Honey, I don’t have time for your meltdown

parentingDear Little Sister,

You are having a rough day. I can see (and hear) that.

I wish I knew how to ease your frustration, how to stop those overflowing tears…but sometimes, I’m at a loss.

The perfect, patient mommy in me wants to stop…

….stop making dinner.

….stop driving you to school.

….stop getting ready for work.

….stop packing lunches…and just sit with you as you work it out.

However, I’m far from perfect and my patience often eludes me just when I need it the most.

It’s at these times that I really want to say in the most gentle, honest, and loving way possible…honey, I really don’t have time for your meltdown right now.

But I don’t.

Because I know you are in the throes of overwhelming emotion when it happens.

And I get it. Sometimes a cathartic cry is good for the soul. Yours. Clearly not mine.

I try my best to remember that at these moments it’s you in distress. Not me.

I want to muster all the patience in the world to just stop, listen, and be there for you.

To hear you, see you, and connect with you.

But then my left brain takes over and I realize it makes no sense to me at all.

Why putting on your shoes would trigger an all out meltdown. Right there in the school parking lot.

I push past the logic and gently wipe away your tears. I hug you and scoop you up in my arms. Shoeless.

I carry your delicate four year old body all the way to meet Big Brother at his class. And yes, I’m breaking a sweat, but I hold you.

We are heart to heart in that backbreaking moment.

You lay your head on my shoulder and it’s then that I realize…all you needed was for me to slow down and just hold you.


Ahhh….the crazy joy of parenting…how do you manage to keep it together when your child is in the throes of a meltdown?


9 Responses to Honey, I don’t have time for your meltdown
  1. Natalie
    November 2, 2011 | 5:24 pm

    What a beautiful post. Thank you :)

  2. Erica Walters
    November 2, 2011 | 6:39 pm

    Oh my goodness…I absolutely LOVED this post..so honest and true. If only we remembered to take a breath and just “hold them” every time!

  3. Katherine
    November 2, 2011 | 7:19 pm

    I have thought this before, that it’s just really not a good time for my kids to have a bad day. But kids don’t ever choose convenient times, do they?

    • Melissa
      November 2, 2011 | 11:08 pm

      No. No, they don’t. Wish they’d let me know so I could schedule it in or something :)

  4. Sherri
    November 3, 2011 | 2:08 pm

    Oh, they never really have them at a “good” time for mom, do they? I witnessed an epic one at a soccer game the other day. The two to three year old little princess melting down as if she were dying. Watching her sit on the curb, nobody paying any attention to her, I was just about to ask “Are you lost? Hurt? Kidnapped?” when I saw her mother off to the side, just letting her finish. Very calm.

    But it stressed me out and it wasn’t even MY child!

  5. Practical Parenting
    November 5, 2011 | 1:38 pm

    My son is very similar. What he really needs in those moments is for me to stop moving and just hold him close. I’ve taught him to say, “I just need a hug”, and that cuts down on the length of the meltdown. Empathizing and telling him that I’ve had those moments too helps a lot. But it’s hard sometimes, and patience wears thin when I have to be somewhere.

  6. JDaniel4's Mom
    November 7, 2011 | 11:12 am

    We are living these moment right now. Hugs really have helped.

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