I did a lot of breathing today. The kind that says, “Run, small children. Mama’s about to blow!”
We had a ROUGH weekend. Lots of whining and crying and parents needing mental health breaks. The girls are in preschool every other week, and this was the end of our week off. We got through every difficult minute, knowing preschool was back in session soon. We were only such-and-such hours away from salvation.
Then at about 8pm last night, I realized that Monday was Yom Kippur. Today is Yom Kippur. Today there is no preschool 😭.
Ever been at the end of your tether but could see the light ahead? What if that light was a mirage, and you weren’t actually close to relief?
Yeah, that was last night at 8pm. So this morning was extra special with regard to staying calm. I wasn’t prepared to have my patience hat on today, and it was an uncomfortable fit. Hence the breathing.
The breathing I use to self-regulate, hoping I can calm down before I say something unkind or unfair. Just because they’re driving me crazy, doesn’t mean it’s their fault. It’s often mine. Kids are curious. They push boundaries. They explore. They’re learning, and it’s my responsibility to be a patient guide who cultivates their curiosity, instead of shutting it down. It’s my privilege to facilitate opportunities where they can apply critical thinking, instead of just giving them answers. I strive to teach my girls how to make good decisions, instead of just saying, “because I said so.”
That being said, some days we just don’t have it in us. Some days we’re just done, and the breathing helps. It calms me down, and it has become our Pavlovian response to insane stress. I breathe, they know I’m losing it, and they give me space.
As much as I’ve apologized over and over for losing the battle with serenity in the midst of chaos, I’ve also taught my daughters that people have a breaking point, and they can be pushed too far. Most problems have two players, and I teach my girls to be responsible for their part by taking responsibility for my own.
But sometimes a little deep breathing can circumvent difficult situations, and I’m happy to report the day took a turn for the better 🙌.