Today started out exactly the way it ended, with meltdowns and tears over something seemingly pointless to an adult and yet very, very important in Nora’s three year old world. Like having leftover cranberry sauce cooked into her oatmeal after she said, “Yes, I want cranberry sauce in my oatmeal” or the fact that the blanket on her bed was “too soft.” Between breakfast and bedtime, there were lots of other occasions for tears, which led to plenty of moments when I wanted to just stop being a mama and walk away. I can’t count the number of times I told Nora I was going to count to X before Y had to happen or…and in most of those moments, the counting was really for me.
A long time ago, I realized that one of my biggest parenting challenges was going to be practicing patience — I even made it one of my Housewife Challenges. I knew that since I grew up in a house with a lot of raised voices and physical punishment, I am more likely to resort to similar parenting in stressful situations, and I am definitely someone who is more easily stressed out than some. I vowed that I would parent differently, but there are still plenty of days when I understand the desire to scream at one’s children or to want to lock them in their room and go eat an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s chocolate fudge brownie while they cry it out alone on the floor. And despite my best efforts to remind myself that Nora is still so very little, I also completely understand the wish for a child to act like a miniature adult in certain situations.
Today turned out to be one of those days with a few really great moments completely surrounded by some very, very trying moments. Overall, I think I managed alright even when I felt frustrated, and I am thankful that I was able to stay patient on the outside even when I didn’t feel so patient on the inside.