What does a mother do with disappointment?
My daughter ate all the ice cream bars that I bought, they were my favorite brand and flavor. I bought 2 boxes so I could share and not hoard them for myself. And yet, I only got 1. I went to the freezer thinking a cold treat sounded good, and yet, there was nothing there, not even the empty boxes.
Did you eat all the ice cream??? I called from the kitchen. I was met with silence. I came around the corner and said, “Did you eat ALL the magnums???” “I don’t know whatcha talkin about” was the garbled answer I got as she quickly shoved the rest of whatever she was eating in her mouth.
Seriously???? She ate them A.L.L! To say that I am disappointed it putting it quite mildly. I guess my face said more than my words because I got a sheepish “I’m sorry.” It was followed by a quickly written note, “Sorry I ate all the magnums. I hope you’ll forgive me. I’ll be cleaning my room if you need me. 😢”
This happens frequently as a mom, we are faced with this kind of disappointment over and over as our kids grow up. What do we do with it? What should we do with it? I don’t rightly know. I’m sure the right answer is “just don’t be disappointed” or “don’t let it bother you” or, “just let it go.” All of those are fine answers but HOW???
Right now, I’m frustrated and disappointed and totally bummed. I want to scream those were mine! My darling daughter comes out to stick said note next to me, which to be honest makes me even more frustrated. (She has the tendency of writing notes and sliding them into view so she doesn’t have to “talk” the person she offended.) Now, I’m not only disappointed that my ice cream is gone, but also frustrated that she somehow thinks she won’t be forgiven! Of course she is forgiven, that will always be the case! I go from being bummed to having to explain that she doesn’t get to just say “sorry” and walk away. And of course that conversation doesn’t go so well because I’m not in the right head space to have it. Bottom line, it ends up with me saying that I am childish and immature for being disappointed about ice cream.
Isn’t that what we moms do? Don’t we turn turn it around and take the blame for everything? We don’t want to see our kids hurting so we do whatever we can to make it better for them. Now I’m here in tears, beating myself up for caring about ice cream and because she feels badly about having eaten them all.
How do you teach disappointment management? One day she will be disappointed, I wonder what she will do, how she will react…
It’s JUST ice cream!!!! For the love of all things holy, for the love of Pete… IT’S. JUST. ICE. CREAM!!!!! It isn’t worth this kind of inner turmoil! And yet here I sit, telling myself I handled it all wrong, that in my disappointment I made her feel badly… that I am some kind of terrible monster for hurting her…
Disappointment Management… a class they don’t teach in the book of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”
These are the ramblings of the Squirrel in head, please do not pay any special attention to the craziness she writes. Sometimes she makes sense and makes a good point, other times… she’s just mad! 🐿 (yes that’s a chipmunk emoji, I couldn’t find a squirrel!)