We had an awful day today…
Then at supper my girls started singing, “I love my mom, I love my mom, I love my mom, she is so brave”
I have no idea where this came from, perhaps lyrics to a song they heard? They couldn’t have been talking about me, it couldn’t have come from today, it couldn’t have come from the events of this day. Everyone cried today, everyone yelled, screamed, fought, hit, and made messes only to refuse the clean up time at the end of the day.
They know how. We clean up EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
I yelled today, I cried today; I counted down the minutes until bedtime today. I didn’t wash a dish or fold a single load of laundry, instead I dug out towels from the bottom of the dryer for bath time and I made lazy meals all day, PB and J anyone? I didn’t sweep the floor, not even under the table where it really needs to get done after each meal. I ignored the nagging feeling inside that said I should take them outside, the one that says if they get out there they might burn off some of this fighting energy and the day might go better, it was beat out by the exhaustion I was feeling inside.
I had lost control, it was three against one and they were winning the day. I took 4 time outs for my self and gave out even more. I drank a whole pot of coffee to myself; and then I contemplated something with a little more kick. We had a “family meeting” half way thru the day about listening and getting along, sharing and turn taking, all things they are normally so much better at and yet still it continued, they managed to beat me at today, today!
So how? How were these tiny little monsters that invaded my house today managing to sing a song about loving me? How were they finding these words to express bravery after my behavior today seemed so cowardly?
Because, they are my children, they love me unconditionally, for now! They are three and two years old they are learning understanding of their own emotions, they are not judging mine. I might not always be a good example of emotional regulation, which is likely why we butt heads sometimes. They are often behaving exactly as I have taught them, along with other typical toddler behaviors like hitting your sister with a giant block just to see what happens! And some days having three of them gang up on me with all that learning gets the best of me.
So what do we do? We talk about a re-set, we figure out a plan for the next day, I apologize for my behaviors and acknowledge the things I could have done better and we move on. We read a story before bed we snuggle in early and say good night, we say I love you and we talk about the fun things that the next day has to offer.
Then I contemplate my actions, the things that I have done differently, my reactions to the days events, and where I need improvement and then I too move on.
Will we have more bad days? Yes
But that is okay, we can’t be perfect, we can’t be on top of everything100% of the time. These little people are tough, we want them to be tough, we want to raise strong willed, emotionally ready, and able humans who are going to go out there and shake this world up, so we have to know that it isn’t personal, its just learning.
They are going to get the better of me some days but I wont give up, I will keep fighting to make sure they keep fighting too, fighting to be the best they can be.