Happy third birthday, Oliver!

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Three years today, my little monkey.

These past few months have been hard for me and you together, for our team. And I’m not only talking about your fickle moods, your tantrums, your crying every time something doesn’t go your way, every time I say NO, every time my tone of voice is more authoritative. Your intensity pushes all my buttons, dries my patience, and exhausts me at times, but I can take it. 

But when you refuse my kisses, or say “stop, mummy” when I hug you—I had no idea it could start so soon; when you want daddy, “daddy’s strong” to do horsey horsey—I’m strong, too, you know?; when you cry for “papà” because you hurt yourself—my ambulance is different but it does work, let me prove it to you next time; when I offer my help and I get a “I want daddy to help”. When you say “mala mamma” punching my leg for something that’s not even under my control—it’s not my body you hurt.

I know it’s nothing personal, just a phase—another phase, always a phase—but it still hurts inside. Sometimes it even numbs my love for you a little bit.

That’s why I really struggled writing something for you today. Then the other morning I managed to avoid yet another crisis and put a smile back on your face—I did that, not daddy—and I understood what I wanted to tell you: 

I don’t always get you, but I’ll always try as hard as I can.

Since you started developing into your own person—and so fiercely so—it’s been hard for me to read you, understand you, and sympathise with you when you go through your storms. I see how different we are, you and me, and even though I have one or two things I’d like to teach you eventually, now it’s me who has to learn from you.

So you here goes my promise to you. I’ll always try to be an ever-changing mother, and become the person you need me to be in every phase you go through.

I’ll improve for you unconditionally, I’ll learn from you, I’ll learn with you; I’ll put aside my pride, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, I’ll own to my mistakes, always and forever; I’ll respect you first, I’ll apologise first, I’ll reach out first, I’ll listen to you first. And I’ll also love you first—and sometimes for both of us, when I don’t feel like your love matches mine.

For you, my monkey, I’ll become the best version of parent and person that I can possibly be. At the end of it, I’ll be your best work of art, not the other way around.

Happy birthday, my little monkey. 

I. Love. You.


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The woman behind the words

My name is Carlotta, I’m 33 years old, I’m Italian, married to a Finnish guy, and together we raise Oliver (4) and Emily (2) Montessori and multilingual. We’re selling everything to travel the world.

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  1. Oh this resonates with me, my Oliver will turn three this summer and everything you wrote here is what I’m experiencing now.

    My Oliver is wanting daddy first. My Oliver also rejects my love. My Oliver pushes my buttons.

    This morning he went to preschool and was meditating on the challenges recently. I realize I am also growing and learning what it means to be a mom, as he is growing and learning to be a Toddler.

    Learning and growing is hard work… a marathon. Your words were so timely and encouraging.

    • Carlotta - April 22, 2018

      Oh Carol, it’s actually good to hear that other moms are experiencing the same. It’s not easy, isn’t it? But I guess it’s a good sign as well, it means that our husbands are strong, present figures in our children’s life, which is great!

      Sometimes I see small changes, though, so there’s definitely hope 😉 Also, I don’t know if it’s the same for you, but my Oliver really responds better to calm and sweetness: every time I’m more tired and lose my cool with Oliver, he straight away shifts back to Alex, no matter how much progress we’ve made. So it’s also a good reminder that I need to be ever more patient and understanding.

      It’s exactly what you said: we’re all constantly learning! 🌸

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