Sometimes the days don’t go as you’ve planned. As a mother of young children, especially, even the best laid plans suddenly can go out the window as the little ones decide to wake up early ensuing a day of grumpiness, or get tired of being stuck indoors and relieve their boredom by picking on each other or whining. All my crafty projects that I can’t wait to work on get put aside as I try to focus on the problem at hand – calming a frustrated child, setting limits for an angry one, and generally trying to keep myself focused and calm as well.
One of the hardest things for me, regarding motherhood, is to let my expectations go. When there’s a basket of yarn calling to me, when there are dishes piling up in the sink and laundry that’s overflowing from the hamper, it can be difficult to seemingly not accomplish anything in a day’s time. It’s all too tempting to get frustrated myself, especially when the tempers and the crying seem to go on relentlessly throughout the day.
It’s temporary, I know. These cold, dark, and rainy days that we’re stuck indoors with spring so close around the corner have given us all a little bit of cabin fever. So one thing that I try to remind myself when my serene home turns into a chaotic whirlwind of unhappy children is that when they are the most frustrating is when they need the most love.
Motherhood has its trying moments, to be sure, but the challenges of a young child navigating his way through the world and learning who to be and how to act is something that has to be remembered as well. So when the tantrums began, instead of getting to that point where I want to just and hide, or yell, or so on, I instead centered myself and saw that their screaming and tantrums were signs that they just needed love. I held my sweet son as he bothered his brother, whined and began his screaming jags. I put aside all my crafting and cuddled him on the sofa and we watched the rain fall outside. He fell asleep in my lap, a well needed nap. When the younger one protested when I told him that playtime was over, or explained sharing to him for the umpteenth time, I opened my arms for him to cry in, even though I was the one who had upset him. And he never failed to accept those arms, collapse in their safety, and calm down.
My day went so much smoother than it usually does, and I am hoping that by keeping this phrase in mind, today and many more days will feel less like a struggle and more like the ebb and flow of the ocean. I love my babies with all my heart and they deserve to feel that love all of the time. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
And as for the yarn – there’s always tomorrow.