Q. When is it time to ask for help?
A. When your kid won't stop crying and you feel like you may lose it.
That was me today. As I explained in my previous post, Lindsay has been sick. More then five days of her being congested, hot, whiny, temperamental and clingy. Fortunately, today her fever is gone and the coughing has subsided a bit, but the happy, easy, pleasant, cooperative little girl who lived with us just a week ago has still yet to reappear.
After battle number 15--this one relating to what she did or did not want to eat, which came after what she did and did not want to wear--I finally had to walk away. I put her on her bed; I told her that she could stay there and cry if she wanted to but that I could not help her until she could tell me what she wanted in her "Big Girl" voice. I walked away. This was an alternative to yelling, "STOP CRYING; I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!"
I knew that if I tried to figure out what she needed one more time; if I was in that close of proximity to the whining and crying much longer that I would snap. At that point, the Wise Mother Within said, "it's okay to walk away."
Which I did. And I called my husband and shared with him how I was feeling. And by the time I got off the phone and went to check on Lindsay, she was asleep.
Yes, the fact that she fell asleep at 11:00 in the morning may throw off the rest of the day, but we both got what we really needed. Lindsay must have needed some sleep and I know I needed some time to myself.
Turning inward and asking what you need to get through a tough moment (or multiple moments) is a practice in mindful parenting. A practice that is sometimes easier to identify in hind-sight then in the heat of the moment. But when I do practice mindful parenting, each time I am rewarded by an easier (and more positive) answer then I would have come up with in the heat of the moment.
Today reminded me that I not only need to ask for help and support from others, but more importantly, that my first distress signal should be sent to myself.