I walked around my home trying to pull together outfits for all four of my kids, so that my husband, Mike could take them out, to give me a much needed break. The screams from bored toddlers and cries from my 5-year-old, who was already in a funk, but her big brother decided to go poke the bear, echoed through our house.
I was done. I could feel my chest tighten and hot tears started streaming down my cheeks.
As I tried to compose myself while quickly wiping away my tears, I couldn’t hide my sniffles as I walked down the stairs. Mike overhead this telltale sound and said, “what’s wrong?” “Everything.” I replied as the sobs started to exit my body. “I feel like I am failing. If I am being really honest, I am not enjoying motherhood lately.” Instinctively, he thought he was supposed to ramp up the discipline. He stormed around the house trying to create order, but really, he was only adding an extra level of tension.
Our kids started to mirror our tension and fights broke out in front of us.
I turned to Mike and said, “the balance is off right now. I know it’s me. I know that my lack of joy and level of impatience is creating a toxic environment that everyone is feeding off of. We need to problem solve this in a real way.” I could see understanding wash across his face.
Before he walked out the door, he looked back at me, as a fresh tears started to appear on my face. “I am failing as a mom,” I sobbed. “No you aren’t. In fact it’s the opposite. You care so much. We will fix this, like we always do.”
While Mike and the kids were out, it dawned on me. I was waiting for spontaneous moments of joy with my kids to come to me. Why was I not initiating activities and outings that I would also find enjoyable and fun?
Once they arrived home, I packed up our 5-year-old, Beau, and the two of us went out to get her hair cut, have a little one-on-one time, and chat about each of us listening to each other better.
Then later that day, we all sat down, as a family and enjoyed colouring together. I love being creative, so this was bliss for me.
By the time we packed up the art supplies, not only were the kids’ emotional buckets filled, but so was mine. Something that in the past, I wasn’t doing enough of.
Of course, the craziness resumed, and fights still break out, but just having those moments of joy with my kids, makes all of motherhood a lot more enjoyable.
Watch our day as it unfolded, starting with my mini meltdown…
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