One Cup of Tea

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Categories Mommy Issues, Toddlers

November and December were great months at my house. Tiny and Buba were in great spirits almost all the time. They talked and laughed all day long and were great at entertaining each other when I needed to be doing things around the house.

But, HOLY COW, have things changed dramatically in the last two weeks or so. There has been lots of crying and shrieking and whining, along with hitting and kicking and pushing and grabbing. Someone took a toy that the other one was playing with, or someone didn’t get the color bowl that he/she wanted her snack in, and (my personal favorite) someone is doing something that the other one said not to do (“No no say beep beep!). Not good times.

Now, of course, this is not happening all day long (though some days it feels that way). But in those awful, awful moments it can be really hard to keep my cool. And sometimes I lose it. And I yell. And then I feel awful. Because I really do love my kids. And because of the three of us, I should be the one most capable of controlling my frustrations in these types of situations. Guilt, guilt, and more guilt.

But yesterday morning, as Tiny was screaming about something- something that I could not determine then and still don’t know now- I decided that I needed to reinstate the one cup of tea rule. The one cup of tea rule was something that came from my caring for multiples class. The instructor, a nurse and a mother of 6 (including a set of triplets), told us that sometimes babies cry. That’s just what they do. So, if you know they’re clean and dry, they’ve been fed and burped, and they’re not sick, and you’ve done your best to soothe them, it’s okay to put a screaming baby down and have just one cup of tea before trying to soothe the baby again.

I have to say, I rarely ever used the one cup of tea rule when Tiny and Buba were babies. But it seems perfectly appropriate now. And so that’s what I did yesterday morning. Tiny could not be soothed, and it was the type of situation in which the crying and screaming only got worse with each attempt I made to calm her. So, I walked away and made myself a cup of tea and sat down at the kitchen table to drink it. By the time I was finished, so was Tiny (thankfully!), and we continued about our morning as usual.

Perhaps, it’s an early onset of the terrible twos (we’re currently at about 22.5 months), or maybe it’s just been a series of really unfortunate events. But in either case, I would love to know what you do to keep your cool during high stress, high frustration moments involving your kiddos. How to you keep your composure when your kids are not at their best?

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11 thoughts on “One Cup of Tea”

  1. I turn on the monitor, make sure everything dangerous is out of reach, and go read a book for 15 minutes.
    For some reason having me out of their sight seems to calm them the heck down.
    .-= Janel´s last blog ..15 month =-.

  2. A cup of tea. What a great measurement for a “mommy time-out”! We call it “taking a break” at our house, and I usually read a book or lie down for 5 minutes.

    I think I mentioned this already, but I’ve noticed that my daughters act up in the month leading up to, and the month after, their birthday and half-birthday. Perhaps it’s a developmental thing?
    .-= Sadia´s last blog ..Whole =-.

  3. In oder to get out the frustration but keep from yelling, I have started singing at the top of my lungs. (A few times I have done it while tears streamed down my face.) I usually sing something like “This is the Day” to remind myself to be thankful for my three screaming children. They stop and look at me like I’ve lost my mind. Just for a mintue, then they go back to screaming. But it helps me put things in perspective: It’s only a moment, and it will pass.
    .-= Melanie´s last blog ..Giveaway at Multiples and More – Laurie Berkner Band =-.

  4. Love Melanie’s answer.

    Our paed told us very early on (they were about 4 – 5 weeks old) that it’s okay to let the babies cry for 20 minutes. And go have a cup of tea (but that’s a South African thing).

    I do exactly that, make my tea and come and reply to emails/ read blogs and then I return to the mayhem. It is usually better after that.

    My daughter, K, has this new thing where she screams at the top of her lungs for attention. We used to tell her to be quiet but now I scream back and that stops her :)

  5. Well, I need to go buy tea now. 😉 That’s a good idea!
    I ignore it..well, I try to anyway. Sometimes they can chill out, but other times they need a minute….I put them in their rooms for a few minutes before I loose my cool and yell. I hate raising my voice.
    .-= Christina´s last blog ..Gifts for a cacer patient. =-.

  6. Melanie – I sing too when I’m ready to scream. I used to be a choral singer, so I have a pretty solid set of lungs. I’ve been informed by my daughters that I should use my inside voice when I sing.
    .-= Sadia´s last blog ..Whole =-.

  7. Fabulous idea! I love tea and its a perfect activity to take a break with. I certainly need it sometimes! I like the singing idea too — or just putting on some music we all like kinda loud — that sometimes helps.

    I am actually working on a post about this stuff too, ha ha! Check in on my blog later today or tomorrow….
    .-= Kristin´s last blog ..Other shoe…. =-.

  8. Something similar happened to me yesterday, though I caused the crying by denying a binkie. I was determined to not give in and let my almost-3 son have a fit in his room. I left him alone and within minutes his twin brother was in there making him laugh. This was such a wonderful thing. I love having twins!
    As far as a mommy time-out is concerned, there is a wine out there called “Mommy’s Time Out”. It’s not bad, but I would never drink it while I’m on the clock!

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