Your Child Isn’t Giving You A Hard Time

“Your child is not giving you a hard time, your child his having a hard time.”


It’s one of those bits of wisdom that faithfully appears in your facebook newsfeed and sucker punches you right in the face.  Oof.


So often, when one of the Wild Things is giving “me” a hard time, I can only think about myself.  How the crying is stressing me out, how I want to be doing something different with my time.  Rarely do I stop and put myself in the Wild Thing’s teeny tiny shoes.


One day recently Five Year Old was driving me crazy.  Like capital Cr, captial Azy.  Absolutely everything seemed to reduce him to tears.  Little things, like begging for cookies all day but refusing to eat anything of nutritional substance. Things that were, seriously, not a big deal.


At least, that’s how it seemed to me.


By the afternoon we were both exhausted of each other and he finally raised his cute little hands in the air, and with the saddest sad face you ever saw, complete with sliding tears, he said


“I’m just having a bad day!”

*insert pitiful wail here*


Oof.  Another shiner to the face.  Suddenly, my selfish glasses were removed and I realized, he’s not giving me a hard time, he’s having a hard time.  I remembered that he had started his day with constipation (a problem that was a new experience for him) and I wondered if he was having other physical problems that day that I just wasn’t privy to.  There’s just no telling what might’ve been going on his little body.


And the truth is, sometimes we just have a bad day.  The smallest thing, like sinuses, or hormones, gets out of whack and it derails us for a 24 hour grump-fest.  I have days like that.  Not often, but there are days when something that wouldn’t normally bother me much at all sends me to tears.  And I’m impatient.  And grumpy.  And emotional. And I just want to self-medicate with junk food.


So you’d think I’d be more sensitive to his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, eh?


I’m having to be ever conscious of this as our big move looms and all the changes to the Wild Thing’s environment stresses them out.  I expected Six Year Old to be the biggest “problem”, but so far Eight Year Old seems to be manifesting the most stress about this whole sell-everything-you-own thing.


Sigh. It’ takes a lot of patience and energy to put his needs slightly before my own and not just lash out at him for his increasingly emotional behavior and resistance to my requests.  Cause, um, I’m stressed too, y’all.  But hey, no one said this mothering thing would always be easy, just rewarding.



Has your child been giving “you” a hard time lately?



  1. Oh yes! Yes, yes, yes!! So incredibly true. And so hard to remember in the heat of the moment. Thanks for the reminder! Now to tattoo it on my child’s forehead so I remember it when I see her distressed face! :)

  2. We’ve all experienced them here. I’m too quick to point out to my oldest ones, “You’re having a bad day/attitude. I think you need to go sit down and chill out.” They knew I was speaking truth, but I sure wasn’t being compassionate.

    I have a friend that I saw in the store one day with two of her young children. The older one (3 yrs. old) was whining about not getting something, but my friend continued to walk on. That’s when I heard him say, “This is the worst day of my life. I’m having such a bad day!” I could do nothing but chuckle because he was so honest..and it sounded cute.

    • Jessica says:

      I had to talk to my 8 year old today about how he should get alone with himself (um, and his gameboy?) when he’s feeling stressed because of all the changes that are happening.

  3. Oh I am Right. There. Verona has been… um… less than her usually sparkling self lately. Part of it is her still adapting to having a new sibling, most of it is because stuff’s been nuts here lately so she hasn’t gotten NEARLY the one on one love time that I know she needs, and part of it is just being two. I have to constantly remind myself that it’s ok… when she’s being a little shit it just means she needs my love and compassion MORE, not less. (Commence deep breathing excercises now.)

  4. Mmmm… We had to move unexpectedly last month. It got out the worst in all of us, specially me. We stood with family for a couple of weeks, but my “big” kid (almost 7) got out to practice his worst behaviour and also pick up some from his cousins. (One of the reasons his not in PS anymore). Yesterday he was bossy, rude, demanding and crying over loosing at the church picnic… And just now, I just snapped at him because he was crying over the holiday and a missed chess piece. He was saying I hate this day and making an exageretaded crying face, resembling his drama queen cousin who we just visited… OMG…. I just stop my AP, and yell at him to stop that stupid behaviour :( he was driving me insane, and I just couldn’t handled it anymore… And now I feel bad… So bad. Parenting is sure hard but rewarding. After reading this, it gives me hope and help me realize that I’m not the only mom with a wild thing :) Thank you for letting God used you trough your blog :)

  5. What a great post and reminder that it’s not always about us when our kids are giving us a hard time. Sometimes they too have a bad day! Thanks again for this reminder.

  6. Thank you so much for posting this. I teach perschool and I have to remind myself everyday that the kids are not always trying to drive me crazy. Even though, sometimes they really are doing it on purpose, they tell me so, haha. But, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed when out of 10 kids, 7 of them are screaming and crying and refusing to play nicely. Whew!

  7. One little tip……..I am greatly affected by the barometric pressure. I’m sure their little bodies are also. Wish I had thought of these things when I was raising my little ones.