After the crazy feeling of being a failed parent and writing it all down to get it out of the system yesterday, I cried my negative feelings out. I cried as I sat alone on my bed while my husband talked to Phoebie, and I cried as we (still) did our family bedtime sharing session. I told myself that it was times like this that I should all the more do our family bedtime sharing session, so through teary eyes and a runny nose, I shared about my favourite moment of the day, what I thought I could do better and what I was thankful.
After the sharing session was over, I talked to Phoebie, this time calmly, about what had happened in the day that led to both of us melting down.
No matter how bad a day I have had with Phoebie, I can never allow myself or her to go to bed without talking things through and reconciling with each other.
Through our “over time” sharing session (with Breyen, my two year old, sleeping beside us), I asked Phoebie why she repeatedly behaved in a certain way. I expressed my disappointment in her behaviour and her lack of remorse in spite of seeing how obviously upset I was with her. This time, instead of screaming, I told her in a much softer tone about how I wish she would appreciate what she has.
Phoebie, who had also stopped crying and had calmed down by now, apologised for her behaviour.
I asked her what I should do if she repeated the same behaviour again. “Smack my hand,” she said, “It’s fair for you to smack my hand if I behave like that again.”
During our debrief, I explained to Phoebie how both her Dad and I are always trying to give her and her brother the best, some of which are experiences we ourselves never had when we were children. Phoebie, despite being tired, listened intently and asked why we didn’t get to do some of the things she now has the chance to do.
At the end of the long and emotional night, I asked Phoebie what she wanted to do. She said she wanted a hug and a kiss from me, so she crawled into my embrace and we stayed that way for a while.
While we were hugging, I whispered a prayer into Phoebie’s ears and thanked the Lord that I have her as my daughter. I prayed that the Lord would help us both to grow together and be a better mum and daughter. Phoebie said amen and went to her bed.
Parenting is a crazy journey that we can’t get out of, because the day we bring our kids into this world, it means we’re in too deep. Children are not the only ones who will have meltdowns. Parents can and will have meltdowns too. The difference it makes is in how we deal with everything after our parental meltdown is over. We cannot run away from being parents, so we have no choice but to eventually deal with it.
I can only pray that in spite of our mistakes, our children will grow up well with us.