When Your Toddler Teaches You a Lesson

A couple of weeks ago, I had a day that was one for the books. Unfortunately, not in a good way. Let’s just say it isn’t a day I’ll be proud looking back on in the future. During the middle of the day, I lost it. Just went straight up crazy mom. It was horrible, embarrassing and left me feeling like a failure. But as bad as it was, it taught me a valuable lesson. So, here goes…

After a busy morning at the splash pad, a quick lunch and having to drive back and forth a couple of times because of forgotten items, we were all pretty tired. Emory sat in the car rubbing his eyes, making his tired cry and Peyton just kind of sat in silence. When we came home, the kids had a snack and I put them each down for their naps.

After closing Peyton’s door, I could smell the freedom. I took a couple of moments to just sit and relax and then of course, started thinking about all of the things I needed to do. I decided I would quietly sneak upstairs to continue painting our master bedroom. To my great surprise, I could still hear Peyton making noise. When I went to check the monitor, she was out of her bed, which is unusual because she’s really good about staying in her bed during nap and bed time.

Anyway, I went in there and immediately smelled that she had pooped in her pull up. Not only did she have a dirty pull up, but she started insisting that she go to her bathroom to use the potty. I immediately thought no way – having her run around would likely wake up her brother, and it was also unnecessary. I told her that I would just change her pull up in her room. She continued to disregard everything I was saying and cue the rage. My face got hot, my whole body tensed up. I was so angry and it came over me so quickly.

My rage and anger resulted in Peyton crying. Not just crying, but sobbing. And if that wasn’t hard enough she started saying, “I’m so sorry, mommy. I’m so sorry, mommy.” And it was then and there my daughter taught me a couple of things:

Getting angry with my children for selfish reasons is horrible for my heart and their hearts. It’s important that as a mother, I take a step back and think about the motive behind my anger. Is it really because I’m mad that she won’t sit back in bed, or is it because I can’t focus on what I want to do? There have been plenty of occasions where I’ve found myself getting angrier with my children because they needed me during moments when I was trying to get stuff done.

The misuse of authority can lead to hurting. Instead of talking to my daughter in a reasonable, calm manner, I chose to raise my voice and show my frustration very clearly. Because I was so upset she wasn’t listening to me.  I let my anger control me instead of  thinking about what I needed to teach her in that moment. Come to think of it, my actions showed her a bad way of reacting to situations.

Children deserve apologies too. After my daughter said sorry, I said sorry too. I needed her to know that I messed up too and that we’re both human and will both likely let our emotions get the best of us. I’ve noticed the more I apologize to my daughter when I hurt her, the more she apologies when she does something wrong. I want her to know that it’s important to humble yourself.

I’ve noticed that as Peyton has gotten older, my patience has worn more thin. I don’t know if it’s because she’s more defiant, or can talk back, but I’ve definitely noticed a difference. And while she is becoming more independent and does need to be reprimanded at times, I need to find a better way of addressing her behavior and speaking to her heart.

It’s such a work in progress, and I know it will continue to be as long as I live, but that’s the wonderful thing about motherhood – it always stretches, molds and grows our hearts. I just want to be the best mom I can be for her, but it’s impossible to be perfect, so I’m also trying to work on giving myself grace.

The one thing I do want to continue doing is learning from other moms. Seeing my mama friends and family interact and lift up their kids (through good times and bad) has helped me grow as a mom. I thank all of my mama friends and family for being such great examples and just being encouraging.

Hope you all have a great week!

2 thoughts on “When Your Toddler Teaches You a Lesson

  1. Oh my gosh this is so true. It is the age of 3. I find my patience is very thin with Henry because of his deisre to be independent ( which I totally should be happy about) , the fact he can talk back to me, or just straight up does not listen. If I raise my voice or yell at him after the third time of telling him something he says to me ” don’t yell at me mom” talk about feeling horrible. Then it gets me thinking.. Should I have yelled at him for this silly thing? Hopefully 4 is better….. I’ll let you know in a few months.


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