Have ya ever had a trip through the grocery store like Jen’s?
“I left the baby home with my hubby and took the two-year-old grocery shopping this morning. All was well until I got done unloading groceries onto the belt. That's when I realized that the entire time I was doing that, my darling boy had been cracking eggs, one by one, against his chest. Thank God for understanding cashiers and fellow customers! The guy behind us even sent his daughter to get me a new carton of eggs while I was cleaning up.”
I mean, I don’t even know where to begin except to say that two-year-olds are some of the most creative people I’ve known. Who else do you know that, in any social setting, would even think to grab eggs from the carton and crack them one-by-one onto his chest? It’s brilliant!
But what I really love about this story is that we can all identify with it. With a simple shopping trip gone awry. A breakfast ruined because the toast was cut into squares instead of triangles. A fun playdate that ended up in time-outs and tears instead of sweet goodbye hugs.
Toddlers (and maybe kids in general, but for now I can only speak from experience) have the unique ability to challenge each moment of the day in ways we couldn’t even anticipate! And if we’re not careful, we may start to resent these tough moments and even these kids.
Gosh, of course we love our kids more than life itself. I’m serious. Sometimes I look at my kids and I can actually feel my heart bursting from the inside out. Other times I look at my kids and can barely keep from exploding with anger and frustration. GO TO SLEEP! QUIT STALLING! GO POTTY FOR. THE. LOVE. OF. EVERYTHING. GOOD.
So how do we keep ourselves from resenting these moments and resenting our babes?
1. Keep some perspective. If Jen’s day didn’t get any worse than the eggs-on-the-shirt incident, she still had a pretty good day. Plus, it makes for a really great story!
2. Laugh it off. If you don’t laugh you cry, that’s what they say. And I agree, although usually I laugh and cry. And cry and laugh. It’s a very fine line for me. Laugh when we need to and cry when we need to, but then let’s take our cue from Elsa and let it go…
3. Name the good. So the grocery store wasn’t a success, but you survived it. Say that out loud. Then look for the next thing, and the next and say those wins out loud too. It’s so important to keep our eyes on the good. There’s so much good in our days that we can miss when we’re caught up in the bad.
4. Don’t forget you were made on purpose and for a purpose. You’re raising babies and there is no more noble cause. You’re also a friend, a spouse, an employee, a neighbor, and the list goes on. You’re on this earth to love others well in ways that only you can. And if you’re buried in the weeds of motherhood you may forget this. But don’t.