We’ve all been there. You’re at the grocery store or playgroup or the park. You see it coming from a mile away. It starts off small. A whine here, a yell there. Then, it happens. Your child erupts. You’re now the mom with the flailing, screaming child in the midst of the quiet. This has happened to me many times but there is one occasion that I can recall very vividly.
“NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!” I’m sure they heard that scream in the next state over. As I carried my flailing toddler across the park to our van, I was 50 shades of red and could feel everyone’s eyes on me. I went from begging and pleading to bribing to talking through gritted teeth (yes – I whisper yelled) and back to pleading again. “If you go in your car seat like a big girl, we’ll go get lunch.” She didn’t get in the car seat like a big girl. Have you ever wrestled an angry bear? I imagine it’s the same as wrestling a strong-willed toddler. I get her buckled in, spew my “Mommy is not happy with you” at her then shut my automatic door wishing I had a door to slam. I hopped in the driver’s seat and took a couple deep breaths. I wish I could tell you I felt grace at that moment. But I didn’t.
Grace. Why is it so hard? I struggle daily with grace. I’m hard on myself. I lose patience with my sweet toddler. There are days I feel like I’m drowning. Some days I wonder if I’m even going to make it through the day in one piece. It feels like the days that things start piling up the most are the same days my kids decide to be unruly. Do you know the kind of days I’m talking about? The days that you feel like you might not make it and you feel so much pressure, you could burst.
The next time you have a day like this do one of these ten things.
1. Call a friend. Vent, cry, scream, whatever you need to do. If you don’t have a friend you can call, then call me. No judgment here.
2. Pack the kids in the car and go through a drive-thru and get some coffee. Trust me, it’ll make your day better.
3. Write about it.
4. Pray about it.
5. Hug your kids.
6. Go for a walk.
7. Turn on something to occupy the kids and go sit in silence for 10 minutes. Yes, I’m encouraging screen time. Momma needs (AND DESERVES) some peace and quiet no matter what it takes.
8. Do something artsy. You could even involve your kiddos. Rage color, rage paint, rage put stickers on paper, it doesn’t matter what the outlet is, as long as you have one.
9. Count to ten.
10. Sniff some oils. (Essential oils, that is – I’m not condoning anything dangerous.)
Pick one of these things and do it. And remember, you deserve so much grace and so do your sweet kiddos. It’s not easy but it’s so important.