I had one of those moments at Walmart today that every parent dreads, yet when you're in the moment you think to yourself, "people say they have been there too, yet their kid isn't behaving THIS badly." Moments that usually make me avoid taking my kids to the store at all costs. But then you really need just like 5 things and you psych yourself up and think, "I can do this, it won't be that bad" but then it's worse. Yeah.
It's so bad that I can't really describe in words just how big this tantrum monster is. I've tried to describe it to people and I always fall short. I get it. I know probably every person in the store was probably thinking, "wow...my child never behaves THAT BADLY." I did get a few sympathetic glances that were the "hang in there, I really HAVE been there" kind of look.
I feel judged constantly by thinking and sometimes saying out loud the types of things it makes me respond with. I'm just trying to survive here. My survival mode is usually a bit extreme, usually some sort of inappropriate emotional response. I feel EVERY DAY like I am screwing up as a parent. I feel like no matter what I do, which way I go it will somehow be the wrong choice. I also feel like if I work my hardest and am the best Mom ever, it is very short lived and 5 minutes later they are back to giving me death looks or screaming at me or even punching me.
Often I try and do "the right thing" but what even is that? I read countless parenting books, blogs, you name it. Often they make me feel worse that I can never measure up.
When my daughter has her tantrums...there are several ways I COULD respond. I could do the "ignore it" tactic. This would almost 100 percent of the time result in some sort of horrible injury.
So why is it so hard? I cried the entire way home from the store. She even asked me why I was crying. Like she had no idea. Really?
I know these self-degrading thoughts are from the enemy. I know they are LIES. But I still battle them every day. I know thoughts like the ones I had today are definitely from the enemy. They sure aren't biblical.
I think the only thing I can do is not let him win.
You know what WAS from God? Right in the midst of this tantrum when I thought I was at my breaking point my good friend Heather showed up to say hi, give me a hug and temporarily distract Gabby. So really...in the midst of a terrible storm God sent me a rainbow. And it was just enough encouragement to get me through until the next storm hits. (Which sadly will probably happen within the hour; because she is fighting sleep.)
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm CHOOSING to see the good in this situation, instead of dwelling on the bad.