My children look angelic when they sleep. Sometimes, after a long day, I peek in their room and can’t believe that the tiny person snuggled up with a lovie and a pile of blankets is the same child who brought me to tears earlier in the day.
Because as much as I love them, nobody can cause me to lose my cool quite like Jackson, Kate and Lynleigh. Before I had kids I considered myself a patient person (yes, I was quite delusional). I quickly discovered that the little people who appear so cute have an uncanny ability to push my buttons.
A few months ago one of my friends shared a picture of a toddler with the simple caption “Don’t become a part of their chaos.” These words have continually echoed in my mind as I am slowly learning how to keep calm in the midst of the chaotic emotions of my little people.
I’m learning to stop and give myself a mommy time out. If possible I like to step away from the situation for a few seconds. I’m less likely to explode when I can take a moment to asses the situation like an adult and not react like my child.
While this may sound cliché, I’m finding prayer is one of the most powerful ways I have been able to stop myself from being harsh. If I can step away for a minute and pray for wisdom in dealing with the situation it has an amazing, calming effect on my heart.
Often it helps when I remind myself that their behavior is age appropriate. The attitude a child exhibits may not be right, but reminding myself,”She is only 3″ helps me not join her meltdown. Remembering that I can’t expect them to have perfect self-control at 5, 3, and 1 when I’m 35 and still struggling to manage my emotions.
These are a few things that are helping me in my “imperfect progress.” They say calm is a superpower…and I wish it was easier for me to put on my Amazing Calm Mommy cape.
Tonight I had an epic meltdown after I discovered my son chewing on a Christmas tree ornament (he knows we don’t touch the ornaments so I wrongly assumed I didn’t have to mention we don’t chew on them). This wouldn’t have been so bad, but he had already unwrapped a gift that was supposedly out of reach on a dresser in my room, enlarged the hole in his bedspread…and a few more issues I won’t mention . Add to that a baby who screamed nonstop the hour before dinner and you can imagine…it wasn’t pretty.
I honestly felt so discouraged. It felt like I was doing so much better only to fail…again. I explained to Jackson that even though his actions were wrong that my reaction to them wasn’t right and asked him to forgive me. Hopefully if they don’t learn anything else from me they will learn it’s ok to admit when you screw up.
So even though it feels like I’m “back at square one ” tonight I’m focusing on the wisdom of Anne Shirley. “Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet.” ?