I am in Charge of My Reactions
Written by: Trisha Moser
I have three wonderful, beautiful, sweet, infuriating children. L is six years old and loves Kindergarten, wrestling, and Mario. G is my tow-headed five-year-old who loves Bonne Belle Lip Smackers, glitter, and gymnastics. S is my two-year-old mini me, who loves Dory, being outside, and ripping all my books off the bookshelves. Basically, I have three very normal children.
My day usually starts at 6:30. I get myself around for the day, and then either my husband or I get L up for school. On this particular day, my well-meaning husband accidentally woke S up when he went upstairs to get L ready for school. She proceeded to scream until G woke up, so I decided I might as well get everyone up. S continued to scream for the next 40 minutes. Oh, the joys of motherhood…
I had the girls sitting down for breakfast, but L still strangely had not graced us with his presence. I decided I better go on the hunt for this missing child of mine, and found him lying on the bathroom floor…Wait, is he sleeping?! “What are you doing,” I impatiently asked him. He responded, “Well I was tired…” Uh…ok?
My patience was wearing thin. I instructed him to get up, brush his teeth, and get down the stairs before he misses breakfast. Now, I have two out of three children upset. At least the screaming had stopped!
I finally herded L out the door toward the bus stop when I heard the screaming start back up. What now?! I turned around, and there was S, crying for her brother.
“Bruddah!...Come back! Bruddah….”
I quickly steered S back to the kitchen to finish her breakfast (still crying), and headed off to (FINALLY) brush my teeth. I had just lifted the toothbrush up to my mouth when I heard the cereal bowl hit the floor. I tentatively crept back out to the kitchen, where I discovered milk and cheerios covering the wall and the floor. G innocently looked up at me and stated, “I spilled.” Gee kid, I hadn’t noticed…
So there I was at 7:56 a.m., on my hands and knees with my five-year-old, cleaning up soggy cheerios, (isn’t parenthood glamourous?!). I thought to myself about what an awful day this was going to be. I was thinking all about everything that had already gone wrong and how ridiculous my kids were acting. It’s at these moments that I have to tell myself to stop.
The only thing ruining my day was my own attitude. My kids were being kids. I am the adult. It is my responsibility to control how I react to them. Yes, parenting is hard. Our kids are going to make us feel like crazy people sometimes, but they are just acting like kids! Let’s all take a moment (or several) today to remember that it’s up to us to control our reactions and our tempers. Let’s choose happiness and thankfulness in the middle of the soggy cheerios.
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