I lost my patience at approximately 8:12 this morning.
Maybe it’s because I have a charmed life (I really do) or maybe it’s because I’m still new to mothering, but I don’t often feel like my bucket is scraping the bottom of the patience well. Today I ran out before we had even eaten breakfast. Doh.
For whatever reason, I was cranky. I was inexplicably exhausted after a full night’s sleep, worried I was getting another infection, and I just plain had a tough time being engaged and happy to help my girls.
Mackenzie is three, so she had averaged 2.4 “why” questions a minute since she bounced out of bed that morning. At 8:12, I was fixing her a plate of homemade peanut butter on homemade whole wheat bread (thanks, neighbor!) with three kinds of fresh fruit, and I realized we also had ripe mangoes. She LOVES mangoes. So I asked her with a determined smile, “Would you also like some mango with your breakfast?”
“Why?” in a demanding tone.
I think I retorted something mature like… “What do you mean “why”? Seriously. What does that even mean? Can’t you just answer the question?”
I said that to a three year old. A really sweet one who constantly asks “why” because she’s curious about the world around her, and occasionally asks “why” just because she’s in the habit of doing so (as was likely the case with the mango).
Her lip started to quiver and she retreated from her post in the kitchen where she had been “helping” me make breakfast. I felt awful, but so dry was my well that after I apologized, I still had to force myself to be cordial the rest of the morning.
I plugged away, doing the minimum all morning to keep the girls fed, wiped, and occupied, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I was faking it, hoping for tomorrow to be a better day.
Then, as I was putting Mackenzie down for a nap (for the 2nd time that afternoon), she said something that made me stop and think. I always sing to my girls before they go to sleep and I had started “Walk Tall You’re A Daughter of God” (sheet music here). I was struggling to remember the words in the third verse and my sweet girl prompted me:
“Please remember always please that you are not alone..”
I was able to finish with, “He’ll take your hand. He loves you. He will guide you home.”
And in that moment I knew two things:
- I might have been having a bad mom day (ok, I definitely was), but I wasn’t all bad. At least I had sung that particular song to her enough times that she had remembered the beautiful words, and that’s something!
- I’m not alone. Not in dealing with a tough day, and not in parenting my girls. My Father in Heaven loves me. I matter to Him and the work I’m doing as a mother matters to Him.
(The picture doesn’t really relate to the post, but it does make me want to give Mackenzie a smooch so I thought it might help my crankiness. 🙂 )