The question I am naturally asked most often since Sophie was born is "how do you do it?!" They never specify "it" but it is an upsoken understanding between moms that "it" means taking care of a 3 yr. old and infant everyday without having spiraled into clinical depression/pyschosis/obesity from all the anxiety-driven snacking. It is an ever present challenge and I have survived thus far thanks to the following emotional crutches:
1) Wine (I wish it was before noon, but alas, only in the evening)
2) Chocolate in every form (my current favorite: dark chocolate covered pretzels! oooh, and melting baking chocolate chips in a bowl to dip fruits, nuts, bread, anything...). my stash is hidden everywhere around the house so that it is never more than an arm's length away in case spontaneous tantrum/whining/general negative toddler behavior erupts.
3) Venting. To anyone who is willing to listen really, but mostly to J and empathetic girlfriends. Although J doesn't see it as venting so much as unbearably whiny complaining. He has fast become desensitized to my outbursts and is convinced I am suffering a post-postpartum depression. The vent sessions with girlfriends are awesome. The toxins are purged my soul and I am made whole again. Until the next tantrum of course.
Seriously, things are in a sad state of affairs around here. K is at a very difficult age at 3, growing increasingly willful, obstinate, demanding and unbending to either of her parent's wishes. I didn't fully understand until now how much grey area there is in parenting. When type of behavior deserves a timeout? If she refuses to eat should I allow her to starve or accomodate her picky palate? How much TV is too much? Is it ok that she plays independently while I sit here enjoying my coffee or am I guilty of child neglect and putting her squarely on the path of becoming a serial killer???? OMG, my head hurts (as well as my heart).