There I was (#storytime) stressed out on a Sunday! We were preparing our home to sell and had a lot to do in preparation for listing pictures Monday evening.
It was a chaotic. I was solo with the kids trying to keep them entertained while cleaning and packing. At the same time, my daughter somehow managed to get mud all over the decorative towels I purchased earlier that day.
As I was correcting her, I heard a glass break. My little guy reached onto the counter to get grapes and pulled down a glass. Cleaning that up, I noticed my middle baby touching the freshly painted walls with dirty hands (pizza sauce). In that moment, I felt so overwhelmed. I turned on the TV in hopes that they would sit down. That was a short lived victory.
Thinking they’d be content watching TV, I ran to the bathroom. Soon as I turned the corner, I heard a thump, scream, and cry. I ran out to find that my little guy pulled the small bowl of water and cleaning solution down off the table and slipped and fell in it. SN: He was fine.
I sat on the floor to clean up the spill and started crying (literally). I felt guilty for yelling at them and felt like I had been punishing them ALL day – the timeout zone was occupied most of the day.
After I got myself together, I realized some lessons learned:
1) Don’t maximize the minimum
As I sat on the floor my thoughts started to spiral. I thought things like “these kids don’t listen”, “why can’t they just sit still”, “why can’t I get through to them today” … My kids are not bad kids, super active, but not bad. Everything that “went wrong” could get fixed.
The best approach in that moment would have been to take a deep breath, ask them if they were ok and communicate why what they were doing was not safe and/or the right thing to do.
2) Don’t compare
There are times when I have to check myself for comparing my kids’ behavior to others. It’s easy to think about how other moms may be able to do xyz with their kids and wonder what you are/were doing wrong. But trust me that only adds more stress to already stressful situations.
Each kid is different and every moms struggle is different.
3) Don’t reprimand from a place of anger
Always calm down first. Just use this as a rule of thumb.
With Love and Kindness I have Drawn Thee ~ Jeremiah 31:3
My message to you is to avoid turning into monster mommy by showing grace, love and kindness. At the end of the day, things aren’t as bad as they seem so save yourself and the kiddos from the stress.