I’ve heard that one should not cry in front of your toddler, but today I couldn’t hold it together. The sheer act of disobedience broke my heart.

And I don’t understand why we have to fight about this every day.

My little girl, Mommy is trying so hard. I’m showing you all the other ways to handle the emotions. I am trying so hard to make it a better experience. I am doing my utmost best.

But today you broke my heart in pieces.

I wasn’t even done explaining how you made me feel when I started sobbing. And you just stood there, frowning, because you also didn’t understand how to handle mommy’s big emotion.

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Today, I couldn’t hold it together like a mother is supposed to. I couldn’t model to you how to deal with disappointment and hurt. Instead, I broke down and just cried.

And I feel like I failed you.

You have feelings bigger than your little body can understand, and I don’t know how to make it better.

You have needs that stretch further than your capabilities, and I don’t know how to make it viable.

You have scrambled words that you can’t voice, and I don’t know how to make sense of it all.

So for today, my eyes are puffy and I, too, am fragile . . . I guess just like a toddler.

I want to be held and be wrapped with a familiar feeling. And I realized, that’s perhaps all that you need too. When the emotions are too much to understand, you want to feel safe in mommy’s arms.

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When the world becomes too loud, you want to hear mommy’s rhythmic heartbeat.

And when the words get lost, you want to hear your mommy’s familiar voice.

So today, my fierce toddler, I will hold you when we fight because I understand that is the only gesture that will comfort your emotions.

Renet Coleman

Being a mom to a toddler, working full time, pursuing a degree, and helping my husband get his business off the ground means my day does not have enough hours to complete all the tasks at hand. Writing is my escape - where I can release my emotions, bow in prayer, and make sense of this world.