To the mother of the tantruming child,
Hold strong, for even though the days seem long, they will not last forever. I know you are tired, angry and full of guilt. I know you wonder, “What have I done wrong?” or “Why won’t my child just listen to me?”
You start the day fresh every morning with patience and then one sandwich cut into triangles instead of squares wrecks the day. How about that t-shirt with the nagging tag that has your child in a yelling fit? Or the time you say “no” that sets your child off so much so that you look at the clock counting the minutes until bedtime. All of this has you judging your own parenting and fearing the next tantrum. It’s what keeps you up at night and is the source of your many tears. It’s what has you arguing with your husband because he made the situation worse or didn’t support you. It’s what has you feeling like you are all alone and nobody understands what you are going through.
I promise you, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. That mom that you think, “Wow, she has it all under control”, isn’t a better mother than you. She is just better at hiding it. We have all been there, maybe some of us more than others. Be strong, for one day you will look back and see that all of this has made you a better version of yourself. The best part is the same can be true for your child. This is all part of your story and your child’s story. As mothers, we want to skip ahead to the happy ending, but it’s all the trials in the journey along the way that shape us into who we will become.
How do I know all this? My once tantruming child is approaching his teenage years. Last week he was given an award in school and as I watched my son walk across the stage to receive this prestigious award, his younger years flashed back to me. All the tantrums, tears, fighting, teaching moments, hugs, love, and guidance had brought him to this moment. Back in the day, in the midst of the tantrums, I feared for his future, but here he is. He overcame many obstacles, but the obstacles did not break him. They made him into the young man he is today. He is brilliant, strong, loving, and connected to his parents. Know that what you are going through today does not define you. It is part of your story, part of your child’s story, and one day you will look back and see that it made you both stronger.
By Juarline Stavrinos