Taking of the "Good Mommy" Mask

The names in this story have been changed to protect the Good Mommy Mask.

It was a normal nap time at the "Smith" family household. Baby M was waking up from her nap and Mommy came in to change her diaper. This is the routine almost every day after nap time so Mommy did not expect anything to be different. Little did she know that Baby M was about to throw her first real temper tantrum.

Mommy put Baby M on the changing table and she started to scream. She wasn't just crying, she was screaming like someone had taken the cup of milk and didn't share. Mommy tried to give her some toys to distract her but that did not work. Then she tried to gently talk to her but that did not work either. Mommy was really starting to get frustrated. You see, the diaper was already off. Mommy had to get a new diaper on the baby so she did not make a mess everywhere. But Baby M just wasn't having any part of this process.

Then Mommy did something she had not done in the first 13 months of Baby M's life: She yelled right back at her. She even used the whole name trick followed by a stern "Stop it!" That of course, only made the situation even worse. Baby M continued to scream at the top of her lungs and turn herself over again and again.

After an eternity, several minutes Mommy finally got the diaper on Baby M. She sat Baby M back into her crib and walked away. The first temper tantrum had happened. Actually, it was still happening but Mommy had to walk away before she did even more things she might regret. She had already taken off her Good Mommy mask once today and she couldn't let that happen again.

Mommy sat in the bathroom for a few minutes and analyzed the situation. Then the tears began to roll down her cheek. Why did she get so angry? Why did she show the anger to the baby? Isn't Mommy the adult in this situation? Mommy talked to God for a few minutes and told Him that she was very sorry and asked Him to help her control her anger with her family. She pulled herself back together and walked back into Baby M's room.

Baby M was sitting in her bed with tears rolling down her cheek as well. She looked up at Mommy and reached out her hands. It was almost has if she was trying to apologize with her outstretched arms. As Mommy bent down to pick her up a few more tears began to fall out their eyes. For a few moments they just cried together. Mommy explained to Baby M that neither one of them had acted in a way that would have made God happy. Baby M smiled back at her in an understanding way.

They walked out of the room both trying to catch their breathe after a hard cry. After all, it was snack time and Baby M knew she couldn't eat her snacks if she was still crying. Mommy smiled as she sat Baby M in the highchair. She knew her Good Mommy Mask was back on and hopefully it would stay there for a long time.

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