I feel like these colors would cover you for nearly any setting, from everyday to dressed up to the nines.
+Ordering this little hair dryer to replace my old drugstore brand one. People say it’s as close to a Dyson as you’ll get without actually buying the real thing! (Maybe one day I will splurge on the Dyson but I blow dry my hair so rarely now — I usually use the Revlon One-Step. Still, there are occasions where I want to rough dry my hair before curling it and this will be the ticket.
+Cashmere slipper socks?!!? Yes pls.
+I feel like I need to attach this to my Invisalign case. Did I mention I am doing Invisalign? I keep forgetting where my case is! In my bag, at my desk, in the kitchen, etc! I guess the other solution could be to buy a second case but at least with the AirTag, I can repurpose for something else in the future.
+These AirTag key chains are attractive, too — wish I’d thought of this as a gift for a loved one who consistently misplaces keys!
+Classic everyday black flats that go with everything.
+Can’t say enough good things about our babyzen Yoyo travel stroller. It made life with two children in NYC possible and when we moved here, I’d pop it into our trunk all the time. Now, micro is sort of aging out of the stroller days — I can hardly believe it! But truly a gamechanger and could for sure be used as a primary stroller. (We also had the bugaboo.) Anyhow, you can buy it at Bloomie’s and earn powerpoints on it, meaning you’d get about $100 back for the purchase! I also found them on Amazon with the fabric kit already included in the price, and I love this “peppermint” green color. (If you buy at Bloomie’s, you’d need to buy the canopy/seat pad separately.)
+Such a cute gift for a little lady, bachelorette party, favor at a lunch, etc. This is the kind of thing you could order in a big batch to save on shipping, i.e., buy one for all your little one’s friends now and parse out at birthday time!
+I love #extra accessories like this Gucci hair clip. They can totally transform jeans and a tee!
+The bow on the back of this dress!!!!
+This bow-bedecked bubble was exactly the kind of thing I put mini into when she was tiny. Meep!
+The beach shorts you need for your upcoming getaway.
+This Little Liffner bag is over 50% off and SO chic.
+I love this belted blazer!
+How stunning is this tray?!
+An easy sweater to wear around the clock.
+This popular hyaluronic acid serum is back in stock.
+This mini makes me want to pack my bags and buy a ticket anywhere warm.
+Cheeriest door mat.