Tuesday, November 17, 2015
At the moment, I'm feeling particularly thankful for one thing: that tomorrow is another day. 

Really, nothing went awry today until tonight. We've been working hard (and generally doing well!) at living our family rules around here: to be peaceful, joyful, gentle and clean (I need to write a whole post on them). But Olivia is a three-year-old, you know, and the accompanying emotions can mix things up. There is no peace or joy or gentility when a toddler's extreme feelings about whatever take over. Family rules? Out the window. 

And I'm a typical mom, with a whole lot of invested time, energy and feeling into these babies, so when the extreme emotions make communication impossible, and/or when they turn plain rude, I get worked up. Family rules? Thrown out the window! There is no peace or joy when I feel burdened and hurt as a mom. 

So that's what happened tonight -- a whole lot of exploded emotions + aims to be great people at home went poof. Olivia was told earlier that if she kept snapping at me ("No, Mom. No!") when I ask her to do something normal, like to not pick up her sister like she's a stuffed animal, that one of her prized candies would go in the garbage. "Okay, Mom! Got it!" So tonight, when I got three more a'these - "No, Mom. No!" - a tootsie pop hit the trash. 

A bit o'hell broke loose. 

I don't regret staying firm to my word and chucking the sucker. Olivia won't learn that consequences are REAL if she doesn't have them. However, I am regretting that tonight I let my emotions take over, too. I was a three-year-old in my own right. I didn't yell or explode, but I was that quiet kind of mad (typical for me). I felt so mad and she knew it. With pursed lips and a scowled brow, I kept saying in response to her pleas to take the sucker back, "Sorry, Olivia. This is called a consequence." I said it like a big brat. A big, mad brat. Man it was dumb to be both. Being mad didn't make her more sorry at all (it never does). It didn't make me feel better (really, it never does)! More love would've turned us both around.

I wish I could give more love 1000% of the time, especially when disciplining. I mean, when I get enough sleep (didn't happen last night), and when I don't feel like a single parent (it's almost finals time of the year for Ry), I do great. I'm as a calm as a summer's morning while all the toddler bombs go off and off. But I want to take things to the next level. I want to stay chill still, even when I'm tired and alone in this work. I'd love for them to say of me, "Mom was cool, collected, and kind under pressure. She was firm but never furious. She disciplined well."

Guess I'm thankful for two things tonight: that tomorrow is another day, and that with some prayer and much more practice, in some future day I'll be loads better than I was today. A girl can dream, right? Yes! Especially about those kind of special things. Those kind of dreams can definitely come true.


And now, a stream of family photos. JK I am thankful for three things -- number three! -- for these photos (thank you, Auntie La!!) Going through them just now helped patch me and my regret right up. I just relived that beautiful, late September day when these were shot. We were our honest, normal, truest selves. So explosions sch-plosions, we are learning! And we are ever in love. I am most thankful for that.


  1. Jeni Jen you are amazing! This post was so honest and raw and so relatable! Love those sweet three year olds :) I love your family rules and these photos are absolutely beautiful and happy and gorgeous!

    1. Your sweet comment -- I love you, Lex. Thanks for always being here. And yes, those three-year-olds! We're in this together, mama!! xoxo

  2. Isn't it funny how different we can be without enough sleep?! I feel so guilty for behaving impatiently (and much like a three-year-old) without a good night's sleep when, with enough sleep, I'm a pretty rational loving empathic person! Great post my friend. And ditto to enough sleep changing the world.

    1. I'm a two-faced marvel or monster -- sleep, no sleep. Love you, Julie. I'm so very glad you're still in my life.


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