Turning Around A Tough Day: 2 questions to make you and your child's day better
There I was, rocking my little guy while he slept in my arms thinking, "Phew!"...... "But wait. What in the world just happened?"
All morning long the only thing I had wanted to do was run away to a beach. I had spent the majority of our day so far trying to escape reality... striving. For what?
For something to pull me out of my funk. For something to look forward to. For something to motivate me. And all the while my son was fighting me on it. It was frustrating! I sat there rocking back and forth in my regret asking myself what it had really been all about. Perhaps in the midst of my whirlwind of striving for more my son had been striving too. We both had goals we wanted to accomplish and none of them were lining up with one another.
Maybe all he really needed was for me to stop and be present with him. Maybe that's just what I needed too. The craziness of the day had sucked us up, spun us around, and slammed us down. Both of us.
We needed balance. We both deserved it. So I decided, it was then and there I was going to turn our day around with these 2 questions:
1. What do we both need right now?
2. Is what I'm trying to do really worth it at this moment?
More often than not, when my child and I are both frustrated, what we both need is to stop our world, and be present in the moment. Sometimes all it takes is a simple 5 minute hug and snuggle session. Other times, it's blowing bubbles outside, reading a book, or listening to music and dancing together. It really doesn't take much to tell the whirlwind to STOP and really focus in on the true needs in the moment. Chances are, you and your child are actually needing the very same thing. As adults, we have gotten really used to ignoring our needs and chasing after our busy little (sometimes selfish) goals. Myself included.
That leads me to the second question: Is what I'm trying to do really worth it at this moment? Many times whatever it is you're are trying to accomplish can wait and be prioritized at a different moment in the day. Is it really worth it right now?
Sometimes you have to make a meal, while your child is tugging on your pant leg whining at you. You both need to eat, so that's probably worth it right?
But say you're trying to write an email you've been putting off for 2 days and you just want to get it out of the way. But with a whining toddler at your feet, it's likely you're not even going to be able to focus enough to complete that email response to the best of your ability. Your time would be better served by putting a stop to the whirlwind for a minute. Another moment in the day will come for you to complete your task. But right now the thing you're trying to accomplish is adding to the whirlwind. Instead, you have the power to tell it to STOP and to take charge this moment. Come back to it during a more calm time of day, when you can really write your best response. It will be worth it!
We may not always be able to control our child's mood, but we can control what we choose to do in those moments where it seems they need a little assistance. Remember that our children learn from our behavior, so the more deposits you make towards honoring their needs and feelings, the more likely they will be to respect yours as well. That's where the balance comes from.
The next time you feel like the day is about to get the best of you and your little one, remember to STOP it and ask yourself these 2 questions. Those mindful moments will make a world of difference and you will thank yourself. Your child will too!