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Toddler tantrums are no joke. And that's why I turn to the video camera.

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It is the Mothership of cliches'..."It goes by SO fast so try to enjoy it." The "it" referring to the explosive diapers? The surviving on less sleep than you ever thought was humanely possible? The new normal that is your stretched out stomach? The balancing act of work and mothering and maintaining some sort of a social life? The daily (and often MULTIPLE) toddler meltdowns? Whoever started saying this phrase surely wasn't referring to all of THOSE its. And if they were? Well, I guess I'd have to chalk it up to creative differences. Or they just have a perverse sense of humor.

But parents know there is a whole other magical side to raising a human...and it's so magical it makes people do crazy things like get pregnant....AGAIN...and AGAIN...and sometimes AGAIN and AGAIN. So I'm pretty sure those are the IT moments that everyone says to enjoy. And I don't need to write a post about how hard it can be to appreciate those moments as they are happening. Sometimes it is downright impossible. Combine that issue with a propensity for remembering NOTHING and you can imagine just how hard it is for me to remember those "magical moments." I cannot tell you how often family and friends say to me in dumbfounded voices, " But Patrice...YOU were there."

SOOO, that leaves me no choice but to video and video often. I am definitely not a poster child for the just "soak it all in" movement and "leave your camera at home." You see, if I do that....I WILL forget. And I don't want to forget (well maybe the first four months of my son being born wouldn't be THAT bad of a period to forget...) But for me, the videos serve another purpose. When I am feeling really overwhelmed, stressed and unworthy of even having acquired the label of "mom", I know I can look back at videos and be brought back to a happy place. A joyful place. A place of knowing just how fast the time is flying and all of sudden perspective is gained. Lately, I find myself going to the video archive more than I used too as the toddler meltdowns are a real thing. For the love of God, you just said you wanted yogurt so why are you whipping it across the room and screaming NO??! I have not had to deal with this level of crazy since a really bad ex years ago. And look, I'm not saying every time something like this happens I look at an old video and all is grand. Definitely not. But more times than not, when I'm feeling especially frustrated looking at some old videos does make me feel better and I can see from an outsider perspective the bigger picture.

And you don't need a bunch of equipment to do this. Most of the videos of Jenson are done from my smartphone and I do really basic editing in iMovie. Because we all know how annoying it is to have hundreds of movie files on your phone and you think, "well now what.." iMovie. That is the "now what." Slap some of your favorite clips on a timeline, throw some music underneath and you just made your memories that much sweeter and there is nothing grandparents love more than getting a video link of their grandchild. The only thing you will need to do is remind them that it is really not necessary to share the link with everyone they have ever known in their life. "Mom, I know you think Jenson is the cutest baby of all in the universe...but MILLIONS of other grandparents think the same about their grand babies..." And round and round this conversation goes each week.

Here is a video I put together and the amount of Kleenex I went through making it is just plain embarrassing. And THIS is why people get pregnant again...

So mamas, next time you find yourself reaching for that bottle of wine at 3PM because you are ready to lock yourself out of your own house on purpose. Reach for your smartphone and flip through some old videos. You might be surprised at how quickly your stress subsides...

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