Sometimes in our lives we come across those days where we wonder if the other adults that surround our children even notice we need a break. We get frustrated, we get upset and we may even lash out irrationally at either them or our children. But that isn’t how we need to react. We must give ourselves time to fill up our own love tank in order to fill the tank of those around us. If we don’t take the time to fill up and replenish, we will empty and that is when the irrational reactions creep in.
“Mom! I NEED you!” I hear this line ringing in my head on a constant, repetitive basis. I try to teach my kids between wants and needs, but every time they call my name, they make sure to put emphasis on the word “need.” Most of the time, the needs can be met by any willing and able adult around, but for some reason, I am the only one to fix the problem. Let me give you a few examples:
I am trying to get ready for my 8-5 job in the bathroom. I am brushing my teeth, while also trying to put on makeup and listen to just a little bit of music to get my day going. While I am in there, I hear, “Mom! (garbled mumbled whining)” from my precious toddlers. The are having an argument of course and apparently, I am the only one that can settle the score. I call back after being summoned multiple times, “Are you in my bed?” Yes? they answer back. “Is your dad laying in bed next to you?” Yes? they answer back. “THAN TALK TO HIM ABOUT IT!” I yell back, turning on my blow dryer to drown out any potential backtalk.
It’s late, bed time has come and gone. Its now the point of my day, where I begin to clean up after the messes made. I am washing dishes, picking up toys, preparing for lunch tomorrow, and trying to have a moment of silence. “Mom! I NEED you!” I walk back to the bedroom of my dearest daughter to find that somehow, someone took the covers off her toes. After covering her toes and tucking her in, “snug as a bug in a rug.” Kisses. Hugs. I walk back into the kitchen. “Mom! I NEED you!” I walk back to the bedroom of my dearest daughter to only get the request that I bring her a cup so that she may have a drink of water. After making this trip, tucking her back in, “snug as a bug in a rug,” kisses, hugs, I walk back to the kitchen. “Mom! I NEED you!” I walk a bit harder and stand in the doorway of my dearest daughter with my hand on my hip, “What now?” She comes to the realization that she hasn’t given me hugs and kisses yet, and that only I gave her hugs and kisses. So, I walk over to her bed, lean down, she hugs me, she kisses me, I tuck her back in, “snug as a bug and all that (rolls eyes)”, I give her one last hug and one last kiss. “Good night Dear!” I walk back into the kitchen. Yes, you guessed it! “Mom! I NEED you!” I break down, cry a little inside, put on my big girl panties and walk back to her room in defeat. “Yes, Madison.” I say in one sad sigh. “I love you mommy.” And I love you too baby girl.
I gave those two examples because they are real, they are raw and they are motherhood. Sometimes, we just have to drown out the response because otherwise we would go insane with the “I would never have talked to my parents like that” mentality. Other times, we truly have to think and ponder on those things that are so important. Had I screamed, “GO. TO. BED!” I wouldn’t have heard that innocent confession of love.
I love my kids. I would do anything for them, this includes ignoring them sometimes. We have to learn to let our kids work out their own problems, give them the chance to rely on someone else, or come to the realization that life is not puppies and rainbows and sometimes you are not always going to like the situation you’re in. Kids are resilient, much stronger and capable than we give them credit for. So, when you’re at your wits end, ask another adult to step in or put on your big girl panties and get it done.
I would love to know about the times that you felt you were at your wits end. Let me know in the comments below.