To the Mom With the Screaming Toddler In Aisle 5

Oh, Mama With the Screaming Toddler, it may not LOOK like it’s your finest hour, but from where I’m standing, it REALLY is. You are nailing this mom gig!

Dear Mama,

Right now your screaming toddler is tantrum-ing REALLY loudly…most people just hear the noise, they didn’t see the rest of the story like I did. Basically it all started when you said, “no”.

Now, we’ve all been there and NO ONE wants to claim the temper-tantrum-throwing kid who looks like he’s the Hulk caught in transition changing color and throwing himself on the floor. I can tell you’re embarrassed, but please—don’t be.

screaming toddler

I can see tears forming in your eyes as you do your best to lift your screaming toddler off the ground. You’re also wearing the famous mom uniform. Yoga pants with knee-high snot stains, sweatshirt complete with tissue and snack-filled pockets, and of course, you’re rocking the mom pony tail that is somehow managing to hold half of your hair up while the other half shoots off in every other direction like you just stuck your finger in an electrical socket.

But I do NOT see these as signs that you don’t have your life together…in fact…I see the opposite. You’re a selfless hero who loves her kid enough to say no. Your hair’s a mess because your kid’s bath was more important than yours. Your knees are covered with snot because your child needed to be cuddled more than you needed a clean pair of Sevens for all Mankind. On their 18th birthday your child will remember the songs you sang to them, not the jeans you wore in Target.

I’m not looking down on you, Mama. In fact, I’m cheering you on.

I don’t know why this occurs, but at least for me, it seems that whenever my kids have meltdowns it’s like every other child in the world is perfectly well behaved. Mine are flailing in the grocery cart while all these other children in the store are reciting Bible verses and picking out vegetables to cook for dinner. This is so far from the truth.

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Satan might be screaming things like, “control your child” and, “he must not be getting enough love at home” but in your heart of hearts you know Jesus is screaming something very different. Don’t listen to the Liar.

What culture wants is quiet, well-behaved children who grow up to change the world, but here’s what we forget in the process —most of the time those strong-willed people who are meant to change the world are going to hate the word “no”—and it starts young.

So while your kid’s strong will is a pain to deal with today, it’s going to be that strong will that gets them through all the closed doors that this world is going to try to stop them with in their future.

My “mom who’s got one of those kids” advice? Teach them to harness that passion and not to hide it. Teach them to use it for good. Teach them to use it to love others well.

You’re an impressive woman, Mother in Aisle 5. Keep up the fight and don’t let satan steal the gift that God has given you. Your child is going to change the world and you’re going to be a part of that—now THAT is what motherhood is about. The yoga pants, the snot stains, and the tantrum your kids just threw in aisle 5? They really don’t matter at all. What matters is you’re making sure your kids knows it’s better to take the high road than the easy one. And that will make all the difference.

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Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and the editor of For Every Mom. You can email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter.

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