426 Days of Loving More!
Today was a really long, hard day. I mean Mondays always are so I shouldn’t be surprised. Daddy goes back to work after being home for 48 hours and the boys know they won’t see him until Saturday morning. Mommy goes back to being a bit more high strung because well, daddy is back at work and because there are five hundred and one places to drive to and things to do that slide over the weekend. And the kids go back to being even more high strung because of all the aforementioned reasons. Ugh, Mondays are not my favorite day of the week!
And today, well, today was an especially rough Monday because Daddy had been home for 10 days straight and we had all vacationed as a family together over that time. Re-entry into the “real world” stunk for all of us. Literally and figuratively.
The day started with realizing that the kitchen disposal had backed-up into the basement and dried, rotten food was all over a bathroom creating a stench that even a skunk would avoid. The upside? This explained why we had ants suddenly crawling out of the sink and the grout in the bathroom floor finally turned white again after layers of bleach and cleaning products.
The day ended with realizing that #4’s little cough was now a croupy cough and that he was still sporting a nice fever that could very well bring on a seizure and a trip to the Emergency Room. The upside? Lots of snuggles and falling asleep after a long crappy day with a little head nestled in my neck.
But oh, oh in between realizing the bathroom stunk and that a trip to the Hospital might happen, I also had the “opportunity” to realize that many of my triggers for yelling were still in fact triggers: endless unmanageable energy, endless whining, and endless clinginess. Oh, oh was it a day!
#1 had so much energy (anger really that vacation was over) that he was bouncing off any and all walls, even the imaginary ones outside. If there was a wall, he was bouncing off it right onto another. And with every bounce his impulse control became smaller and smaller to the point that there was none and most behaviors that he knew were not acceptable were suddenly totally acceptable. Awesome.
#2 had so little energy because he woke up at the crack of dawn to try to say goodbye to Daddy only to realize that Daddy had already left. Cue Tears. All. Day. Long. Only with breaks to whine. So I guess he too actually had a lot of energy since he managed to keep up the crying whining gig all day. Fairly impressive stamina if I might say.
#3 had so much energy that he held on tight at pre-school drop-off and wouldn’t let go for the life of him. Then of course he had so little energy because he wouldn’t nap because he just wanted to be with mommy every second of the day.
Yes, with one feverish child on hip and one separation anxiety ridden child holding onto my leg, I wobbled around throughout the day trying to keep my own impulse control in check so that I wouldn’t bounce off the walls or start alternating between crying and yelling. Because honestly, that is ALL I wanted to do.
Cry and yell.
I wanted to cry that vacation was over and that I was back to the go-go-go of the school world. I wanted to cry over my struggles as how to best parent to my four wonderful, yet at times demanding children. I wanted to cry over all the stress in my life.
Yes, I just wanted to sit on the floor, throw my hands up in the air, and cry until all the chaos disappeared and everyone had magically gotten back into the rhythm of reality.
But I didn’t. I totally could have. I am fine with showing emotions in front of my boys; I am fine with showing them that sometimes people cry when stressed. But for some dumba*s reason instead of giving into my need to release the stress, I walked around grumpier than grumpy and positioned to yell at anything and everything.
I finally had it. I was done. I had had enough of trying to keep it together. I had had enough of all the crazy energy, the crying, the whining, the clinging. I just wanted to stinking scream at each child. I picked up my Blackberry and emailed my husband.
“I quit. I simply don’t have the energy or patience to not yell. It is so exhausting. I don’t care anymore.”
And then the phone rang. Right on cue. Phew.
“Hey – what’s going on? Are you for real? You can NOT quit. You do not want to quit. I know you don’t mean it.”
And you know what, my husband was right. I didn’t want to quit; I did care, immensely. I just wanted the day to get easier (and to go back on vacation!) I didn’t really want to quit and start yelling, I just wanted a little of my son’s abundant energy to help me find a little peace. Realizing what I really wanted, well that kept me focused on finding said peace. Or at least finding a piece of the peace. Okay. A really small piece of the peace. (But peace is peace, right?!)
Was the rest of the day perfect and abundantly peaceful? No. I still had to talk myself down when a hockey stick was accidentally thrown at me. I still struggled and took a thousand deep breaths when three adorable, but defiant and over-silly children, wouldn’t get in the bathtub and then one wonderfully persistent four-and-a-half-year-old wouldn’t go to bed because his pajamas were missing. And I still struggled and had to remind myself constantly to not rush my darling separation anxiety ridden sudden when he would not go to the bed for the life of him.
But I didn’t quit. Because I knew in my heart of hearts, that even though things were tough, my boys were struggling for good reason and I was struggling with them for the same exact reason. They didn’t need me yelling at them for feeling exactly what I was. Nope. And because I knew in my heart of hearts that quitting, while tempting, was the last thing I wanted to do.