Hello strong girls:
This is a brief story I entered in a Parents Magazine writing contest. The topic was parenting wins. I didn’t win . . . but it was a story I wanted to share none-the-less.
As happens throughout young motherhood, it was the “if it rains, it pours” scenario. As you know, I’m a little tightly wound anyway, and this particular morning sent me over the edge. I had been up throughout the night for months nursing. I had spent the previous 10 nights pouring over recipe books, creating meal plans, and measuring every carb and calorie that Annie ate as we transitioned to a medically prescribed ketogenic diet to treat her genetic disorder. I had nothing in the tank. That morning, I was greeted with wet sheets, missing glasses, and a puppy with filthy paws. As I was changing a screaming baby, I look up and see Annie with diaper paste all over her hands, the carpet, the diaper basket … everything. I lost it. “What are you doing!? You got paste everywhere. Look at this mess. You are not a big girl. Go sit on the couch.” The instant guilt told me I was out of line. She’s three. She was trying to help me. Rather than celebrating her wonderful intentions and giant heart, I made my sunshine cry. Right then, I decided to seize the teaching moment I had just created. After gathering myself, I said “Annie, I am so sorry I yelled at you. You were trying to be my big helper, and I appreciate that. Mommy is very tired and I lost my patience. I am very sorry. Will you forgive me?” I hope that small opportunity planted a seed on how to handle the inevitable mistakes she will make in life. Annie looked at me and said, “Maybe you need to take a deep breaf.”
Being a mom is hard. If you decide to become one someday, please give yourself lots of grace.
I love you infinity,