My (then) 16 month old was throwing a tantrum in the Giant. Something was up with my normally pleasant baby. Teething, tired, upset stomach, I sometimes feel like figuring out why a baby is upset is a game of russian roulette. I also wouldn’t let her dump the container of not even purchased strawberries on the floor, the freshly opened bag of chips were apparently disgusting, and she also needed to take one bite of each animal cracker in the box (also freshly opened in the store) and throw each one on the floor, which I would also not let her do. Whatever the cause, she was not going to remain the cart without screaming and I honestly felt bad for the other Giant customers. Fortunately, daddy was with us that night and could remove the child from the battle scene, otherwise it might have been the first time I ever had to abandon my cart and take the walk of shame with a screaming child to the car.
I was thinking about the experience that night in the shower of this in the shower and thought to myself.. there is a lot of talk (and underlying pressure) about making the little, mundane moments in life matter and finding joy in these small moments, which therefore brings more happiness to your overall parenting experience. And while I do believe in soaking up those little sweet every day moments (when your baby smothers you in kisses or sits with you quietly to read a book) and have found that being thankful and present in the little sweet moments has brought me joy, I have also realized this.
Not every little moment is a “sunset moment”. Sometimes there are hard moments and finding joy in them just isn’t going to happen. And that’s okay. The night that Callie was throwing a tantrum in the Giant we hadn’t done much that day. We spent most of the day cleaning and organizing and getting ready for the week ahead. I was thinking okay great we will take a family trip to the grocery store and make the most out what could normally be a mundane activity. I went in with a great attitude. And then the trip just went sour. And I felt defeated. And I realized that it was okay that this moment was not a moment I found joy in. There will be plenty of grocery trips where Callie sits patiently the entire trip and waves and says “hi” to other customers and then there will be trips where she tantrums. So the trips where she is herself I will enjoy and the other ones I’ll just do my best to gracefully parent her, keep a calm demeanor, and not let that moment define the rest of my day. And most importantly.. not make myself feel bad that I missed a moment that could have been precious. Sometimes situations just suck and there is nothing wrong with that. If we hold the sweet and the sour moments in tension with one another we will grow and flourish and appreciate each moment for what it is. So mama’s.. don’t let that mom guilt make you feel bad for not finding the joy in every single situation. Lets be real.. there is nothing joyful about a toddler throwing a tantrum.. especially in a public place!
Happy Mother’s Day weekend! <3