It was two days before Thanksgiving. The house had to be cleaned. The grocery list had to be written. The baby had to be taken care of. I was busy. And Mercedes was bored. And mad at me because I was busy. So she made extra messes. And whatever I asked her to do, she did the opposite. And when I needed her to hold still to get her hands washed or to change her clothes, she'd run away. I got frustrated. And angry. And had absolutely no patience. Which only made Mercedes act up more. We tried the Chill Spot. She told me she wasn't listening to Mommy because she was mad and she wanted Mommy to play with her. So I tried to give her projects to do while I was cleaning. I even tried playing with her for a while. But her mood didn't change. And neither did mine. We were both frustrated. We were both emotional. We were both overwhelmed.
Nap time came. Mercedes didn't want to go to sleep. So she cried. I cried too. I asked her, "Mercedes, are you having a sad day?" She sobbed, "yes". I said, "Mommy is having a sad day too. A nap will make you feel better. And when you wake up, we're changing the day. We're going to make today a happy day". And we did. We made and ate ice cream sundaes. We sorted through my jewelry (a special privilege and one of Mercedes' favorite things to do). Mercedes' took a relaxing bath. We watched a movie together. I put all my lists away and stopped my cleaning and gave her the rest of my day.
It is so easy, especially on the busy days, to get overwhelmed. To get frustrated with my babies. To forget to pause and enjoy them. But it is SOOO important that my life as a mom is more than to do lists, cleaning, cooking, running around changing diapers and picking up toys. All those things have to be done, but not at the expense of my kids' happiness. Not at the expense of my sanity. So when we are having an overwhelming day...especially when it is a day when Mercedes is having extra trouble listening...I have to stop. Whatever I'm doing, just stop. Give my kids some love. Give them my time. My attention. And do something that they love. It turns the rough day into a happy one. Every single time. It is amazing how much control I have, as their mom, to make their day happy or sad. My attitude and my actions rub off on them. My goal is to make every day happy and peaceful for them. And my top priority every day is to make sure they feel loved. At the end of the day, nothing else that I did or didn't do really matters. At the end of the day, if my girls are happy, feel peaceful, and know that they are loved, my day was a success.