To My Toddler: I Can't Win at The Mommy Game
My Little Love, my Forever Baby:
Mommy is sorry.
She is playing The Mommy Game with you, but she's not very good at it.
She pretends every day—running around, making up silly rules, picking up and laying down stacks of diapers and blocks and socks and board books and bite-sized pieces of banana like scattered cards.
But Mommy just can't win at The Mommy Game.
This makes Mommy feel Very, Very Tired. And A Little Bit Whiny.
Sometimes, when Mommy is playing The Mommy Game, she wants to disobey. She wants to push or bite or pull hair or throw things or run away or make other Thumbs-Down Decisions that would get her In Big Trouble. Mommy does not want to be In Big Trouble.
Sometimes she yells or slams things. Which is Not Very Nice of Mommy.
It is not your fault.
Mommy really needs a Time-Out.
You and Daddy can give Mommy a Time-Out if she yells or slams things or if you think she might be getting tired, whiny or hangry.
Or if she cries.
It is not your fault if Mommy cries.
She might need a bath or a nap or a snack or a Mommy recess.
Or she might have fallen down. Mommy is still learning how to play The Mommy Game, so she falls down a lot. Sometimes Mommy runs too fast or too hard or right smack into a wall. She is a Very Silly Mommy like that.
Or Mommy might have a Big Owie in her head or chest. Mommy might feel mad because she doesn't want to play The Mommy Game today. She might feel lonely and wish more people would play The Mommy Game with her. She might feel sad because she's not playing The Mommy Game as good as she wants to. She might feel frustrated because she has not cleaned up all her rooms or her Mommy toys.
Sometimes Mommy rips. Sometimes Mommy breaks. Mommy wants you to know she is Very Sorry for breaking herself. She is ok—she just needs a Big Hug or Kiss or Snuggle and she will be All Better.
She will be able to play The Mommy Game, again, even though she's figured out the Secret Rules of The Mommy Game: Mommy must play, and Mommy must lose.
And that's ok. Because Mommy loves you. Forever-and-Ever-and-Ever. Amen.
So Mommy will keep trying to play The Mommy Game, better. She will trade her favorite toys, her skinny jeans, her best hiding spots, her first and last bites, her phone, her task list, and her legs—to hunt for tokens in the mystery-pieces jungle under the table with you.
Not so Mommy can win—but so you can.
Points to Ponder + Discuss:
- Which parts of your Mommy Game feel like "losses"?
- Which parts of your Mommy Game feel like "wins"?
- What beliefs or practices keep you in the game, fresh and playing your best?
- What other "games" are you playing against—or not playing—because of The Mommy Game?
- Ponder / discuss the following verse as it might relate to this article's topic: