Keeping My Cool When My Kid Can’t

This post also appeared on the My Big Jesus blog! 

A sweet Irish-inspired moment.
A sweet Irish-inspired moment.

Sometimes, your kid (read: toddler) gets upset. Really upset. Really, really upset. For me, when that moment begins, the first thing I want to do is the same thing my toddler’s doing: cry, throw something, run away… you get my drift.

I’ve heard all the ways to prevent these meltdowns from happening: make sure they aren’t tired or hungry, prepare them properly for whatever you’re asking them to do, let them help make the decisions, etc. All of these are well and fine, and may actually work, but every once in a while, the circumstances are out of your control, or things just look differently than you had planned. And your toddler doesn’t go with the flow like she usually does. She freaks out.

Now, in the depths of my OCD soul, I must have order. (Yes, I just sounded like Delores Umbridge in Order of the Phoenix.) I’m coming to terms with the fact that being a mom means not having it. But I like routines, and so do my kids. I like schedules, and so do my kids. But when our schedules and routines fail, we are all a big mess.

This week, my kids were sick. That meant a trip to the doctor (during naptime, because that was the only time they could get us in), humidifiers, Tylenol, movie-watching and trying extra hard to get to bed on time. It also meant no preschool, no church, no play dates, no leaving the house and no fun-having. FOR ANYONE.

On my list of priorities, right behind routines and schedules is getting out of the house. I get cabin fever in roughly 20 minutes. Even if all I do is go to the grocery store and buy one item (typically milk or bananas), I need to get out. Sometimes, putting the kids in the stroller and making laps around the neighborhood does the trick. (Note: this week was cold and rainy.) But I need to drop EK off at preschool. I need to let them play on the playground or at Chick-fil-A. I need to have friends over. I need my kids to have fun so that I can, too.

This week has been a whirlwind of crying, coughing, needing, snuggling, napping, refusing to nap, and wearing pajamas. I’m trying to appreciate these moments of relaxation and snuggling on Mommy’s bed watching Disney movies. I’m trying to appreciate a slow down, especially in the midst of a renovation and gearing up for a busy spring. But it’s been hard. I’ve been reaching out to the Father for patience and for health. I’ve been wrestling toddlers and sickness and the need for caffeine versus the amount I’m allowed to have while pregnant. I may or may not have subbed in sugar on several occasions.

But this is life. This is a season. It’s already almost over. Later when they’re sick, I’ll just hand them a Gatorade and they’ll sleep till they feel better. There won’t be extra snuggles and needing me. I will do my best to rest in these times, to enjoy the break in routine, with the help of Someone who knows the weight of being needed.

2 thoughts on “Keeping My Cool When My Kid Can’t”

  1. I am very much like you in this area–I like schedules and routine and I do not do well being cooped up in the house. I like to get us out at least once/day even if, like you said, it’s just to run to the store for two things. Like you (I think) I’m an extrovert, so I crave adult interaction and I’ll take two minutes of talking to a cashier if that’s the only adult conversation I get til my husband comes home! I’m glad you acknowledged your need to have fun too…being a mom doesn’t mean we’re not entitled to that!!

    Liked by 1 person

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