Work Hard. Stay Humble.
Those words resonate so strongly with me because, like most things, they are much easier said than done.
Here is how I learned that the hard way.
Big brother was managing jealousy about sharing his mama with little brother. It was almost lunchtime and we were all getting tired. I realized that I hadn't eaten enough that morning and was starting to feel REALLY hangry. The stress of coaching my little guy through his emotions all morning and my low fuel tank was quickly becoming a problem.
Just as I was about to yell, he said to me worriedly, "No. I want you to stay a grown-up."
I stopped in my tracks and got down on my knees to look him in the eye.
"You're right," I assured him as my demeanor softened and I remembered why I was cranky in the first place. It had nothing to do with him. I was hungry.
"That is exactly what I need to do. Thank you so much for reminding me and helping me find my calm. I'm not angry with you. I'm feeling hungry and cranky and I need to get myself something to eat. I'm sorry for my unkind voice."
Then simple as that we went about our day. He continued playing and chattering on. I listened and responded enthusiastically. But the parenting lesson he unknowingly delivered stayed in my heart and on my mind.
It's so easy to become consumed by our own physical feelings and emotions. We put others before ourselves until we are at our breaking point, yelling at those we care for because we are starving from neglect. We need to nourish ourselves to remain in the grown-up state of mind our children need us to be.
We all have times when we retreat to using more primitive parts of the brain. My son's request that I maintain my composure let me see how our emotions appear to our children. When we break down into a tantrum, whether from sleep deprivation, stress, hunger, or anything else, it's confusing and scary for them.
Until we prove otherwise, children think we have it all figured out. It's a tall order not to tarnish that image- staying confident, calm, and consistent.
But, I'm ready to put my big girl pants on and give it my best try!