There I was in the middle of getting breakfast together, and my toddler was mad that she had to sit with her dad. I kept telling her “hold on” or “give mommy some time to finish breakfast.” In true toddler fashion, she did not care and was already worked up. Then, it happened. She screamed to the top of her lungs! I was surprised and just stared at her. She looked back at me and did it again. My blood quickly started boiling, my internal temperature was rising, and I was getting angry.
I walked toward her and looked her in the eyes. I made eye contact with a tiny human who was out of control and was trying her best to communicate her inner emotions the only way she knew how. When I made eye contact my heart softened.
Once my heart softened, my gaze softened.
I began to remember that I was looking at someone I was blessed to conceive. I remembered that the fruit of the womb is a blessing and that for whatever reason, God chose me to guide this soul through life. As I started being aware of those things at that moment, my internal temperature decreased, and all I wanted to do was show my out-of-control, tiny human nothing short of love.
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I remained close to her whilst she was screaming with cheeks tinted red. I calmly asked: Are you done? Can you calm down? Can you breathe with mommy?
She was slightly hysterical, but once I started rubbing her face, wiping her tears, and showing affection, she calmed down a little. Once calm, I was able to explain that she needed to wait here because the food was almost ready. She nodded her head and we hugged. Then she was fine and began playing at the table with her daddy.
By regulating my own emotions, I was able to regulate hers.
Remembering my God-given motherhood mission allowed me to slow myself down and re-center. I was able to be firm in my stance but still exemplify love during conflict. Most importantly for myself, I was able to walk out of this conflict feeling happy instead of feeling guilty for losing my temper.
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As parents, we all have moments where our toddlers are going overboard. Rather than responding with rage and feeling guilty for the lack of emotional control at the moment, I want to encourage you all to do some re-centering. Breathe. Calm yourself. Look at your toddler’s eyes and understand they truly are helpless in controlling big emotions. Block out the noise from the screaming and think about what your mission is as a faith-based parent. Patience is a virtue and virtue is a grace.