Shaking my head at yet another toddler meltdown, I was almost at the end of my tether with my son. His attitude towards me because he didn’t want or need my help was beginning to wear thin. Sighing, I resigned myself to watching him struggle as he tried to put on his shoe. Backwards.
What Should Have Happened:
What Actually Happened:
As I watched my son battle away with his backwards shoe, I knew he inherited the combination of his stubbornness and determination from me. After all I also hate asking for help and am fiercely independent.
Admittedly after some recent valuable life lessons, I am getting better at asking for assistance when I need it. That was certainly not the case in my twenties before I was a mother. I would have rather stuck pins in my eyes before asking anyone for help.
While I was observing my determined son with his backwards shoe, an overwhelming sense of horror swept over me. It occurred to me that before I was a mother, I was just like a toddler. In fact, I was just like a toddler in almost every possible way…
Before I was a Mother, I was Just Like a Toddler
I Want it and I Want it NOW!
I only learned to have patience when I became a mother. Before that, I didn’t like waiting for anything. I wanted it all to happen yesterday. I tended to jump the gun and tried to get whatever it was I wanted then and there, all by myself.
My impatience often clouded my judgement and made me have far too much tunnel vision. All I could see was what I wanted but I wasn’t going to wait for anything or anyone. I wanted it and I wanted it now….Just like a toddler.
I Have My Own Agenda Thanks
Although I had (and still have) the utmost respect for management directives as far as my career is concerned, this was a completely different story when it came to my personal life.
No one could tell me what to do or how to live my life. After all, it was MY life and as a modern day, independent career woman, I could do as I pleased when I pleased. Anyone who tried to interfere with my plans, mess up my routine or heaven forbid, try to tell me what to do and when to do it, copped my wrath….Just like a toddler.
I Need Clothes, Clothes and More Clothes
My twenties seemed to be a haze of excess shopping for clothes, many of which I never even wore…Just like a toddler.
In among my abundance of clothes, I never seemed to be able to find just the right outfit for whatever the occasion was. Whether it was a casual lunch with the girls, a friend’s birthday party or a night out at the Casino, I always came to the same conclusion, “I have nothing to wear”. That excuse was used countless times to buy even more clothes because they were cute and I liked them…Just like a toddler.
In the meantime I would ignore the 20-odd outfits I had already tried on and had since discarded on the floor. This made me go through a ridiculous amount of clothes each day…Just like a toddler.
I Might Want This…Later
Being the eldest of five meant I was used to being somewhat frugal. I wouldn’t throw something away that had the potential to serve a purpose later on.
I certainly wasn’t a hoarder but as an example, I would hold onto something like, say an empty coffee jar just in case it would come in handy for something, anything…Later on. There was no rational reason I could fathom to discard it simply for the sake of throwing it away. Like a crust from a sandwich. What if I needed it later on but it was now gone? Gone forever? I just knew I would regret it….Just like a toddler.
Going Away for a Weekend? Better Pack the House!
Before I was a mother, I often had weekends away and went on more than a few holidays. In my excitement, I would often start packing weeks in advance. After I had written a three page packing list, that is.
Suit case after suit case after suit case would be filled to the brim. I would pack every possible outfit to suit every possible kind of weather, pack shoes in case I went clubbing or sailing or out for a casual lunch or even hiking; and finally every piece of make up I could find in the bathroom so my face was suitable for every occasion. And don’t forget the perfume. Better pack the 68 bottles of perfume I own.
If that wasn’t enough, I would then think of million other things that I should pack in case I needed them …Just like a toddler.
I am Not Eating That Now…Or Later
Working long hours meant I didn’t have a great diet throughout most of my twenties. I was often too exhausted to cook and the thought of cooking for one felt like wasted energy to me.
This meant I would often eat out or get take away. There were also many times I simply didn’t eat at all. My diet was all over the place but thankfully my metabolism was still in young adult mode so my weight didn’t fluctuate too much.
I tended to eat what I wanted, when I wanted. Some days I would pick at food, other days I would graze food all day and then there were the days I would eat next to nothing….Just like a toddler.
I Love My Messy Bedroom
I have never been the best of housekeepers but since becoming a mother, this is one area I know has improved dramatically.
In my twenties, I often couldn’t be bothered picking up after myself. I would pull things out and leave them out. In that exact spot. For weeks. Instead of admitting I was lazy, I justified my messy bedroom because by having everything spread out absolutely everywhere, I could see everything I owned and knew where it was…Just like a toddler.
Sleep? Pfft. Toughen Up Princess
It seemed that when I hit my twenties, I suddenly realised that I had spent my entire teen years sleeping. In an effort to make up for lost time, I subconsciously decided to run on empty, without enough sleep, for almost a decade. Then I had a baby. At least I was semi-prepared for the lack of sleep factor.
Not sleeping properly really took it’s toll on me. I couldn’t focus, I was grumpy and often irritable. I needed more sleep…Just like a toddler.
Umm. That’s Mine. Hands Off.
Whether you call them house mates, room mates or even boarders, from my experience they all have one thing in common. They all seem to use something that doesn’t belong to them and without permission.
I often caught my house mate red handed using my coffee cup. It was clearly labelled with large colourful graphics, “Kelly”. My name. MY NAME!! There are two dozen coffee cups in the cupboard yet you use the one coffee cup with MY name on it. That belongs to me. Don’t use my things. In fact, don’t touch my things. Better yet, don’t even look at my things or I’ll push you over…Just like a toddler.
I am the Centre of the Universe
Before I was a mother, the most important thing to me was, well, me. My entire world revolved around me, myself and I. Of course I invited people into my world, like my husband, but even then, I never seriously put anyone else’s needs ahead of my own.
In my twenties, my life was exactly that, my life. It was all about me. Not only did the world revolve around me but the entire universe revolved around me, my needs and my wants!
Being the centre of the universe meant I was THE most important thing ever to happen to those around me….Just like MY toddler.