As a mom, I feel guilty every day about something. It's inevitable. I wake up in the morning and pray for a good day but at some point I lose my patience with the kids and I end up raising my voice. Okay, I yell. Sometimes it's the only way to get them to listen to me. Good God, I sound like my mother. I used to always ask her, "why do you yell at us so much?" and she'd always turn it around on us and say "I have to yell because you don't listen".
On Friday, I was just plain worn out. See, I always start off every week feeling refreshed and rejuvenated from the weekend (where I've had hubby's help both Saturday and Sunday). On Sunday night, I come up with a plan for the week as far as activities that we can look forward to: Monday AM is playgroup for Garrett and Landon through the school district; Tuesday AM is playgroup for Garrett and Landon through my SAHM's group; Thursday PM is playgroup for all 4 kids through my SAHM's group and Cole has soccer practice right after that; and Wednesday and Friday mornings are usually saved for either running errands, taking Garrett and Landon for a walk or dr's appts. Every afternoon, with the exception of Thursdays, I usually take the kids to the gym so I can work out and they get to burn off some energy in the gym daycare.
So yeah by Friday I'm worn out...exhausted, ready to drop....in desperate need of some relaxation. While Garrett and Landon napped, Cole and Bella were fooling around instead of resting. And by fooling around, I mean, they were running around the family room, talking in loud voices, asking me question after question about the DVD they were watching "The Diamond Castle" (the latest Barbie movie), and rummaging through the cabinets for snacks. All I wanted...all I asked for was just 1 hour of quiet time where I could read a book. That's my way of relaxing...I just wanted to zone out and get lost in a good book that I had started and was dying to finish (a Mariah Stewart mystery!).
I could imagine an hour to Cole and Bella must have felt like an eternity. Maybe I was asking too much of them to let me read my book for an hour. Needless to say, I didn't even get 5 minutes to read the book before the chaos started. I knew the best thing would be to just forget the idea of reading a book...I could've turned off the DVD and gotten engaged in an activity with them.
But, darnit, it was Friday....and I just didn't have any energy. I wasn't even going to the gym that day and instead planned to take the kids to the park. The stress was starting to build inside me from listening to Cole and Bella talking in extremely loud voices, running around throwing toys all over the place, spilling Sunchips all over the floor....I lost it. I started yelling at them, mainly so they could hear me above their own loud voices. Sure, it wasn't the right way to go about it...I realize that now. Sometimes I get lost in the moment and react without thinking.
They did quiet down though....probably because they know when I start yelling, I've just about had it with them. That's when they start losing privileges and they really wanted to go to the park. So they settled down but by then I just felt too guilty about yelling to even enjoy my book. They both looked so.....well, broken....that's the best way to explain it. I broke their little spirits in just those few minutes when I yelled at them.
After the little twins woke up, I was getting them all into their carseats to head over to the park. I felt it was important to apologize to Cole and Bella for yelling at them so I did and I told them how frustrating it is for me when they don't listen to me. Cole said, "sometimes you frustrate me too". Okay, I could see that and good for him for expressing that. But I couldn't foresee what he would say next...."Mommy, sometimes you're mean but I still love you".
Talk about a dagger through my heart....talk about piling on the guilt. Well, he didn't pile on the guilt, I did that to myself. But those words stayed with me all afternoon and into the evening. And I will remember those words next time I get frustrated with them and I'm on the verge of yelling. Next time I want to hear, "Mommy, you're so nice and I love you" because I will have earned it by not yelling and showing a little more patience. Afterall, I am the parent....but it's still a learning process. Everyday as a parent is a learning process.