My cousin sent me a video yesterday that depicted a day through a mom’s eyes and then flipped the switch and showed the day through her daughter’s eyes. The mom was tired and frustrated, cleaning up dirty diapers on a baby with a toddler in tow, food shopping while the toddler rips toilet paper off the display and finally cleaning up an entire cake that the toddler dropped on the floor. By the end of the mom’s perspective she looked exhausted and defeated, a look I know all too well. But then the dad came home and asked the little girl how her day was, and every aspect of her day was magical. Mommy cuddled her and sang to her, mommy raced around the store with the wagon, and mommy sat on the floor with her while they picked up pieces of cake. The video ended with “Your normal may be their magic.” And then I cried and cried.
This video really stuck with me though, because lately I have been getting so frustrated and so impatient with Charlotte. I realize I am doing it, and I spend hours at a time feeling guilty over it. When she refuses to let me change her diaper and she is basically leaking urine onto me, I lose it. When she asks me for soup but then says “no not that one!” so I give her other soup but then she asks me for the first soup I gave her, I lose it. It’s not like I am screaming at her, but my patience wears thin and I have, many times, told her she is annoying. That may make me sound like a bad mother, but it is the truth. But after watching that video, I am actively trying to practice patience. Perhaps when she refuses to let me change her and she runs around the house squealing NO NO NO as I chase her around the house, that’s fun for her. Maybe those moments are her magic. And I need to remember that losing my patience will do more harm than good. Am I saying that I’m going to be Mary Poppins from now on? Practically perfect in every way? Absolutely not. But I’m going to really try to be more patient with her demands and her tantrums and try to see the world from her eyes. I am so blessed to be a mother. I am so grateful to be a mother. And while every moment isn’t easy, every moment IS an opportunity to be with her, and teach her, and learn from her. So the next time I think she is annoying (which she can be, let’s face it, all toddlers can be) and I want to scream, I’ll try to remember that maybe this moment is her magic. Practicing patience is my new mantra.