Have you ever walked in on a mom as she is trying to talk to her child and she looks like the one who needs to take the "chill pill?"
The playpen diaries
If you haven't had the privilege to witness such an act, let me enlighten you with what I am talking about.
The other day my daughter and I were arguing about what she could have to drink. She wanted chocolate milk and I wanted her to have some water.
After about five minutes of going back and forth, my daughter dropped to the floor and put on her best pout.
This is the pout that is used to counter the word "no" in almost every situation.
As a mom I am used to the pout, the cry, the kicking and the screaming. I am even becoming accustomed to the "You're mean, mom. I don't like you."
However, as the tantrums become more frequent and my patience shrinks, I have now started throwing my own little tantrums.
On this particular day, as my daughter fell to the floor, I put on my own pout. I jumped up and down like a crazy person and, in my most whiny voice, said, "Nooooo, you can not have chocolate milk. You can have water."
Mature? No. Effective? Maybe.
As I jumped around and gave into my own three-year-old self, I quickly noticed I was the only one acting like a toddler. My daughter stared at me in disbelief and my son just laughed and pointed, yelling, "Mommy funny. Mommy silly."
Although it was not my proudest moment, I have to admit, the freedom and the weight that was lifted, as I let myself wail and whine, felt pretty darn good.
I don't want this to become common practice when dealing with my kids, but wow, when you just let go of it all it's almost as if you have let yourself breathe again. As parents we do our best to deal with our children in a polite, respectful but firm manner because that is how we want them to deal with others. But as we do this, we are also suppressing piles and piles of emotion. I know there are days when I come home from work and just want to put my feet up, relax, watch my favourite show and do nothing - but I can't.
Instead, I have to clean, make supper, play, referee, and continue on to my second job. A job I love. A job that pays out hugely when I am given my hug and kiss bonuses, but a job that at times can be far more emotionally challenging than my nine to five.
I am not going to lie. There are days when I go through the motions at home but feel no emotion at all because I know that if I give way to those feelings, my kids are really going to get a show.
Mommy would be on the floor in tears because some days just feel like too much.
But I don't and they don't because we as parents are strong. We put on our fronts and our smiles and we just push on through until there is silence.
Until that last "I love you" is said and everyone is in bed. And then we breathe.
We collect our thoughts and we realize that one bad day does not make a bad life and that tomorrow we get a fresh start.
I know this and I am grateful for that realization every time I have one of those days.
As we get older, as our children get older, life does not get easier. In fact it becomes busier.
I don't know what each day is going to bring and as always I will do my best, learn from my mistakes, lean on my family and friends for support and just go with it.
However, now that I know how good an old-fashioned toddler tantrum can feel, I might just have to work it into my week.
Not in front of my kids. Not in front of my husband and most certainly not in front of a window, but when the house is quiet and no one is around you might just find this mama down in the laundry room, jumping, kicking and possibly screaming - throwing a temper tantrum and feeling damn good about it.
Lyndsay McCready can be reached at 306-691-1263 or follow her on Twitter @Newsielou