Hunter had a playdate yesterday, and she kept hitting her new sweet friend about a dozen times. She was ornery and being a bully. I was mortified and didn’t know what to do, so I tried to make light of the situation, profusely apologized and made a joke, all the while feeling ashamed of my daughter’s behavior.

Hunter would hit him or throw a toy at him, then point to her head, which means “pain.” Reflecting on this, Hunter probably meant “frustration,” instead of pain.

She did this several times trying communicate her feelings, but I wasn’t listening.

I should have seen the signs and been more in tune. We had just taken a 90-minute car ride in rush hour traffic right after she woke up. She had never met her new friend and was in a stranger’s home. I overextended her awake time by 45 minutes past her normal naptime. As soon as we got in the car, she had a total melt down. She was beyond frustrated and exhausted.

We can use our words as adults, and it’s still challenging to communicate our feelings and frustrations. I can’t imagine how aggravating it is for a baby. So, she resorts to physical ways.

I know now to tune into her and take time to get quiet and lovingly be with my daughter to understand her emotions and feelings.

If our triggers are our best teachers, then, man, our children are our greatest teachers!

I was so self-conscious by her actions and felt ashamed that her bad behavior was a reflection of me.

It triggered me to the core that “I’m not enough. I’m a bad mom.”

She is my greatest teacher always shedding light on my dark shadows, old wounds and conditioned behavior that needs healing.

She is helping me navigate through motherhood by teaching me to heal my own generational cycles and patterns.

I’m learning to be more sensitive and intuitive to the subtle signs. Instead of putting a Band-Aid on what feels uncomfortable, I need to sit with it to understand why I feel ashamed of the feeling and behavior.

That day I sacrificed her routine that made her feel safe, so I could selfishly keep my own agenda of our play date. She was trying to tell me she was frustrated and tired, but I was not listening.

What we want as adults – to be seen, safe, held and heard is also what our children want, whether they can communicate this or not. This is love. Without conditions.

She constantly teaches me how to show up more fully to who I want to be.