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Patience, writing & an 18 month old

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

A month or so ago, my little 18-month-old had somewhat of a temper tantrum out in public. First of all, let me tell you that whenever I’ve seen a child show off in public, the first thing out of my mouth was "if that was me I’d do...," which in that moment went right out of the window. Chances are, you don’t really know what you’d do until you get in the situation and it’s a good possibility that you wouldn’t do exactly what you thought.

I’d love to say I was calm and collected but honestly I was taken off guard. I didn’t really know what to do. I carried Kade away from the other children (we were at the play area in the mall) and I tried to sit him in his stroller. He wouldn’t sit, he tried to go back to the play area. I looked around but no one was paying me any attention. The area was filled with parents and little people and they were not fazed by his behavior. (Side note: it’s easy to feel judged and not good enough when it comes to parenting or almost anything because everyone expects you to do it their way or how they think you should. In this case, no one seemed to care.) Regardless, I finally composed myself enough to look at my son and notice how tired he was; rubbing his eyes and falling out in the way that said I need a nap. I realized that him acting out was a result of something he needed and wasn't getting.

Once I calmed myself and stopped feeling out of sorts, I held him close to me. He instantly settled and I was able to get him into his stroller. After no more than a minute, he was back to himself, singing and chatting in his baby language that I'm just beginning to understand.

As I walked out of the mall, I left knowing that we’d have more days like that to come and that it would be ok.

How does this relate to writing?

Well, just like my 18-month-old had a temper tantrum with me, I have similar temper tantrums with my writing. I get fussy and cranky when I don’t make time to write or when a piece gets rejected. Sometimes I'm quiet and to myself when the words don't seem to come and it takes me a while to get motivated. That’s where patience comes in. That’s when I have to step back and remember that there will be days that I’m unsure, uninspired and unable to do the things that I'm accustomed to doing.

But that's part of being an adult right? Adapting, learning, refocusing, adjusting your attitude. Trying again and again.

And like with Kade, everyday won’t be the same but everyday will require patience. Everyday I’ll need to be open to the growth he’s experiencing, the frustration he might feel in communicating with me and not be hard on myself when I don’t know how to react—and it takes me a minute to figure it out. I have to treat writing the same way. For me to reach my goals, I must be open, work through my own growth and write anyway, even when I’m feeling like anything but a writer.

Happy parenting, happy adulting and happy writing (or whatever it is you are trying to do)!


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