DAY 9 – Knew This Day Would Come

Darn it.

Darn it. Darn it. Darn it.

I made it a little over a week. That’s good, right? (If I had big, brown, puppy-dog eyes, I’d be looking at you imploringly right now. Is it working?)

I can explain my demise with one simple word: shopping.

May help if I had “clothes” at the beginning, and then “for me” at the end.

Yes. I can hear you all so clearly.

Why on God’s beautiful, green earth did you decide to go shopping – for clothes for yourself, mind you – with both kids and not realize that’s an invitation to your bucket of patience to completely spill over? Might as well have sent the invitation wrapped in a bow and with confetti. (Not glitter, mind you. See Day 4 post.)

shopping agenda_pinterest

You are absolutely right. The patience bucket is so tough to keep full.  Why would I poke holes in it? BTW – Have you seen the trailer for the new animated film, Inside Out? It’s about our emotions inside of us: joy, anger, disgust, fear, and sadness. I’d like to see Patience added to that list. Maybe that’s not an emotion, but still. I’d like to learn how she acquires more patience when she’s run out. I know how she loses herself. I want to know how she refills! Does someone give it to her? Does she make it? Is it magic? Disney/Pixar, I need a sequel!

Let me explain why the invitation made it to the mailbox.

It was a good afternoon. Got things accomplished for the day, and headed out to pick up my oldest from school. Was feeling my 2-year old got the short end of the stick, so I stopped to let him swing and slide at the park a bit. Score for him…and me (I get awesome Mommy points)!

Picked up my son, and he was thrilled to discover we were going to buy him some new pants (racking up more Mommy points). Went to one store, had no luck with pants, but picked up a couple shirts. I even tried on two dresses (‘cause I have an upcoming conference to attend), and everyone was behaving.

Tried a second store with no luck for pants, which was a bummer for my son, but he didn’t get upset about it. Score again!

And I thought…ooooo, maybe today I get a FREE shopping card. It was going well so far. I’ll just take a peek at the racks of dresses over there. It won’t take long. I know what I’m looking for. I only need about 2 minutes to try it on and know if it works or not.

Scene 1: Despite my use of the handicapped dressing space (which the lady told me to use – no one was there), it’s a tight space for 1 adult, 1 never-still child, and child #2 in a full-size shopping cart. They got silly and giggly. My oldest thought it wise to start a tickling fight with his brother. The noise was deafening. Granted, it was laughter, but deafening. I pleaded with them to “please be quieter” and “settle down” and reminders that “we’re in a public place” and “there are others around us” who may not be used to such noise.

I got out of there as quickly as I could. Grabbed one dress I thought would work, despite the fact that I looked at it in the mirror, actually on my body, for only 8 seconds. That’s a really long bull ride, but I’m not sure it’s a good fashion rule.

Scene 2: Second mistake. Thought I’d check to see if they had a navy sweater to go with the dress. It was sleeveless. The two didn’t stop their little escapade, and I nearly tripped over the older one twice as he was trying to reach his brother for more tickling. I skipped the sweaters and beelined it to the checkout.

Scene 3: Eyed the jewelry near the checkout and stopped to look for a necklace. It would be far cheaper here than elsewhere. I’d save money, time, and another trip. Third mistake. Lotions are on display next to the jewelry, and suddenly I felt…wet.

My 2-year old had reached a bottle and squirted the pump (I realize this is a discount store, but why aren’t they on LOCK position?!). This led my 8-year old into a fit of hysterics, covering his mouth to keep it in as he saw, I’m sure, my gritted teeth. That’s when the first “yell” occurred. Although it was whispered (after all, I was in a store), it was still in anger, “That’s enough!” in both ears of my little ones.

Scene 4: I paid, left the store, got the youngest in the car seat, shut the doors, and proclaimed, “There is NO reason for you to act that way in a store!”

The good news is I didn’t rant. I stopped pretty quickly. The bad news is, they didn’t really do anything horribly wrong. And here I was yelling at them. It was my agenda they were messing up. And I realized…this is a common occurrence for when I get frustrated – when I’m focused on my own agenda. Should they behave mannerly in a store? Of course. Should they be able to settle down when I ask? Yes. I THINK that’s a normal expectation. (Anyone want to corroborate that? Please?)

The thing is, they weren’t whining or crying or running around the aisles. They were laughing. Having fun with each other. Trying to pass the time while they were along for the ride in my shopping agenda. Just being kids.

It’s not that I shouldn’t be able to look for a dress. But if it doesn’t work out like I’d wish, I need to let it go. And address the behavior later when I’m less testy.

Or just not take them shopping. 🙂

A person’s wisdom yields patience;

        it is one’s glory to overlook an offense.
                                                          Proverbs 19:11

I realized something else later tonight. My children will be my saving grace. The very ones that inspired this journey are always in my favor. My older son confirmed it.

  • [Me: I yelled today.]
  • [Him: Yeah. It’s okay.]
  • [Me: I really wanted to keep it going.]
  • [Him: You’re still doing good. You’re a good mama.]
  • [Me: I’m not going to give up.]
  • [Him: I know that.]

So simple. Accepting. So much love.

I won’t lie. As I lay on the floor of my younger son’s room while he fell asleep in his crib, I shed a couple silent tears.

They deserve the best of me every day. And today I did not give them my best. It wasn’t the worst. But I let myself down with even that slight fall.

We Moms are harder on ourselves than anyone else…including our kids. Remember that. We need to forgive ourselves more.

Here’s a great video I came across a while back. Moms were interviewed about their parenting skills, and then their kids were interviewed about their Moms. An excellent reminder that how we view ourselves – with a focus on our flaws – is far different than how our kids view us with open love. I watched it again tonight. I needed it. I hope it helps you if you need it, too.

A New Perspective For Moms YouTube Video

May we open our hearts as widely as our children do!

Heart Monitor: Day 9, I had to officially change the Heart Monitor today (sigh). Hoping for green next time.

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  1. I’m loving your blog posts! Remember the goal is improvement, not perfection. Learning from our mistakes and learning our triggers – that’s what’s important. Your journey is bringing up all kinds of good reminders for me, too. I just really need to be more present for my kids before they are grown up and gone! Hugs, my friend!


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