Ever have those moments where you question EVERYTHING you are doing, trying to figure out if you are doing it “right,” and sometimes feel utterly defeated?
That’s been me lately — which really is out of my character. I work on being positive and “sunshine and rainbows” because, well, I like feeling that way — and I believe in “acting the way I want to feel.”
But it seems in the past few weeks, I’ve been questioning ALOT. And, I haven’t been acting the way I WANT to feel, I’ve been acting the way my brain THINKS I feel in the moment. The mind is a very powerful thing — and sometimes we let our mind trick us into believing something that isn’t necessarily true. We think it, then we act it. It’s a vicious spiral that, in the end, just leaves you feeling…. lost.
Picture it, the spiral:
Ella has been having some serious temper tantrums recently. It is so sudden, and most of the time, it seems to be for no real reason. She will be an absolute gem and acting normal, then all of a sudden, she freaks out. It’s like a flip of a switch — for those who have seen the movie “Inside Out,” it is really like the Anger character when he flings up the control bar, screams “WHAT?!”, and his head lights on fire. Scary, even.
I’m still trying to figure out how to handle these meltdowns.
At first, they surprise me: “Oh my goodness, what happened?!”
Then, they worry me: “It’s okay, baby. You’re fine. It’s alright!”
Then, they frustrate me: “Ella, no ma’am. This is NOT how we get things. NO. STOP. SIT DOWN.”
Then, they confuse me: “I don’t understand what happened. You were fine two seconds ago. What changed?”
Then, they frustrate me again: “Ella. NO.”
Then, they worry me again: “Ella… it’s okay. Just breathe….. BREATHE…..”
Then the internal monologue begins: “Why is she acting like this? Am I not doing a good job? Should I smack her hand when I tell her “No?” Should she get a spanking? Time out? Is she too young for those? Is she even listening to me? I know she’s just frustrated because she can’t communicate.. is telling her “No” a bad thing? I think I read in some book that you shouldn’t say words like that to a toddler.. what book was that? This is ridiculous. Do I just ignore this? Will that cause worse behavior? If she continues to act this way, it will be my fault for not disciplining her at a young age. Will she grow into a demon child that isn’t fun to be around on the playground? How long do these last? Is this just a phase? Am I failing? I’m failing. I’m a terrible mother.”
The spiral. All good logic and truth flies out the window.
Why is it that negative thoughts are sometimes easier for us to believe than the positive? And sometimes, it gets really nasty up there in that head of ours — sometimes, we forget EVERYTHING and just focus on the bad in the moment, rather than expanding the picture and seeing all the good.
The truth is, yes — she’s having a meltdown, but that doesn’t trump the fact that she can count from 1-20. She knows her colors and shapes. She can recognize most of the alphabet just by looking at the letter, and not even in ABC order by repetition. She would prefer to play “match game” with her color and shape cards than watch TV. She loves to be outside — heck, she learned how to “scoot” on her scooter in 15 minutes last week.
Am I failing? No way. She’s healthy and smart, and learning more and more everyday. And, I have to take a little credit for that.
Am I really a terrible mother? No. I’m just a mother — period. I have no idea what I’m doing, and that’s okay. Who really does? I’m sure I’m not the only mother on the planet who has had these same thoughts in these same moments.
But, there is something we can all work on — we are STRONGER than we THINK. We have to remember that. When those negative thoughts sweep into our minds, we have to cancel that out with remembering how awesome we are. We are doing it. Not even the worst 2 year old tantrum can deny the fact that we are, ultimately, okay.
So, this one is for you — fellow momma who forgets sometimes, maybe a bit stressed out, tired, drained, questioning. You aren’t alone. 🙂
Happy Tuesday, y’all!