This sweet little guy.

Today, he wasn’t having it.

And, to be totally honest, it frustrated me.

I was trying to be the adult and know better and not let his grumpiness get under my skin, but, spoiler alert: I’m human.

So I let it get to me.

And make me grumpy, too.

Super fun and mature, I know.

RELATED: The Toddler Stage Will Break You

Anyway, back to the little guy.

I kept sitting there watching him be so not himself, wondering what in the world I’d done wrong.

I mean, I pour my heart and soul into raising these little men of mine to be good humans, and there he was choosing to be rude and have an attitude and, frankly, it hurt my heart.

Then, not even five minutes after all that grumpiness and frustration and his epically crummy attitude, this is what I saw.

My little guy, snuggled up on the couch, fast asleep.

Friends, he was tired.

I let myself get all worked up and bent out of shape and assume I was basically failing as a parent, and he was just tired.

Now, teaching him to be more self-aware and recognize that he’s tired instead of choosing to be rude will come with time.

But . . . 

Guess who can be a total grump when she’s tired? 

Or hungry?

Or too hot or too cold?

Or overstimulated?

This girl, right here.

And I’m the adult.

So, all I’m trying to say is . . . they’re going to have moments, too.

RELATED: I’m Just a Toddler and I’m Still Learning

Bad days.

Tough seasons.

Just like you and me.

And it’s really best if we can see past the stuff that hurts our pride.

The attitudes and eye rolls and behavior that shines a light on our own insecurities, on our fear that we’re falling short as parents.

Instead, maybe we can cut them a break every now and then and recognize that they’re human, too.

That every time they act up isn’t an assault against us or our parenting.

And maybe we can just let them sleep.

Cover them up with a blanket and let them be.

Then talk about the hard, deep, heart stuff later, when they’re ready.

But first, let’s let them be human.

This post originally appeared on Kisses From Boys with Krista Ward

Parenting toddlers can be a wild ride, but the the strategies in Mindful Parenting in a Chaotic World can help make it a little smoother!

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Krista Ward

Krista is a former first grade teacher turned stay-at-home mom to her insanely precious little boys, Hudson and Jones. She is married to her best friend and high school sweetheart, Randy, who is the peanut butter to her chocolate. Krista hopes to be a light and joy to the world, especially other mamas feeling stuck in the daily grind, through her writing.