My name is Christina Hnatiuk. I am a mom of one little boy, Marshall. I am married to a wonderful man, we will have been together for 6 years, married for 3. I work full time in Human Resources and part time as a Ukrainian dance instructor. I love to try new things, especially new restaurants and food. In my free time, which is hardly ever, I love to bake, specializing in cheesecakes. I am looking forward to sharing my adventures in life with everyone!
“Have kids they said, it’ll be fun!” I say to my husband as our 3 year old is throwing a full blown tantrum because he wanted to put his jammies on without a pull-up and we said no. It’s now just after 8, and his bedtime is 7. As a new year’s resolution we went cold turkey and took his nighttime bottle of water away, now he drinks from a sippy cup and it’s been really successful. But on nights like this I really want to give him that bottle back and let him use it as a coping mechanism. And of course get some well needed rest. Did I forget to mention, I am 28 weeks pregnant with baby number two? Everyone says the “terrible twos”, but I would go back to two any day. Three has been a blessing and a curse in so many ways. As a struggle through this trying time, people say “oh ya three is the worst”, where were these people when two was the worst? What should I expect for four?
My son is such a sweet boy. He loves his mommy and daddy, his grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and especially his dog. He is like this 90% of the time. He expresses his love often and without embarrassment, sometimes too much for some people. He is polite, says thank you for everything, and you’re welcome when he is thanked. He is so smart. He has large vocabulary and uses words that no three year old would know! And he is funny. I don’t mean “he’s so cute” funny, I mean actually funny. He makes me laugh daily and always brings a smile to people’s faces! Like I said 90% of the time, this is my kid. Then the other 10% rears its ugly head and my kid turns into a GIANT asshole. I know some people are going to read this and be appalled that I call my kid an asshole, but he is, and I’m sure lots of you think that about your kids from time to time. Don’t get me wrong I love him more than anything in the world and I am sure that love with just double when I have the 2nd one. But sometimes I don’t like my kid.
He needs to do everything on his own. I actually love this about him. He is so independent and love learning new things. I am so proud of him. But one thing he is not willing to learn is how to use the potty. Potty training has been a long, hard battle. I have tried everything I can think of, except keeping him home for the 3 day method, because who has time for that? (Although once I’m on mat leave this may be my only choice) He is really good at peeing on the potty but terrified to poop. He now is into hiding himself from us so that we don’t know he’s pooping. I am at my wits end and ready to give up. “Don’t worry it will happen, how many kids go to school without knowing how to use a potty?” this is what people say to me when I talk about this. Honestly I’m sure there are some. I hope this stage ends soon as I really don’t want 2 kids in diapers.
The tantrums are exhausting. It’s mentally, physically, and emotionally draining. It’s always over something super silly too, like if I zip his jacket up. Or put his shoes on the right feet. I forget that he doesn’t understand how trivial these things are and find myself losing patience. Bed time is the worst. It’s a constant battle of burst of energy right when we get to his room, to creative stalling techniques, to full blown tantrums because he wants to wear his dirty socks to bed and I took them off. The next thing I know it’s an hour later and we are just crawling into bed to read a story. Then its “I need someone here”. We have been in a great routine of staying for a few minutes to snuggle, saying goodnight and closing the door. We get a few calls, and pop in to check his diaper from time to time but mostly our evenings have little to no interruptions. That is until the New Year. He still would take a bottle to bed. It was his security blanket. No pacifier, no sucking thumb, no specific stuffy or blankie needed. So I didn’t push it too much. But my husband and I decided with the new baby coming and the fact that he’s 3 we should probably take it away. So Starting around Christmas, and for the next week we would tell him no more bottle after New Year’s. He was fine with it, and when January 1st rolled around he took it like a champ. But now bedtime has reverted and he is staying awake so much longer than he used to. By the time we get to actually leave his room, which is now more like 20-30 minutes of “I want mommy”, and then another 20 minutes of “I want daddy”, he still plays and sings till way past 9:30. We have to leave the house by 7:30 each morning, so he’s up at 7, and barely human. He still naps 1-2 hours every day, and I’m starting to think he doesn’t need to anymore, that maybe without a nap he’ll actually fall asleep. But I guess I’ll see how that progresses as we move on through this process.
What was the point of this lengthy diatribe you ask? Basically no matter what anyone tells you, 2, 3, 4 or 17, parenting is hard. And we should be honest and open about our struggles, share our stories with others. This way when a mom is embarrassed that her 3 year old is not potty trained, or when a mom still lets her 4 year old have a pacifier, or when that mom in the grocery store is standing there with a screaming toddler, we don’t judge them. We stand united, support each other, offer an “I feel your pain” smile and show kindness instead of judgement, maybe we will make this whole parenting thing a heck of a lot easier. My kid, soon to be kids, are the best thing to happen to me, but I’m sure in 3 years I’ll be looking at my husband at 8pm saying, “have another one they said, it’ll be fun.”
“As Mothers (Parents) we are in it together-raising the future. We are a tribe of future makers, so let’s support each other.”- Martha Hermer