Finding Joy After a Tantrum

After the most horrible day yesterday with my three-year-old (whom I call Captain Obvious), I called my sister in tears. I just couldn’t see any good in anything. It was all too hard. How in the world was I going to survive a lifetime of dealing with this child? Contrary to popular belief…Its not all sloppy kisses and storybooks.

There are days, even as adults, that we just can’t deal. As a child, they do not have the experience nor maturity to even know how to handle all the things in life. It is the days where a tantrum is inevitable, and you can see the tension building like a volcano ready to explode shows you where you are in life. You find yourself either gaining strength and calling upon the inner patience you have built over years of practice, knowing that the storm will soon blow over or you yell back and then feel guilty once there is time to reflect. Because, after all, you are the adult and you just let your child bring out the worst in you.

Even after the gut-wrenching, beastly day, Captain Obvious woke up when I returned home from work and wanted a hug from me before laying peacefully back in his bed. If he weren’t a three-year-old, I would be very confused at his actions, after all the screaming and yelling, the kicking and beating on his bedroom door, the loss of patience on my end, the reaction to his unbridled fury, he still wanted a hug from me.

My sister suggested something that she had realized recently for herself. She told me that we need to seek out the joy in our children. Those golden moments that make everything worth it or as I came to call them “Nuggets of Awesome”. At first when she suggested that I look for #smallwins day to day, I shook my head, declaring it a complete waste of time. In the moment when I was so caught up in the emotions, I could not think of one single thing that day that brought me joy in this child. I finished my conversation with my ever-so-wise sister and realized that I had a request from this same three-year-old who was supposed to be in bed. Instead of allowing exasperation to wash over me once again, I gave him the hug and kiss that he wanted and listened to his sweet words I and recorded my first nugget of awesome:

As he laid back down peacefully, he said “I love you, Mama”.

That, I have to say, is the one piece of joy I recognized that day from that blond little three-year-old. A new resolve to deepen my pools of patience and to turn my back when the screaming starts. (The resolve is a #smallwin!). I recognized that there is really no good to me yelling back (another #smallwin). So by jotting down the little moments of joy found in the day, hopefully I will get to the point that all I remember are sloppy kisses and storybooks instead of the guilt that I feel after having reacted to the fits of my little one.

Recognizing nuggets of awesome or #smallwins can easily be applied to having children – but the same can be done when dealing with adults that act like children. Traffic jams, long lines or a terrible boss can all equally provide enough stress to completely smother you if you let them. Start seeking the small golden moments that bring joy. Joy is an attitude. You can develop joy by recognizing even the smallest good in your day.

For instance: “I caught a green light where I normally catch a red light” #smallwin right there. Then record it, somewhere. Or tweet it (tweet it to me – I’d love to hear about it @chocmusings #smallwins). After time, you will find more Nuggets of Awesome despite all the dreary things trying to bring you down and you will find that you have a joyful attitude. Its like magic.

 

Leave me a comment below to let me know what you think. Tell me about any #smallwins you have had or any Nuggets of Awesome you’ve encountered in your day.

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