Please Give Momma a Break (published on 8/12/16 on ‘Sammiches and Psych Meds’)

Dear Daughter,

Being three years old can be hard. You’re learning to navigate a world of no longer being a baby but not being a big kid. You clearly don’t need me for some things such as eating and putting on your shoes. You’re becoming more independent, making your own decisions and forming your own opinions. You’re becoming your own person which is amazing to witness. However, you still need me. You need me to cook your food and to kiss those ouchies away. You still need my guidance of learning what is right and what is wrong. I know you want to do everything on your own but you’re not quite able to yet. When I try to help you, please let me do so without being your ‘threenager’ self. In other words, please don’t give me attitude. Please don’t tantrum. Please don’t walk away. Please don’t pretend you can’t hear me. Please give momma a break.

Don’t get me wrong. Spending time with you isn’t always a challenge. We have fun playing, having conversations, joking and watching cartoons. However, every day, there are four circumstances I wish you would please give momma a break: meal time, getting into the car, bed time and when you insist you are right.

Meal times can be challenging. When I give you the color of plate, cup and utensils you want to use and the food you want to eat, please say ‘thank you’. Often times, you change your mind without telling me and want another color of plate, cup and/or utensils and something else to eat. I become frustrated and you begin to tantrum. Please understand I can’t read your mind that you changed your mind. Please give momma a break.

When it’s time to go somewhere, please just get into your car seat. There is no need to pretend to drive, to crawl into the middle row and then crawl into the back row. When you finally do get into your car seat, please let me buckle you into your seat. I know you want to buckle yourself but I need to go places NOW; not five minutes from now. Please give momma a break.

Bed time is a struggle. Clearly, you are tired. I am tired. Fatigue is making me lose patience with you and is making you not follow directions. Please just go to bed and we can play again tomorrow. Please don’t delay bedtime with wanting another snack or another story. Please give momma a break.

I am glad you are forming your own opinions. Your beliefs are going to help shape who you are as a person. If you want to wear rain boots with your swimsuit, go for it. Your fashion sense isn’t going to hurt anyone. However, there are times when your opinions aren’t right and I’m going to correct you. For example, you love to hug your baby brother. I love the affection you show him. After you hug your brother, you knock him onto his back and lay on top of him. I know your actions are your way of displaying your love for your brother but you can really hurt him as you are so much bigger than him. Please listen to me, get off your brother and please give momma a break.

Just as I’m asking you to give me a break, I need to give you a break. As I wrote previously, you’re learning to navigate a world of no longer being a baby but not being a big kid. I need to remember you are being exposed to so much newness. The result is an array of emotions such as excitement, curiosity and apprehension. I need to remember you don’t always know how to appropriately express and manage these emotions, which can result in you being a ‘threenager’. I need to remember to take deep breaths, be patient and/or take space when I’m feeling overwhelmed. I need to remember my job as your momma is to help positively guide and raise you. I need to remember to enjoy the ride of witnessing you becoming an amazing little girl. We’re in this adventure together, my love, so when the timing is appropriate, let’s give each other a break.




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