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These years are so hard. The years we refer to as the terrible twos or trying threes. The years when some of the days move so slowly and some days it seems as though nothing is right in your world.

These are the years I sometimes wish away. The years I wish the days would speed up, that you would grow up and the tantrums would disappear.

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These are the days you refuse to listen to a word I say, you stomp around, scream, throw toys, and kick in anger. You yell at your brother, you yell at me, and you are unable to talk in a calm manner.

These are the days my patience runs thin, and I struggle to stay level with you. Just as easily as you’ve lost your temper, I’ve lost mine at your inability to process.

It dawns on me in my effort to be a good mom to you and your brothers, I’m doing the opposite as I lose my patience one more time and yell in a voice I don’t recognize as my own.

It dawns on me that you are still a young child yourself, no longer a baby, but it wasn’t long ago you were my baby.

It dawns on me that I am the adult, I am your mother, and I am the one who should be able to regulate my emotions. Why do I expect you to properly cope with your emotions when some days I can’t cope with my own? Why is it OK for me to yell at you for yelling at your brother? At what point in your childhood did we transition from it being OK to crying for no reason to it not being OK?

My sweet boy, this isn’t your fault.

These emotions coursing through you and your inability to regulate them aren’t your fault. They’re big emotions, far too big for your little body to manage and comprehend.

My boy, I am sorry. I’m sorry for wishing your childhood away in these hard moments. I’m sorry for not using my own coping skills in order to help you cope.

There will be a day, my boy, when I will wish we could have these days back. I won’t even remember the hard days; I’ll remember the sweet days. The days you ask me for a hug ten times or the days you tell me you love me and I’m a pretty good mommy. There will be a day when I’ll even wish to have a hard day back with you as a young toddler because I miss that little boy.

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What I’m realizing in the midst of these hard days is that the sweet days by far outnumber the hard days. So why do I get so caught up in the hard days? Why must they overshadow the good days? They don’t have to. When I tell you to take deep breaths, I’ll take my own.

We’ll get through the hard days together and look back and laugh at the sweet days.

We’ll laugh at the good memories, and the hard days will be behind us. I promise they won’t define usthey won’t define me and they won’t define you.

You’re growing up at a fast pace now, and you’ve gone from baby to little man in a blink of an eye. I know you’re trying your hardest every day, buddy, and I promise to do the same.

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Ashley Daniels

Ashley is a stay-at-home mommy to three young boys and a baby girl. She enjoys coffee by the potful, preferably lukewarm, using the bathroom on her own, and moments of silence in quick, 5-minute increments. Ashley enjoys writing in her free time, allowing her the ability to reflect and to be grateful for the life she's been given. You can follow more of Ashley's writings at

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