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  • Writer's pictureBrittany Hartgrove Mahoney

Nothing to do with me

Don't take it personally. When I've spent all day prepping and cooking the food she eats, the sustenance she so desperately needs. Playing and teaching, crawling on the floor, changing and bathing and yes, dragging her from one task or treatment to the next ad nauseam... only to get the complete brush-off when the garage door opens and Daddy walks in.

Don't take it personally. Even though I'm not the one that scolded her and made her chin quiver, tears welling. I was the one that saw her feeling alone in that moment and when I got down to let her know she wasn't, I got pushed away, "NO!" and then she ran to the one who'd upset her.

Don't take it personally. My "past life", the career I worked so hard for was cast aside intentionally so that I could focus on the health of my child. No complaining, just moving forward. Pouring all that I am into her instead, which makes the sting of a child's tantrum- fueled smack across my face, hurt even worse.

But... don't take it personally. Right?

It's incredibly hard not to feel the stab of pain when these things happen. The rejection from her feels similar to a best friend choosing to spend their time with another. Cast aside, disregarded, left in the dust. I want to grab her and plead, "But don't you understand how much this hurts me? Can't you see how badly I need to feel wanted by you??" But I don't.

It's crazy, I know. I'm working through it, though.

I've read countless books and blogs. I've repeated the mantra in my head; she can show you her worst side because she loves you so much. She knows you can handle this and that's why she is doing it. But it doesn't matter. I still pout. And sometimes I will cry.

She's just a toddler. But she is MY toddler... and part of me honestly can't wait for those mornings when the nanny comes and Avie clings to my legs, begging, "No mama go."

i know I'm not the only one that feels this way. Motherhood is a thankless job, I've been told more than once. Moms get their "thanks" through unsolicited hugs and kisses. It's those "Mama hold you" moments that make it all feel worth it. So how are we NOT supposed to be affected when the opposite happens?

It's probably not healthy to feel this way... like I said, I'm working on it. Maybe having another kid will help me off this train. Or maybe all I need is time. A hobby. More books to read, parenting advice to follow. Who knows.

Until then, I will continue to revel quietly in those moments that she just wants Mama.

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