On those days when the "terrible twos" are stretching our patience and sanity to their limits it's hard not to take our stress, fatigue and frustration out on one another. He or she isn't appreciative enough of what I do all day; How can they be late getting home again? They know I need a break; I always have to do everything, why don't they get off their butt and help more?! Suddenly things that were never a problem before are magnified because of the stress of our day to day survival. I have been cleaning his toast crumbs off the counter for more than 25 years and now I am getting an attitude about it? Yikes! Time to check myself! It isn't his fault I feel tired, cranky and overwhelmed more often than not, nor is it my fault when he feels the same. We are still making adjustments and trying to recognize a valid complaint from a stressed out fling-fest of frustration. We're not perfect and do take it out on one another from time to time, but we're getting better at checking it and are quick to apologize to one another when the grumpy and groundless criticism escapes the check point. When all else fails, a quiet and wordless hug works wonders and communicates what can't always be put into words.
I expect that as Aaron gets older and more independent the stress and sheer exhaustion will lessen (I really, really, REALLY look forward to that time!) and for now we try to make time for ourselves. Unfortunately, Aaron suffers from separation anxiety, making it difficult, if not impossible, to plan a day or evening out. So, we've adapted by planning night's in to watch a movie, have a late dinner alone or spark the romantic mood. We also make sure to give each other some solo time in which he will engage in some male bonding, which I assume includes a couple of beers and some gorilla-like chest pounding. I take my escape through lunches and brunches with my mom or some close friends. As important as couple time is, so is some alone time when I can shrug off my responsibilities and not be wife, mom or G-ma; I am just Lorna, perfectly imperfect and pretending I'm carefree again (at least for a little while).
Try to remember you're in this together. Be kind to one another.