Friday, July 1, 2016

One Pissed Off Mama!


Today at the library I witnessed a young boy launching into a tantrum. And it made me smile (but only on the inside out of respect to the boy's grandma, who I felt for). It was a smile of relief that I am not alone in the toddler tantrum world. And of course I realize I'm far from alone, though in the past few days it feels as though all the little ones around me are quiet, loving little angels while my little devil launches attack after attack to see how long I'll withstand the barrage of screaming, biting, hitting, general defiance and displeasure. Whew! Seriously. He was sick with a fever early this week and from the moment his energy returned, he seems to have a penchant for boundary pushing. Around everything. I get that this is par for the course for his age, I've just been caught off guard by the exponential increase in challenging behavior--literally overnight! Now it's time for me to regroup and strategize for my sanity and my family's well being. Because in the past 36 hours, my 28 pound son has taken me down. At least in terms of my "conscious parenting". Anger has been brewing inside me and spilling out with more shouts, threats, furrowed brows and pursed lips than I'm comfortable with, even given the circumstances. Lack of sleep is surely contributing to my short temper and frequent outbursts, but I don't want to let myself too off the hook as that won't help me move in another direction. And what direction will it be? I don't know just yet. At the moment, I'm still in a bit of disbelief and dread. I'll take comfort that I'm at least noticing my reactions (like telling Kavi he's not any fun to be around and shooting him dirty looks in the rearview mirror--nice one, mama) and desiring something different, something more connected. Something that will create strong bonds between us even while revealing the strong boundaries we both need. Some steps I can take to get me started--take a deep breath, notice where I can drop my agenda, dig back into the book I was getting so much out of ("No Drama Discipline"), remind myself that I'm a great mama and we're both so fortunate to have one another to teach and learn from, and say a little prayer that tomorrow I can chill out a bit more when the tantrums arise. What are your strategies for keeping your cool with your wee one(s)? Where would you benefit from a shift in your parenting techniques?
Update: I wrote the post above last night before bed, though didn't have wi-fi access to post it. This morning I awoke with a calmer inner landscape, ready to engage the day and find ways to nurture my relationship with Kavi. And as is so often the case when we reach our breaking point with our wee ones, that point of feeling ready to run off without looking back, things shift. While he's not a loving little angel (in my limited seeing and based solely on behavior), the testing is not feeling quite as constant, allowing for moments of sweet connection and easeful collaboration. Todays prayer, may I feel rooted in my Kuan Yin nature, while knowing when to call on Kali's forces!
Kavi & I played trucks in our campground this morning, something that keeps him engaged for long periods of time!

1 comment:

  1. Love this piece Ember. Although my daughters were toddlers long ago, I sure remember how overwhelmed and angry I sometimes felt. I said in those days, I was an excellent parent, before I had kids of my own! Writing also helped me clarify what was going on for me internally and helped return me to my quiet place of knowing which seemed to get lost in the daily barrage of "mama, mama, mama!" Take good care of yourself! Find time to be alone even for a wee bit of time each day if possible. Look at him when he's asleep (so easy to love them then right?)and find other mamas to hang with. Parenting is such powerful medicine!


Thanks for your thoughts!