Lately, I have noticed that my temper seems to run out earlier in the day than I would like. Certainly more quickly than my children would probably like as well, since they are often the recipients of my clenched teeth warnings and arm-grabbings.
Like many of my truths divulged on here, I am not proud of this. I have noticed it and have been trying to remind myself to relax. They are kids. They are your life. They (almost) never are acting out maliciously. You are the adult.
But sometimes it is hard when you spend all day, every day doing things that put others’ needs above your own. Would I be spending hours in Chuck E Cheese, buying only children’s clothing at Target, inviting multiple small humans into my home to trash it, watching Wonder Pets, or going into every single public restroom I pass in order to pee (okay, maybe this one) if I wasn’t a mom?
Not unless there was a new ice skating rink in Hell.
So, when I hear whining or one of them is not listening or, I don’t know, kicking me in the spleen repeatedly while yelling “I do it! I do it! I do it!” I tend to lose it.
And I feel like a complete ass for losing it, trust me. I wish I was the mother who was calm 100% of the time, gently caressing her son’s forehead as she explains why he can’t “PLAY YOUR PHONE GAMES!!!!!” right now, sweetie.
I really do.
But usually? That’s not me.
I’m the one who gets demon, saucer eyes and at their eye level (See? I at least do that part right.) tells them that if they EVER speak to me like that again I will throw away their favorite toy. And inevitably some woman nearby raises her eyebrows. If she is young, I can tell her inner monologue is along the lines of, “Psy-cho! I will never do that when I have kids!” And if she is much older I think it is more along the lines of, “That’s right. Bet he won’t ever say that to his mama again! Watch out, little man.”
Either way, I don’t feel good about myself afterward.
And then. Well, then crappy, horrible, heart-suffocating things happen like the mass shooting in Colorado last night.
Things that make me hate myself for ever raising my voice to my kids. For ever clenching my teeth when I speak to them. For ever throwing away a toy or putting them in Time Out or… doing anything other than hugging them, really.
I know this probably seems like a cliché post: People die in a horrific, random way and suddenly you hold your children closer and regret ever doing anything but loving on them. But it is my Real right now. I feel sick to my stomach for the families of the people who were just senselessly shot while trying to watch a movie. And I also feel sick to my stomach for being harsh with my own kids today. Colorado’s events were terrible enough, but it also jarringly reminds you that people’s children die every day, all over the world.
Sorry to get extra morbid on you. But as a parent, this is where your thoughts can go pretty quickly during any sort of tragedy.
Oh my God. My kids. My kids are not promised to me.
Reality check. Like a punch to the gut.
I know that I lay the love and affection on them pretty thick, but I need to work on being more calm when they need a consequence. And really, no matter how much I already hug them and kiss them and tell them I love them, I have a feeling there will be some extra tonight.
We always say life is too short. It’s true, that’s for sure. But more importantly, life is too unpredictable.
I need to remind myself more consistently to treat those I love the most accordingly.