A few days ago, I was helping my kids with their homework and getting things organized for the week. Like most moms, I was a bit tired and overwhelmed and like most kids, my children wanted to play, laugh and joke. Instead of focusing on the task at hand, they wanted to sing, dance, yell, run and everything else kids do 24/7. No one was listening to my instructions...at all.
So, as an imperfect mother with a short temper may do from time to time, I yelled...and by “yelled” I mean screamed loud enough to hurt my own head. Smh. My kids stopped in their tracks and for what seemed like the first time all day, actually noticed and paid attention to me. Amazing, right? Lol. Full disclosure here: This was not the first time I have yelled at my kids...and I’m confident that it will not be the last. But, yelling is something that in many ways, causes me stress and sometimes freaks my kids out a bit more than I intend, so it is my goal to avoid yelling as much as I can.
Once I had their attention though, I was able to finish what we had been working on and I left the room to sit alone, “quietly.” About 10-15 minutes later, my oldest daughter, Aubrey, brought me this drawing. This is my tear-jerking child, so, after reading the message she wrote aloud, of course I cried...a little. Lol. I was moved by her simple, yet meaningful words. See, in my mind, she was being a little monster (along with her siblings) and THEY were the reason I was feeling overwhelmed and annoyed. And while that’s partially true, a wise woman once told me that “the work of a child is to play.” My kids were simply being kids. Enjoying even the most tedious of tasks and finding the “fun” and the “play” in regular activities. It’s an art really, something we tend to lose in adulthood.
So while my daughter wasn’t apologizing for her or her siblings’ actions, she was acknowledging that I was clearly having a tough time dealing with them and she genuinely felt something because of it. She took an action to counteract my frustration without necessarily admitting to any wrong doing herself. She didn’t take ownership of my issue but she showed compassion for the fact that I was having a moment. I can only imagine the impact this could have in adult-adult interactions on a daily basis.
Kids are great teachers and mine have been teaching me things for years now. I’m so grateful for the gift of motherhood and family despite all the chaos and challenges. As a matter of fact, sometimes my greatest lessons are during and after those chaotic and challenging moments. So I suppose that I’m partially grateful for the gift of motherhood and family because of the challenges and chaos. It has been a crazy ride so far, but I’m excited for the crazy to come.