This year I was given the gift of not one week of Spring Break, but two. Yes, my son's preschool calendar didn't match up with my other son's kindergarten calendar. While we did our best to keep busy, bad weather and pick-up/drop-off times meant our outings were rather limited. But one day, they both happened to be off and I planned a fun outing to a local kids' museum.
That morning, as I fed the baby, the boys fought. When I asked the boys to get dressed, they got sassy. As I packed the picnic lunch, the boys fought. When I asked the boys to clean up, they got sassy. It was 9:45am and I was already totally exhausted. No matter how many times I patiently talked to them about how I expected them to behave, they just. didn't. get. it.
So, of course, I did what every great mother would do and threatened to cancel our plans if they kept fighting. And guess what. They kept fighting.
Much to their surprise (and, quite honestly, mine), I told them we weren't going. And I meant it. We were going to spend the day learning how to be nice to each other. Because if it was this bad a few days into Spring Break #1, I could only imagine what our 3-1/2 month summer was going to be like.
Though I held strong, I immediately started questioning myself in my head. Was I insane? Instead of getting out and enjoying a day with friends, I was keeping us cooped up inside where all the problems began? Ok, maybe I was going to feel this punishment more than they did, but I was going to see this through.
I spent the whole day coaching their interactions, telling them exactly what to say when they were frustrated, angry, impatient, grateful, excited. I pointed out moments of peace, congratulated them when they mirrored something we'd talked about on their own and gave them a few extra hugs of encouragement along the way.
At the end of the day I realized, maybe it wasn't just my kids who had been falling short. After all, it's my job as their mom to keep them on track—to guide them and give them the tools they need to be successful. And after a solid day of doing just that, we were all in a better place. (And I don't just mean bed.)
Do you ever find that your kids have gotten the best of you? How do you regroup?
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.