Today, I lost my patience.
The running up and down the stairs like a herd of wild buffalo.
The toys scattered from room to room.
Empty snack wrappers strewn across the floors.
The incessant griping, moaning, complaining that followed “MOOOOM!”
I asked repeatedly, in soft but firm tones, to please stop the madness. It didn’t help the situation.
It was too much. I had endured more than enough. And so, I finally lost it.
I yelled; the deep-seated anger pouring out of me in droves.
I started and I couldn’t stop. And my gosh, it felt sooooo good to get it out.
“STOP IT!! PICK UP THESE TOYS RIGHT NOW! WE HAVE 5 TRASH CANS IN THIS HOUSE…ONLY SOMEONE TRULY LAZY WOULD LEAVE TRASH ON THE FLOOR! WHY DO YOU INSIST ON MAKING MORE WORK FOR ME ALL THE TIME?!”
It felt so good to snap and lose all rationale for just a moment. The weight of my troubles lifting a little more with each outburst. Like a good cry, sometimes a good yell is just what I need to soldier through a difficult day.
And then, I saw them. The tears welling in my 8-year-old’s eyes. I had broken her.
Instantly, I felt horrible.
I didn’t mean to hurt her feelings.
My words weren’t intended to harm her fragile ego.
I just needed her to understand my frustrations, and talking calmly and asking nicely wasn’t getting me anywhere, so I reached my breaking point and let it out.
I wasn’t angry with her. I was more so frustrated with the constant struggle to maintain a clean house, and raise decent children who have enough courtesy to pick up after themselves. Clearly, I’m asking too much.
I hugged her and apologized, while explaining why I flipped my lid. She nodded through my explanation, and when I was done, she began picking up her mess and putting it in its appropriate place. It’s all I wanted in the first place, so why did it have to get to this point?
Four Norths in the South
My children are the ultimate button-pushers, and they know when they do, I’m going to go insane.
I’m certainly not winning mom of the year over here.
No one is going to ask me to write a parenting book, or lecture to new parents about effective parenting techniques, that’s for sure.
I’m human. I’m flawed. I make mistakes.
But I’m honestly just doing the best I can. I’m giving it my all…and sometimes I’m REALLY giving it, like I was today.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting. We can’t all be June Cleaver. Some of us are more of a Roseanne, and that’s okay. Because all that really matters is that we’re trying. All that really matters is that we have our children’s best interest at heart.
So I lost my ever-loving mind today. Guess what? I’ll probably do it again. And again. And again. And I’ll repeat for eternity.
But as long as they know I still love them, and as long as it makes them clean up after themselves, I’m going to give myself a pass…
And a lozenge, because my throat is a little sore from my meltdown.
This story originally appeared on Four Norths in the South