The twins recently had their food sensitivity testing done and I have been swamped with transforming their diet. Oatmeal was a regular breakfast meal in our house, loaded with rasins. Well, DD can no longer have any dried fruits and our relationship with breakfast has been forever changed. Okay, hopefully not forever but all of these little things seem devastating when they happen in the life of a child – right? This morning I put a homemade papaya-pear jam in her oatmeal. I let her try the jam before I added it to the oatmeal and she said she liked it. Of course, after I served her the oatmeal she decided she didn’t like it.
After a short period of time away from the breakfast table, so that she could calm down DD tells me “You make me sad!” followed by another onset of tears and huffs. So today turned into a big lesson day.I replied, “Mommy doesn’t make you sad baby girl. You FEEL sad. You are in charge of your feelings. No one can MAKE you feel anything. Do you mean you feel sad because Mommy wanted you to eat your oatmeal?” “Yes” she replied. I explained to her that I too felt sad. I was sad that I made a nice breakfast for her and she didn’t eat it. I was sad for the wasted food and I was sad that she was still hungry. We talked about what she would like in her oatmeal and settled on a fruit that she isn’t sensitive to. I remade oatmeal and she ate it.
I wish I had learned early on that no one could make me feel anything I didn’t want to feel. I’m not suggesting that we don’t often feel things that we don’t like feeling. But this information is so helpful when raising children. They aren’t making us feel unappreciated or frustrated. WE are feeling that. There are more times than I can count when those feelings are all I hear. But, when I’m able to take a breath and step back, I realize that I’m exceptionally frustrated not because my kids are taking 30 minutes to eat a scrambled egg but because I’d like to get them to preschool on time. It’s all relative. Now that I’ve realized that my most extreme reactions are when I have a bunch of other things contributing to my feelings I’m better able to not take someone else’s overreaction personally.