‘I KNOW timeouts don’t work. But my four-year-old has been chanting, for all the neighbors to hear, ‘Meany-head mommy.’: Mom urges ‘grace, even when we least deserve it’

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“I put my four-year-old in timeout on the patio, and she’s been chanting for over five minutes, for all the neighbors to hear, ‘Meany-head mommy.’ I know timeouts don’t work. I know I’m supposed to do a time-in.

But I needed a timeout, and since my other two e-learning kids needed me, the tiny tyke was sent out to the patio, instead of me taking myself out there. What began it all, you ask? Nothing substantial. She wasn’t listening to my instructions, and I was getting impatient with her.

She was already getting impatient with me for tending to household chores and her siblings (as needed) instead of playing with her. She started making mean faces at me and gritting her teeth, and so I walked away, so I wouldn’t end up doing the same back at her.

I know what you’re thinking. She’s four. You’re thirty-four. Why would you even have to control yourself from making mean faces or getting riled up by someone thirty years younger?

But it happens, people. Sometimes my kids act in a way which really frustrates me, and it causes me to act in the way they just did which frustrated me.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. No wonder these monkeys are a part of my circus.

As the mama in the family, I hold a critical job of keeping this family train running, on course, and keeping all its passengers safe and happy, and I’ve just got to tell you, this sh*t is hard.

And throw in a pandemic, some e-learning, so much together-time, less outings and fewer visits with friends, and, well, it’s getting really effing monotonous.

What I’m trying to remember, every morning, every night, and every couple of hours or minutes when I need a self-pep talk—in addition to the fact I’m hashtag blessed—is we’re all going to make mistakes.

We’re each going to fudge up. Conversations. Interactions. With our work. With our words. With our behavior. But it’s how we bounce back from those gaffes with more love and understanding for each other that truly matters.

I’m an overwhelmed, anxious, type-A, easily stir-crazed hothead, raising three of the same, and if these adorably-exhausting mini-mes and I are going to make it through this pandemic in one piece and with all our marbles in tact, we’ve got to give each other plenty of grace and hugs, even when we least deserve it.”

Courtesy of Nicole Merritt

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Nicole Merritt of Jthreenme, where the post originally appeared. You can follow her on Facebook, her website or podcastDo you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more from Nicole:

‘My husband and I don’t hold hands anymore. When I see other couples, I feel a pang. Jealously? Concern?’: Wife explains how husband ‘holds her’ in other ways to support marriage

‘Your child is not their test score DURING A PANDEMIC. It’s NOT an indication of how much you love them.’: Mom writes encouraging note to parents, ‘Love leads, learning follows’

‘Is 9 a.m. too early for Tequila? I’m slowly losing my mind. Maybe not so slowly, really.’: Mom speaks to difficulty of parenting during pandemic, says ‘maybe we’ve got to lose it a bit’

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