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The tantrum is not about you, mama—it’s just a tantrum

The tantrum is not an attack on your parenting. It’s just a tantrum.

The tantrum is not about you, mama—it’s just a tantrum

I was recently having lunch with my husband and daughter at one of my favorite restaurants.


My little girl was eating a piece of bread when she suddenly bit off a piece too large—and I went to take the bread from her hands so she wouldn’t swallow the big chunk.

But as soon as I did, my daughter lost it.

Arching her back, hitting her head against of the high chair, stretching her arms and legs and swinging her hand hands out of my husband’s grasp, she started crying desperately. And there it was.

A. Full. Blown. Tantrum.

Her first one in public, might I add. I couldn’t believe she was doing this to me. How could she ever defy my authority? I felt all eyes on me. My first reaction was to be upset that she could ever embarrass me in public. After all, I was going to be the mom who would never let anything like this happen in public.

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Then my husband calmly gave her another piece of bread, and asked her, “Can I have it?” She looked at him and continued eating her piece of bread, then he again gently grabbed the bread from her hands, and tantrum. He gave it back to her, and asked again, “Can I have it?” Then he gently grabbed the piece of bread again... and tantrum. He repeated this about 10 times. About the tenth time, she actually gave him the piece of bread, and there was no tantrum, no crying, There was actually a smile and a giggle.

He continued doing this with her and she continued taking it and giving it back to him.

And we all went on eating our lunch like nothing had happened.

I’m telling you this story not to say that my husband is the perfect parent.

Instead, I’m sharing this because of what I learned about my response to my daughter’s tantrum.

My first instinct was to think that this tantrum was somehow directed at me. That she was trying my patience. That she had been rude to me.

I now understand that our little girl just couldn’t see the big picture. All she had seen was, “Mommy took my piece of bread!” She doesn’t have the words to explain to us how she felt or what was her point of view—as a child, she just reacted.

Before I became a parent, I used to think that a child throwing a tantrum in public was the parent’s fault.

That they didn’t teach the child better, and that’s why their little one was reacting that way. And of course, there are many reasons why a child can throw a tantrum. But let’s be honest here—everyone looks at the parent, especially the mother.

So I want to talk to you, mama. You, who have read book after book after book on parenting. The mom who Googles and reads and asks for advice. The tantrum is not an attack on your parenting. It’s just a tantrum. Your little one is just learning how to communicate. She is just dealing with her own emotions. Your baby, remember, is just a child.

Understanding this has helped me take a breath, stay calm and move on. Yes, I have to be completely honest, sometimes I do feel like my child doesn’t like me, because I’m always the person “killing the fun.” The one always saying, “don’t do that, don’t touch that, don’t don’t don’t.” I don’t always want to be the parent, but then I have to remind myself I’m responsible for my little girl. I’m making these tough decisions for her—and somehow, someday, she will get over it.

Every day I am teaching, learning and making sure we all make it through the day—alive. Just kidding.

But no, really.

More than ever, I understand why I’m the parent and not the friend. Because saying no or correcting doesn’t make you their biggest fan—in that moment—but deep inside we know our little ones need it. And after the emotions have cooled off, baby will again love us, smile back and want no one else beside them but mama and daddy.

It’s so easy to take things personally.

But in many ways, the tough moments in parenthood aren’t personal. They’re not even about you. They’re about a natural process of growth and development.

We are making the difficult decisions for them, we are “killing the fun” for a reason—because we love our babies to pieces. We want the best, and only the best, for them.

So remember, next tantrum, take a deep breath and know it’s not against you.

Sometimes, taking the bread—even if it means causing a tantrum—is what’s best for baby.

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By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.

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Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!

$29.99

Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.

$29.99

Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌

$9.99

Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.

$14.99

Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.

$24.99

Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.

$8.99

Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.

$7.99


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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