We’ve all been there. That breaking point in your parenting day when, after the twenty-seventh time asking your child to stop their incessant (insert sanity-draining behavior), your patience snaps like a dry twig. What should be a levelheaded response to disobedience suddenly turns into the wire hanger scene from Mommie Dearest. (For those under forty, think Cat Deeley’s colourful demand for silence on national television.)
It’s something no parent likes to admit, but the fact is, we all fall short of our own parental standards from time to time. No matter how much we love our children, those darling little cherubs have the ability to completely dismantle us if we’re not on our game. Factors that can throw off that game include Virgin Radio, the absence of dark chocolate, and on some days, basic consciousness.
I find having a strategy to circumvent those mommy-meltdowns is essential to maintaining familial harmony. In my parents’ generation, they preemptively used ‘The Look’ to assert domestic control. I’ve tried ‘The Look’, but mine is always met with the ‘YOU–call–THAT–a-scary-look? Look’, which, frankly, I’m a little afraid of.
I’ve heard meditation techniques can help simmer your pot when it’s about to boil over. But like most multitasking mothers, my harried mantra inevitably becomes “Owmmm… for the last time, puuuut down the brownies and brush your teeth, I WILL NOT ASK YOU AGAINNNN… Owmmm.”
I’d like to believe that I am completely justified when I do blow my lid. Well, most of the time anyway. (Alright… occasionally.) But on those rare instances when I may have s-l-i-g-h-t-l-y overreacted to a situation, I always tell my kids I’m sorry. I do this (even though I know they can lord it over me for untold years to come) because one must lead by example. If I’m teaching my children to own their mistakes and be genuine in their reparation, I had better practice what I preach.
So to you newer moms out there, still in the early stages of atomic wear-down from repeatedly asking your toddler to stop bang, bang, banging his plastic hammer on your pine coffee table, take heart.
At least it’s not a wire hanger.