Life is messy.
It’s full of ups and downs and curve balls.
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of chaos for us. My husband has been doing Maple Syrup with a friend, so every weekend is spent out at the sugar bush in the camper. Last weekend I had to work late so he went off with the baby, and I stayed back to do a 14 hour inventory shift… I just came home and crashed. Then the following day I went out to meet them, annnnd Finn was sick (barky seal cough so I’m assuming croup??) So I just came home with her. She was up the whole night, coughing. Poor, sweet Finn. She seems to be on the mend, so there’s that.
I picked up my kids yesterday from school as we go into an “on week” with them. Rhy was so bubbly in the car and I always love our car chats. He’s full of stories and updates – I just shut the radio off and listen to him recount his week. Avalon was “off”… she told me that she just felt moody today. So I let her be… I knew that the car was not the right place to tell them.
Now we may not be able to predict the things that get thrown our way, but we can sure as heck control the reaction we have to them.
Last night, after we got home and settled, I told my daughter some difficult news. And watching her as she came to terms with it, was heartbreaking.
We went for a drive, just me and her, so we could chat:
“My Avalon Mae, I cannot protect you from life’s challenges. As much as I want to take the hurt away; I can’t. You’re going to face hardships and life is going to rip you apart. Some days it will knock you down; some days you’ll get back up, and some days you’re gonna be down for a bit… but you’ll get up. You will. You’re going to hurt, but it’s not going to last. I can promise you that. You’re going to have bad days – days when you’re sad. And I’ll be right there with you. I’m going to be sad with you. I’m going to be there all the way through it. When we get to the end, we are gonna celebrate together. I am your mother. I cannot protect your from everything, but you can be DAMN sure that I’m going to walk alongside you no matter what…”
Raise your kids to feel emotions. To ride those waves; allow the sadness to wash over you. Teach them to feel it, own it, control it, and then let it go.
We cannot shield our children from life, but we can show them that these days will come and go – and that’s ok. Raising strong children doesn’t mean telling them to “get over it”… strength comes from knowing that this wide range of emotions are a very real thing, and they don’t last forever.
When we teach a child to feel an emotion instead of reacting to it, it allows them to own it, deal with it, and then move on. As adults they learn to accept responsibility for their own emotions, control them, and are less likely to last out and let sadness turn into anger then anxiety.
Not just that, but allow them to feel safe in their emotions. Be there for them while they ride that wave. Hold them, talk to them. You’re not letting them be “weak” – actually it’s the opposite. You are raising them to be strong and independent. For one day they will face sadness again, and the motor pathway in the brain on how to cope will be established.
Being a mom is hard… but you just have to roll with it sometimes!
My mamma said there would be days like this.