This week's mindful mantra is about giving yourself the power to carry on. It is about taking yourself out of the moment and checking in to what's really happening. It's not you, it's a tantrum.
I have an extremely strong willed and stubborn little girl on my hands. The girl who never fussed has slowly transitioned into someone who can, at the drop of a hat, have a total meltdown. The best part being, they last forever.
I know that in the heat of a tantrum you can't use logic. I know that in the heat of a tantrum, when you feel like screaming at your child to stop or calm down, you can only offer space, a calm voice and hugs. Knowing all that, doesn't seem to help much, when I'm 30+ minutes into the tantrum and I would give my left arm to just make it stop.
Since being on the road, driving for hours on end at a time, doing lots of activities and staying in many different cities, hotels and homes, I have been taking the brunt of all these meltdowns on my own. When I talk to Shane about them, he is supportive and informative. He reminds me of the things I know such as "she is two years old, this is what two year olds do" and "if she is overtired it is not her fault". I KNOW. I get all of that. It still however drains every ounce of my energy and leaves me feeling perplexed and sometimes in tears.
Not being able to calm her down in times of distress is difficult. When all I want to do is make things better, stick to our safe boundaries and love her up, these moments are just not mine to control. My mantra for this week: I didn't cause this problem, and I can't fix it.
This is going to be a very important mantra for me because I have this problem where I yearn to fix things. However, when it comes to the meltdown of a toddler, there sometimes isn't even anything to fix.
Wether it's tired, hungry, or the blessed combination of both, nothing I say or do will just make it instantly stop and disappear. So while it's happening and I am managing to remain calm, I need to let go of the self-talk nattering away about it stopping as soon as possible. I now know that a good ole fashioned tantrum just needs to run it's course. Of course situation dependent, but overall there is an underlying notion of the more you push the worse it will get.
This mantra, I didn't cause this problem, and I can't fix it, reminds me to cut myself some slack. Continue to do what I do (remain calm and offer love and support) and release any self judgment I might be feeling. A tantrum is not a product of my parenting, nor is it a depiction of what my daughter is or will become. It is a product of being two. That's that.
Try it with me this week parents, and see if it helps!