Last night was a tough one. I found myself shut in my bathroom, tears brimming in my eyes as Kelan sobbed behind the closed door to his bedroom. It was late for him, after nine and he was equally as exhausted as I was. Downstairs, company that was staying with us for a few days sat, waiting for me to return from tucking him in. Revved to the max, he’d been raising hell all night and simply would not relent. I was unable to calm him down and get through his hysterics, irrational cries and temper and was precariously close to losing my own. So, following advice my mother gave me a long time ago with Braeden, I did the only thing I could- I walked away and shut the door, leaving him to cry it out alone in his room.
Shut in my bathroom, I held my face in my hands and berated myself as a mother and listened to him cry. I have no patience, I’m mean and intolerant, I don’t give each one enough of my undivided attention, I don’t take enough time to listen, to read books, to let them play in the tub, to talk about their day- I’m a terrible mom. My frustrations are scarring my children for life. Taking several deep breaths, I tried to rationalize with myself- you’re overwhelmed and tired, it’s late and nothing was going to settle him down, it’s tough love, he just needs to cry it out, you’re out numbered and you only have two hands.
I realize his howls and shrieks have turned to soft sobs- then nothing, silence. Sighing, I opened the door to the bathroom just in time to see Kelan quietly opening his bedroom door. His tear streaked face looked up at me accusingly. On a hiccup, he told me he was done crying. Thanking little baby Jesus, I picked him up and carried him into my room and laid him in the bed. My fortitude restored, I wiped away the remaining tears on his cherub cheeks and rubbed his back- giving him a moment to shift from third gear to second and hoped first would soon follow.
After a bit, I slid as stealthily as possible off the bed and silently tip-toed out of the room. Downstairs, I needlessly apologized for my absence and continued to fix toast for Braeden and entertain my guests. Thirty minutes later Kelan came down the stairs and climbed onto my lap. Burying his face into my shoulder, he wrapped his arms around me and quickly fell sound asleep.
Later, after everyone was tucked in and sleeping soundly, I laid in my bed thinking of how hard we mothers are on ourselves. Usually we are the first to point out our own faults and limitations- condemning our parenting and lack of tolerance. Then I thought of Kelan and how at the end of his temper tantrum and test of my patience, all he wanted was his mommy. And in the end he fell asleep in my arms. I realized then that no matter how hard we as mothers are on ourselves, our children will still always be our biggest fans.
I saw this video today on Facebook which reaffirmed my affirmation. Enjoy.