Picking your child up from the sitter or daycare can go one of two ways. A mom can receive a good report or a bad report. At times, the bad report doesn’t even need reported when you lay your eyes on your child…they look like they’ve moved to the top of Santa’s naughty list.
I personally have yet to encounter the “bad report” pick up, but I know some of my fellow working mommies have. Some of my favorite stories are from colleagues or friends of mine who have gone before me in many of the paths I am walking or soon to walk and can laugh about the chaos that often characterizes their existence.
However, on more days than not, picking the kids up and seeing their sweet faces brings a flutter to a mommy’s heart. Nobody is able to evoke the smile like mommy can! Oh to hear the words, “She was so good. She had a great day. She is such a delight.” What mother wouldn’t want to hear this?! You listen politely thinking to yourself, “Of course. I’ve scheduled her since she was 3 weeks old, I make sure she gets a proper amount of sleep, AND I make my own baby food.” You get in the car, and begin driving home. You’re on a high, patting yourself on the back and thanking the Lord your kids aren’t like so and so’s!
You walk into the house, put your things down, and the terror begins - high pitch screaming for no reason. Do they want to be held? Are they hungry? Is their diaper dirty? I tested this one-day. I’d place my daughter down and she’d scream…then I’d pick her up and she’d stop. The first few days she did this, I loved it. She wanted mommy…awwwwwwe. After about a week, my house was a wreck, we were further in debt due to eating out, and I had peed while holding my daughter 5 times.
Inevitably these meltdowns are on the days you thought to yourself the night before, “I’ll do that tomorrow after work.” Children know this. I’m convinced that there are certain activities that children are bound and determined never to let their mothers complete uninterrupted: cleaning, showering, cooking, eating, peeing, and sleeping. Nothing major…right?
What in the world? Why is it that kids will act one way with you and another with others? I work in a middle school…it’s inevitable that it happens, this much I know.
What is the lesson? What is God trying to teach me? I could exhaust a list of qualities that God could strengthen in me via my daughter’s after work meltdowns…but I’ve decided to boil it down to one. Just one lesson I believe God is teaching me through this particular behavior…LAUGH. Of course it happens on the days your “to-do” list only has “make a to-do list” checked off. Laugh, laugh, LAUGH. Easier said than done, yes…believe me, I know. But, If we don’t laugh, we cry…and if we cry, we won’t be able to see clearly when we need to wipe while peeing with the baby!