I remember when it hit me that I was raising a strong willed child, and that everyone’s threats growing up saying I would get my payback for how I acted was in fact a horrible way of putting that I would raise a miniature me.
Hayden Renee is my strong willed child, she from the start has tested every limit given to her and exceeded every expectation I’ve ever had of her. She tests me every single day and makes me question if I can make it through, but at the end of the day im so incredibly proud of the tiny human she is becoming.
I always tell the story of Hayden at about 18-19 months old coloring and ripping the pages out of the book “how to raise a strong willed child” I laugh now because ive realized there is no set in stone way to raise these sour patch kids. But there is w mindset to get into to raise them. I fail as her mother daily, but I try everyday to be the best I can be.
Hayden is notorious for loosing her cool when she feels out of control in a situation, and after many battles between us in which both of us ended up in tears i’ve learned one major thing, be the calm in the storm. I am her calm and her pillar when she feels out of control, if I am out of control with her than who is manning this ship? We are sinking in a terrible sea of yelling tears and an occasional crayon, because my life is consumed with these crayons that pop up all over and magically color on my walls and my bookshelves and ever on my wood floor. When you start seeing your little strong willed child start to jut that chin out and you watch their eyes glint over with sheer determination, brace yourself and count to ten. Once I learned to stay calm, the length of a fight is much better. I fail every day, and every day I ask for forgiveness or empathy, we as adults ask for those two things daily, but it seems that we don’t think our children deserve the same thing. They are still learning how to control adult emotions in kid bodies once I remembered that I had a much easier time reacting to Hayden.
Now mommas how many times does your child walk by your spouse and come find you and ask for something. Hayden Renee will seek me out to ask me something, while she walks right by her dad who is sitting on the couch watching tv. She will than proceed to say mom 1000x and than ask me for juice. I think I say “ are you kidding me 100x a day” but I also try to remember that she DOES go to her dad when she needs him to fix her toy drill (yes she has a toy one because for the sake of every screw in my house it was safer to give her her own than to have her sneak daddy’s and use it) But I’m mom im the magician of opening juice boxes. I’m ok with that, thats her way of communicating. Your reaction to your child in that moment will mirror how they respond. So if you react poorly you may just end up with a juice packed thrown at the wall and a child running away screaming. It has happened don’t laugh momma was stressed and reacted poorly.
Remember that you are the parent, it’s your job to teach them to channel that energy and tendencies of sheer bull headedness into something that they will be proud of. Notice I said they? You are allowed to be proud of your children but raise them to be proud of themselves! That is your job!
So with that let’s switch to you mommas and daddy’s side. How embarrassing is it to go into a restaurant and have your little sour patch just terrorize the whole entire place? I used to get so stressed out and embarrassed anytime we went anywhere. But than I looked deep into myself and why I felt this way. We all have this perfect picture of what we think our children will be, they’ll say yes mam and no mam and never act up in public etc. How big of a joke is this? My child is polite but 9 times out of 10 she is an absolute terror in public, and guess what im ok with that. She is exploring and learning new things, and its my job to teach her how to reign that in and be better. Please mommas if you do one thing different from this don’t ever them see you feel embarrassed by them, that’s a part of their self esteem you will never be able to repair. You can never fix that broken piece. Instead remember your child is perfect in every way! They are your child, they are reflection and a piece of you.
Some days you may have to hide in the shower and eat that chocolate or drink that glass of wine. That’s ok, I at least twice a week lay in the fetal position and just think about the day. Hayden Renee is a handful on a good day, on a bad davits by grace and grace alone I make it through. Grace on my part to acknowledge that she is a child, and grace on her part to acknowledge that I am not a perfect parent. I have on more than one occasion had to call Andy to come home from work because I was in tears and couldn’t handle it anymore. That is ok to do momma’s! Its ok to admit you can’t handle them, the world puts this huge weight on our shoulders as mothers. They say we should be able to handle them no matter what. What a load of crapp that is! Take that weight off your shoulders, put it on the ground, and let your spouse sit on it with you! Let them help with those issues! I can guarantee they feel just as lost as you.
Don’t let the world tell you are a lazy parent because your child isn’t perfect all the time! You are doing amazing momma! These sour patch kids of ours are going to amazing things in life! They won’t become serial killers, they wont flunk out of school and end up in a ditch. They won’t hate you for being tough on them. These kids, these strong willed kids that test us to the limit are the ones who run nations, they are the ones who own a business they are the ones who protect the other kids from the bullies. These strong willed kids are who this world needs, someone upstairs felt you were strong enough to raise them, don’t take that lightly!
Just as a good example of moments of grace. This is the second write up of this blog! I had finished the first one and was extremely proud of it and Hayden Renee erased it in the split second I was up checking on the baby. YALL I was gone 20 seconds and she had it completely erased and I could not find it. By grace I didn’t scream, I just laughed and wrote it again. Apparently the first draft wasn’t what I needed to write. Whats meant to be will happen. The story is already written in the stars so just follow it and stop letting other try to change it with there un needed opinions. You know your child better than anyone else! You know what they need! YOU GOT THIS MOMMA.