A few weeks ago my two year old started crying about something small. My husband was home and I heard him in the other room talking Walker through his meltdown. The crying stopped quickly and a few minutes later I heard Walker yelling (in a surprisingly happy voice), "I feel strong!" He came in and repeated what his dad had taught him to me, flexing his muscles at the same time. Ever since that night when my kids start to cry about something trivial, their Dad will remind them and within a few minutes the tears go away and they will both be flexing and yelling, "I feel strong!" It has more or less, become our new family motto. I realize how incredibly ridiculous this is, but it has been working on toning down the unnecessary toddler tantrums and so we plan on riding out this parenting strategy until it stops working. Ha!
This week I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with work, the holiday rush, buying the perfect gifts and making sure everyone in our family feels special this year at Christmas. We had a few unexpected hiccups in the middle of the holiday season that sent me into a pregnancy meltdown and I called my husband at work crying one morning. He listened, reassured me that everything was going to be alright and then paused and said, "Say it with me now..." I knew exactly what he was talking about because I did sound a little like a toddler crying on the phone to him. I started laughing and then said, "I feel strong" between sniffles. And guys, it worked! Surprisingly, it helped me feel so much better. I repeated it once or twice more and felt strong enough to get off the phone and accomplish the ten million things I had to do that day.
Because, in reality, most of the things that seem overwhelming to us to the point of tears are just items on a checklist that can be checked off with time. And a lot of those items aren't even necessary, they are just things we have told ourselves we need to do, right? Stockings, presents, Christmas cards and holiday parties can really start to wear you down. Those details do add joy to our lives and deserve our attention but they should not be the details that make us feel inferior or discouraged. Because in the end, all of those details (that come from work, extended family gatherings, or holidays) are supposed to make our family's life better- not worse!
So, if the holiday season is getting you down, remember "I feel strong!" Say it to yourself a few times and then sit down and make a list what you can cut out, what is necessary to get done, and what do you need to do this holiday to be the absolute best version of yourself so that you can enjoy it with your little ones.
Sending love to you all as you wrap those last few presents!
P.S. This is one of the many installments in our #tubbytoddsoapbox series. This series is intended to do the exact same thing as our Tubby Todd products — they're meant to help you love and nurture your little ones! Each post focuses on the best way to take care of yourself as a parent because I whole heartedly believe that when we are taking care of ourselves we will be more capable of taking care of our little ones.
Thanks for reading along! Be sure to check out other posts in our series: