When I first considered leaving active duty to raise the boys, I received some surprising comments. I was told full time motherhood wouldn’t fit my personality or that I would be so bored that I would regret the decision. I’ve compiled this list over the last year in response to those opinions. These are reasons why toddlers can be harder than soldiers.
-Uniforms just make everything easier. My soldiers never whined in the morning about how they HAD to wear their Spongebob shoes today or demanded a race car costume be worn over shorts and a t-shirt. I have to also note that I have boys. My friends with girls have ten times the stories and struggles.
-Physical training in the Army was one hour in the morning, one hour. Bubba seems to think that physical training starts at 7:00 am and ends… well, I don’t think he would ever like it to end. My current circuit training consists of forty toddler lifts (moving forty pound Bubba and twenty pound Zeke in and out of car seats) and at least two dozen sprints (Whoah! That is amazing that you can lift your little brother over your head). I’m not even going into piggy back, airplane, “Mom, let’s see how long I can drag holding onto your leg” rides.
- How I long for Army powerpoint presentations. Throw a few slides together, hit the highlights during your brief, and maybe even add a laser pointer for style. Easy. It’s not so easy, however, trying to read an entire book in Grover’s voice. Or how about getting called out by your three-year-old for skipping parts of a sixty-four page Dr. Suess book that he’s memorized? Not easy.
- I remember how I complained about the random fire drills at Army schools in the middle of the night. Had to get up once and then got to go back to bed. After two babies and seasons of every hour nightly feedings, I scoff at fire drills. Seriously, what was so hard about Army sleep deprivation? They’ve got nothing on a newborn.
-Finally, I think the hardest part of being a mom with toddlers compared to my Army days is that if my soldiers ever told me no, which I can’t remember anyone doing, I could take their pay, sentence them to extra duties, even send them to jail. My 3-year-old on the other hand, that little guy looks me square in the eye, arms crossed, perma-scowl, and demands he be heard. Not no, but NO! He could care less that I can shoot expert with my M16 rifle, knock out fifty push-ups, or program a PATRIOT missile. He’s pretty sure if he says it just right, he’s in charge.
So am I bored? BORED? I’m sorry but I still have to laugh at that comment. I wonder now if that person ever spent more than 20 minutes with a toddler. I guess the bottom line is raising toddlers is tough. Kudos to all moms that do.
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