It was a hard day.
I got up at 5:30 a.m., showered, greeted a babysitter at 7, attended a meeting, went to a doctor’s appointment, returned home in just enough time to get the kids off to school and my toddler in the car in order to dash off to his weekly speech session.
I then proceeded to rush home for lunch, unsuccessfully attempt to get said toddler down for a nap, so I could (in turn) participate in back-to-back work-related phone conferences.
In the midst of trying to maintain my afternoon meeting:
- My recently potty trained son needed to go the the bathroom three times
- My dog puked all over the mudroom
- My 3-year-old (you know, the one who chose NOT to nap) proceeded to quite suddenly adjust the television volume up full blast – causing me to jump at my office desk, spill my water and nearly scream in unexpected surprise during the phone conference I was attempting to participate in.
Needless to say, my afternoon meetings were cut short.
As my kids arrived home from school I quickly cleaned up the dog puke while facilitating homework amongst one cranky, tired toddler who was minus one much needed nap.
Normally, after a day like this my patience and nerves would be fried. Yet on this day, somewhere amongst all the frantic chaos and building exhaustion I managed to find a long overdue pocket of patience. Clinging to this very fragile bubble of patience, I turned to my 10-year-old in desperate need of a little support – anyone’s support!
“Honey,” I began (with a tone of self pity). “You know those days when you come home from school and have piano lessons followed by soccer practice and somewhere in between have to find time to fit in homework too?” (Admittedly, we try to cut down on days like those, but they still happen…)
She nodded in clear remembrance of these occasional days of back-to-back madness.
“Well, that is the type of day I am having today. It’s been rough one.” I concluded (remembering to force a smile so as not to have her worry too much).
Maybe I shouldn’t have opened up to her, but I needed to verbalize my stress. I needed understanding, compassion and an ear to listen (if only for a second) to my mounting frustrations. Her eyes recognized my distress and she responded by returning a smile my way. For just a split-second we shared this unique bond – the connection from a common experience of dealing with hard days.
That was all I needed. Someone to smile, to sympathize and to understand.
I wonder if she knows how much her smile of support meant to me? It’s amazing what just a little support will do to carry you through a rough day.
I grabbed a quick bite to eat before leaving to drive my middle son to music followed by two more back-to-back meetings and knew without a doubt that I would survive.
It felt good.
It felt good to feel supported and remain somewhat in control of a day that could have very easily become unmanageable and have tumbled to shambles. It was a hard day – made bearable by a small, often hidden pocket of patience and just a little support.
I think I may try to chose patience and support more often. It certainly beats the alternative…
Leave a Comment: Do you talk to your children about your struggles when you’re having a hard day?