I love to do things with my kids. Well…most things. Do you know the one thing I can’t stand to do with them? The one thing that I try to avoid whenever possible?
I am generally a patient person, but when it comes to going to the grocery store with my kids, my tolerance for their normal, active, excited 4- and 6-year-old behavior goes out the window. I love grocery shopping (really, I do!) and I love my kids…but the two together are not a good mix for me.
This has been a fairly recent revelation for me. As I said earlier, I am generally a pretty patient person. I do not get angry easily. It does not phase me when the kids I work with get physically or verbally aggressive (okay, there was one time I had to switch out with another staff person. Flicking toilet water at me with a boomwhacker was about all I could handle in that moment). I am able to keep a cool head in most situations and can remain level and objective.
But although I am the same person, the part of myself that emerges as a therapist can be different than those I use as a mom. It is fascinating to me the ways in which children—and not just children, but anyone that you allow yourself to love, to open up to, and to be vulnerable with—it is fascinating the ways in which they challenge and stretch you. How you can experience and learn about parts of yourself you didn’t even realize were there. And these continue to grow and expand as you gain experiences, grow, and develop.
So I continue on this journey as a mommy, trying to understand myself more so I can be the best mommy I can be. I will try to—more often than not—appreciate and celebrate the bright, active, curious, and creative beings that my children are. And I will try not to lose patience as often as I do.
I’ll just maybe keep them away from the grocery store for awhile.