There’s that famous line which we all know from our dating days when you are ready to move on from a relationship – “it’s not you, it’s me”.
Well, I had one of those days a few weeks ago with my kids.
I’m not sure exactly why, but I was not having a good day as a mom. No one is perfect (and I’m far from it!), but I generally do pretty good transitioning between working mom and stay-at-home mom. It’s a balance that gives me the best of both worlds – time out of the house away from my kids with adult interactions, and time at home with my kids as my primary focus. (As much as I love my kids and love being a mom, I’m not sure my sanity would hold up to being a full-time stay-at-home mom. I don’t know how you ladies do it, but I deeply admire you for it!)
My current schedule has me working part-time Monday through Thursday, and then getting to spend Friday all day home with both kids. That week was particularly challenging at the office, my patience level was low, I wasn’t sleeping well, and I started the day in a foul mood.
The kids weren’t being all that bad. They were simply being their normal 4 and almost 1-year old selves. There were no tantrums, no major issues I had to deal with, no battles I had to win. And I was using every ounce of energy and patience I had left to not take my mood out on my children, especially when they weren’t doing anything to deserve a cranky mom.
As the afternoon wore on, I was getting the kids ready to get out the door so we could make it on time to Matthew’s swim lesson. It’s currently winter where I live in Maine, and one of my biggest home buying regrets is not finding a house I loved with a garage already built and attached. (We have plans to build one soon, but trying to get a team together for groundwork, foundation and building is more difficult than you would guess!). Anyways, the clock was ticking. I had Emma in her car seat and ready to go, Matthew had his outside stuff on, and all I had to do was get everyone out in the Jeep. But it had snowed the day before, and I hadn’t been out to the Jeep yet to clear off the snow and ice. So I asked Matthew to hang out by Emma in the kitchen and keep her company while I went out to clean off the Jeep.
Thankfully, he obliged without argument, and I made my way outside.
This is when I discovered that the Jeep was iced shut….and that the next 5-10 minutes were going to be much more unpleasant than I expected. Thankfully, my remote starter helped thaw it from the inside, but the situation was enough to top off my pent-up frustration for the day.
As I wrenched open the Jeep doors with the little energy I had left, I realized that my kids couldn’t see me. There were no neighbors around. It was silent outside expect for my battle with the Jeep.
So I let it all out. I threw a fantastic adult temper tantrum. I opened every door on the Jeep and slammed it again as hard as I could. I kicked each tire. I screamed at the top of my lungs. I cursed the winter and my lack of garage.
And I felt so much better!
Once that was done (and I mentally accepted the fact that we were going to barely make it to swim on time), I plastered a smile on my face and walked back inside to get the kids. Matthew was still playing with Emma right where I had left them, and both kids were oblivious to what just happened outside. But my smile felt less forced, and I actually felt myself starting to enjoy my kids again as we drove down the road.
I apparently just needed to physically vent my bad mood. And once I did, I found myself again.
Sometimes, you just need to scream!
Just make sure you find a place where you won’t be modeling that behavior to your kids. Otherwise, the therapeutic value might not be as great.
And remember – even though you are supermom, you still have your human side. And it’s ok to let it have its moments too.
All the best,