As parents, we are fairly well accustomed to mood swings, tantrums and all that comes in between, but that doesn't mean the abrupt change of mood or the hysterical outbursts don't take their toll our emotional wellbeing,
In the aftermath of an outburst in her family home, blogger, Kathleen Fleming, laid bare her thoughts on a specific event which unfolded between herself and her young son, and in doing so, inspired thousands of parents worldwide.
Sharing a photo which vividly depicted the result of an angry outburst, Kathleen outlined her thoughts on the incident, writing: "It took my breath away when my son stormed into the bathroom, frustrated, angry, fed-up for his very own, very significant to him, reasons."
"And when he chose to SLAM the bathroom door, causing the heavy mirror mounted to the front to slip out of the hardware holding it in place and crash onto the floor — a million, BROKEN pieces were left reflecting the afternoon light," she confided.
With admirable honesty, Kathleen admitted feeling particularly vulnerable at that moment in time, explaining: "I walked into the backyard and felt the hot tears streaming down my face. It's amazing how alone you can feel as a single parent in moments like these. I realised how scared and disappointed I felt."
But instead of channelling her upset into anger, Kathleen decided to use her feelings to console her son who she quickly realised was experiencing the same emotions as she was at that point.
"As I stood and considered whether or not this was an indication of his developing character, I heard his tears through the window above me, coming from inside the bathroom. His soul hurt. This was not what he expected either."
Drawing a deep breath, Kathleen remembers pushing aside her own hurt and offering reassurance to a little person who desperately needed his mother's help.
"Go open the front door, tiptoe through the broken glass, hear him hearing you coming, watch the bathroom door crack open, see the face you love most in the world red with worry and wet with tears, his voice is suddenly so small: "Mama, I'll never do it again, I am SO sorry."
Using her child's outburst as an opportunity to reflect on certain emotions, Kathleen recalls thinking: "Tell him about Anger. Tell him now. Anger is a really powerful feeling. You have a right to your Anger. Anger burns hot. It can purify. It can also destroy. He nods. He feels it. He's met Anger now."
Explaining that there exist healthier ways to express anger, mum and child set about clearing up the outcome of his temper tantrum, with Kathleen remembering: "We cleaned up the broken pieces. We swept and we vacuumed. It was quiet work. It was careful work. It was thoughtful work."
"Sometimes things break. Sometimes we break them. It's not the breaking that matters, the how or why. What matters is how we choose to respond to the broken-ness. Does it kill us? Does it throw us into a downward spiral of blame and punishment or does it help us remember how to love deepest? Does it push us towards compassion and over the hurdle of "rightness" and "wrongness" into LOVENESS?"
Sending words of advice to fellow mothers who may find themselves in a similar situation, Kathleen finished her thought-provoking post with a little guidance, writing: "Go Mama. Go now. Get that baby of yours. Teach that. Show that. Live that. It's called LOVENESS. Go. Now."