All moms have hard days and hard moments. They are normal parts of motherhood and don’t mean you did anything wrong.
And by “Those Moments” I don’t mean a good one. It was one of those moments.
There I was, walking out of our church building holding McKenna as she cried. I was closely followed by a crying Brayden and a crying Kaitlyn. As I was walking down the hall I thought to myself, “This is one of those moments when you either laugh or cry.” So I burst out laughing. It really was a comical scene.
So what got us to that moment? Ah. Something so simple.
Each winter, our church does basketball games for the men. It was the first basketball game of the season, and my husband’s game was at 7 PM.
Historically, the first game of the season has always been a difficult one for the kiddos. It takes a game to get everyone in the groove of knowing expectations and me knowing what to bring to keep things calm.
But I remembered that this year! I utilized ask and tell before we left. I explained where we would be and what the rules were. They were all well-fed. We brought notebooks and crayons–a sure-win.
But I was sabotaged.
Not intentionally, but the “7:00” game started late–7:20. Considering that my children are usually in bed between 7:30 and 8:00, I really should have seen it coming. My husband must have on some level because he told me that if I needed to leave, he could easily find a ride home.
Things went well until 8:00.
Brayden and Kaitlyn were good while McKenna was unhappy that she couldn’t join the men on the floor playing basketball. But she is young and, though tenacious, can be distracted to have fun with a group of children without much effort.
Every so often I had to grab her just as she was about to run out onto the floor.
But at 8:00, Kaitlyn and McKenna started to cry. McKenna’s mind was set on that gym floor and she could not be distracted. Kaitlyn was tired from having not slept during her nap that day (naturally…if it is a day you will be out late, the toddler will be sure to not nap).
So I decided we were leaving.
But they didn’t want to leave. They wanted to stay and watch, play, and try to run out on the court.
So there I was, walking down the hall with three tired and disappointed children crying and me laughing.
Why do I tell you this story? To illustrate a couple of things. One is that things are not always 100% smooth sailing for my little family. We have our moments.
Moments when you could have avoided it in many ways (by just staying home), yet you went anyway. Failed optimism. But hey, it was worth a try.
And two is that sometimes despite your best efforts, things still do not go well. Remember my post “It Happens“? It really does happen.
And I don’t say that to discourage you, but to encourage you so that when it happens to you, you have one of those moments, you can laugh it off and not sit and stress about where you have gone terribly wrong in life.
What do I take from it? Well, for one, we won’t be going to any more 7 PM games unless I decide we will just leave at half-time no matter what.
For another, I need to do some brainstorming to work on McKenna accepting no and putting her efforts toward appropriate activities.
When she gets her mind set on something, she fights until she gets it. It isn’t a trait I think is bad–on the contrary, I think it is a great trait. So long as I can keep her focused on good goals, I won’t have to worry about her :).
But I do need to work with her to accept new goals if a goal she has set for herself is not okay.
So the next time you have a moment, don’t beat yourself up. We all have those moments. Even, and maybe especially, those you turn to for parenting advice.