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Most days as a parent I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m almost two years into this parenting gig but it seems every time I start getting things figured out, everything changes. For the past few months we’ve been in this really sweet spot. Karson and Lucy are becoming more independent, they’ve been fun and sweet. But I’ve been sensing for a while that it was the calm before the storm. The storm of the terrible twos and threes. And I’m afraid to say the storm is coming in. Sometimes I catch myself drowning in it.

Our struggles, though minimal in the big scheme of things, can cause so much frustration, especially when I deal with them over and over, day in and day out. Lucy won’t let me put her in her car seat or put her diaper on. Karson throws his food across the room and pulls our dog’s hair.

Recently I’ve called for help on some of the Facebook groups I’m in. Facebook groups have been a wonderful source for me since I found out I was pregnant with twins. I get reassurance, advice from other moms who are going through what I’m going through, and the reminder that I’m not alone.

But lately, the feedback I receive seems to disappointingly derive from two schools of thought. The first is the, “I’m the boss, I’m the parent, you’re the child, you need to do what I tell you.” The second is the, “You were just exploring, you don’t know any better, walk all over me, run the show.”

These examples are on the extremes but I’ve failed to find something in the middle. I want interaction with Karson and Lucy that encourages intuitive thinking but sets boundaries. I want them to feel safe and loved and trust me, but I want them to respect me and know that my demands are looking out for their safety.

I consider myself a smart and capable person. I know I’m doing a great job as a mother but I want advice on how I can do better. There are so many voices, so many opinions, and so many books I want to read, I don’t know where to start or who to listen to. Most days I feel like I’m blindly swimming, wondering if I’m doing the right things. Everything I hear says these times create lasting imprints on our children’s’ brains. I don’t want to mess up.

Sometimes I think my love is enough. If I just shower them in love and affection they’ll blossom in their own time. But sometimes, despite my best efforts, my patience reaches the bottom and I struggle to find the energy and strength to react in a proper way. I need methods that will make our days go more smoothly.

I love Karson and Lucy so much. I love my time with them. I just want the best for them. I know I’m not alone. Where do parents go for answers in today’s society? How are we helping guide the next generation and the people looking after them? How do we do better?