This morning was a nightmare. Hailey was crying from the moment I got her up to the moment we left the house. But I refused to let it affect my day.
You can’t control everyone around you, including your children. The only thing you can do is control your emotions and thoughts.
This means I knew I may not be able to control her but I could definitely control my emotions. That became my focus rather than trying to battle Hailey and get her to do what I wanted.
Hailey’s behaviour was highly unusual. She’s never like this. I think she was pissed off that I wasn’t nursing her this morning. But it doesn’t really matter why she was upset.
She refused to potty and fought me during diaper changes. She kept ripping off her bib and pushing her tray away at breakfast.
She wanted to eat but she wasn’t behaving appropriately so I kept removing her from the table. This just pissed her off more….translation: more tears.
It was an hour of this as I got ready for work.
I didn’t want to lose my patience. I didn’t want this to affect my mood going into work and potentially for the rest of the day.
So I sat there patiently at breakfast telling myself that Hailey is free to act how she wants. I’m in control of my own emotions. I don’t have to respond to her.
I don’t have to make her drama my drama.
She’s free to be upset. I don’t have to be upset.
I went to work feeling happy. But I admit I was also quite relieved to hand her off to her grandparents.
How could I detach?
How was it possible that I did not get sucked in?
I’ve been practicing for a while, changing my thoughts and beliefs, learning that I don’t have to let other people affect me. It’s a learned behaviour that anyone can do. It just takes practice and patience.
Here’s some of the dialogue that went on in my head. It really came down to understanding what was important and realizing what wasn’t. Once that was determined it was easier to control my emotions because I wasn’t attached to the outcome.
- The crying and fussing and screaming was going to end. I was lucky that I was giving her to someone else so I knew at worst, I would only have to deal with this for an hour. I could handle that.
- If she didn’t eat breakfast I knew she wouldn’t starve. I knew my parents would feed her. Even if she skipped a meal entirely, she would survive.
- If she had to sit in a dirty diaper it wasn’t the end of the world. Sure, I would prefer that she didn’t but it wasn’t going to kill her. Her bum would be changed eventually.
- If I couldn’t get her dressed then she could go out in her pajamas. I would pack clothes for her to change into at a later time. Even if she stayed in her PJ’s all day it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
My conclusion: there was nothing life threatening or urgently important about any of our morning routine. The most important thing was that I was fed, dressed, and presentable for my day at work.
That was what needed to happen. Hailey could do what she wanted.