Let me be the first to admit that as far as motherhood goes, I do not know what I am doing. Some days I am winging it, and other days I am praying in my bathroom for grace to be a good mother as my toddlers bang on the door. We try to stick to a daily routine, and that has been working for us so far, but I don’t let the fact that they usually nap around the same time every day fool me. I know that I don’t KNOW anything. My days are mostly full of small defeats, and small victories.
Case and point, recently my oldest, (almost 3) asked for a banana. I got a banana for him, peeled it, broke off a piece of it and handed it to him. He preceded to completely lose his mind because he did NOT want a banana. I went to put the banana back in the basket on the kitchen counter. His crying became more intense and he yelled, “BANAAAAAAAAAAAA”. So I offered it to him again, this time he stopped crying and started eating it joyfully at his seat at the table. That moment was part defeat and part victory.
Some days, those tantrums leave me drained and confused. Am I doing something wrong? How many tantrums can one child have in a day? How am I setting him off? Am I doing this right?! I can (and do) lose sleep over these things several nights a week.
With toddlers, I am learning that it can be so easy to get overwhelmed and feel defeated. I was feeling out of my depth on the daily. I did not want to constantly be feeling this way, so I decided to take a new approach. I would start focusing on only the good things, the victories and let all those other things, like tantrums (which FEEL like defeat) go. I was not going to dwell on the meltdown about the banana, I was going to relish the fact that after this hiccup, both my boys wrestled playfully for 20 minutes without me needing to intervene. I would focus on the fact that both kids ate ALL their dinner, and not the part where my dining table is COVERED in pasta sauce. I would focus on the fact that they love to cuddle when we watch TV and not the length of time that we watched TV.
I am finding that motherhood is about the little things. Those little things can get lost in the big picture. We want our kids to be holy, healthy, happy, educated, kind, compassionate, loving, encouraging….and those are all good things. But when we see those efforts take root in our children in even the smallest ways, that is cause for celebration.
We always say grace before meals, and for the longest time the kids would just watch us. Then one day I noticed that they won’t actually EAT when we pray. Even if they have food already in their hand, they will put it down, fold their hands, and say “Amen” BEFORE they start eating. Small? Yes. Significant? YES. They are learning to thank God before each meal. VICTORY!
No victory is too small! Went to the grocery store and made it out alive? VCTORY! Had a kid sleep MOST of the night in their own bed? VICTORY! Got through Mass with only 2 meltdowns, VICTORY! Focusing on the good helps us remember that our children are ALL gift. Every day with them is ALL GIFT. Share your victories with us!
Copyright 2019 Diana Resendiz. All Rights Reserved.
Image Credit: 2019 Karen Padilla. All Right Reserved.