Thursday, May 12, 2016

the roller coaster

it's a roller coaster, this thing called parenthood. i remember as a child, having deep emotions that i didn't quite know where to put. my mom would often say to me, "i know, susannah. some days you feel like you're 2 and some days you feel like you're 12. it's ok." i felt the license to be a brat one minute (believe me, i was the queen of complaining growing up), to cry, to climb up into my mom's lap once i'd outgrown it, to switch from hot mess to compliant kid in a few minutes time.

the thing i didn't understand of course - and that i'm only getting now with my own children - is that for better or worse, i dragged my poor mom onto that roller coaster ride of emotions with me. hop in and buckle up! and that's the deal, isn't it? 

the key is learning how to take all the hot mess of emotions that are spewing out of your sweet little human, and make those emotions ok and safe for your child to have. i think this year i have been learning a lot about being more gentle when one of my kids is melting down. i think about what i need when i am a sobby wreck is kindness and patience. (oh, and i need you to have a very short term memory. usually when i've had a cryfest or totally irrational rant, i really just want matt or my girls to forget it right after the fact because it probably wasn't too pretty.)  

so what i'm working on right now as a parent? this is what it looks like on my best days: i take a moment to calm my own self down, even though it kills me because COME ON you're being ridiculous! i give my kids' space to cry or yell or moan or (fill in the blank action that is loud/unpredictable/unreasonable/illogical), and then i swoop in quietly to offer some comfort and reassurance. usually they soften and come on back down to what is more or less grounded for an almost 6 year old and an 8 year old. 

i am trying with all my might to climb onto that roller coaster alongside my kid without actually getting sucked in too much myself and letting our exchanges collapse into a emotional wrestling match. 

and so whether we have a kiddo that's playful



or tantruming furiously around the house (i'll spare you that picture)

i am doing my best* to roll with it.
so give me your drama girls, your highs and lows and in the middles. i've got you. 
and if i mess up you can go to grandma cornelia, because she got me back in the day.

*that can translate into sometimes i suck at this but i am really truly trying and getting better (i hope)

how about you parents out there? any tips for this mama? come on, i know you have full on amusement parks at your house too.

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